Monday, November 19, 2007

Floating Island, or Why I Love Vintage Cookbooks

I absolutely adore vintage cookbooks. They are one of my personal favorite things to collect. I actually enjoy trying the old recipes, and I love the food history aspect of the cookbooks too. (Old cookbooks are fun to read!) I have a small wall of cookbooks in my dining room and I am always trying to cull my personal collection to make room for a few "new" old additions.

I wanted to share a recipe that you don't hear mentioned often. It's from Favorite Hungarian Pastries and Desserts compiled by The Women's Guild of the First Hungarian United Church of Christ -- Bridgeport, Connecticut. The book dates to 1963 and has a wonderful retro illustration on cover. This vintage cookbook sold over $20 on eBay. I do really well with vintage cookbooks, especially vintage ethnic foods.

And here it is -- Floating Island!

Madar Tej (Floating Island)

1 quart milk

4 eggs, separated

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat the yolks of the eggs with the sugar and flour. Stir into a quart of milk, scalded, and cool until it thickens. When cool, pour into a bowl and flavor. Whip egg whites stiff and add the 6 tablespoons of sugar. Pour this froth over a shallow dish of boiling water. The steam passing through cooks it. Tablespoon over the top of the custard. Islands can also be made by spooning the beaten egg whites into the scalded milk. Turn on other side after a few seconds. Remove and place on platter till all egg whites are used. Float on top of thickened custard.