Rhubarb Meringue Pie {1928}

What do you do when you have a freezer full of last summer’s rhubarb and a limited time before serious freezer-burn sets in?

You search through your vintage cookbooks for a suitable recipe, of course!


The winning recipe was discovered in my 1928 edition of “The Rector Cook Book” by George Rector…


…that is apparently a signed copy! That was fun to discover!


I’d never heard of George Rector before thumbing through his cookbook, but a quick google search turned up some interesting information. He was, apparently, a very popular chef during the 20’s and 30’s. In addition to running a restaurant very popular with Broadway celebrities, he was also featured in newspapers, movies, and radio broadcasts during his day.


My copy of his cookbook holds some neat treasures tucked within its pages: clipped recipes accompanied by darling illustrations that, judging by the style of the ladies’ dresses, show that it was used at least through the early 30’s.


There are also a couple remnants of the jacket that have survived as bookmarks.

I was quite intrigued by his recipe for “Rhubarb Meringue Pie,”  a combination I’d never considered before, and gave it a try.


The recipe included very specific instructions for preparing the rhubarb, which I followed the best I could since I was starting with frozen.

The process of preparing the custard-y filling looked like I was making a very runny macaroni and didn’t appear too appealing before baking.

The crust, however, was beautiful. It rolled out nice and thin and was a wonderful dough to work with.

And, in the end, it all came together into a beautiful pie.


A unique flavor combination, it had all the tangy deliciousness of rhubarb pie that was balanced out by the sweetness of the custard and the light, fluffy topping. I’d definitely make it again!

I’ll add the recipe under the cut so you can try it too! Tell me what you think!

Continue reading “Rhubarb Meringue Pie {1928}”


One-Egg Cake (HFF #4)

For the fourth prompt for the Historical Food Fortnightly, “Sweets for the Sweet,” I used a very special recipe. “It’s sugar, and maybe spice, and definitely everything nice. Test out a historic recipe for sweets, sweetmeats and candies – but don’t let them spoil your appetite!

The recipe that I chose to make for this challenge – “One-Egg Cake” – comes from one of my grandmother’s cookbooks,”The Household Searchlight Recipe Book that was published by the Household Magazine in 1940.

When I was over at her house one night last month she pulled out her collection of cookbooks and I had a fun evening looking through them with her. This one, she explained, belonged to her mother who bought it from a traveling salesman. My grandmother grew up learning to cook from this book and one of the recipes that she made most often was the “One-Egg Cake.” It was economical and tasted great.

So I snapped a few photos and went home to test it out!

You can really tell that this was a well-loved page.

One-Egg Cake

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup shortening

1/3 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

1 egg

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup milk

2 teaspoons baking-powder

Cream shortening and sugar. Add unbeaten egg. Add flavoring. Beat thoroughly. Sift flour, measure, and sift with salt and baking-powder. Add alternately with milk to creamed shortening and sugar. Pour into well-oiled loaf pan. Bake in moderate oven (375° F.) 35 minutes.


The cake was super easy to make. It was a pretty thick batter which went nicely into the oven. I will say that baking it in a loaf pan did make it seem more like a quick bread than a cake so I did choose to serve it with some butter.


It was delicious! Thanks, grandma!

The Challenge: Sweets for the Sweet
The Recipe: One-Egg Cake from The Household Searchlight Recipe Book
The Date/Year and Region: 1940, American
How Did You Make It: Just mix the ingredients together and bake
Time to Complete: An hour or less
Total Cost: Everything form the cupboard. Less expensive for using only one egg!
How Successful Was It?: Quite.
How Accurate Is It?: Pretty high!