For Cookology, I have chosen a recipe that I think is the type of thing Harriet would have cooked in winter months. It gets incredibly cold on Lake Michigan in the winter and Harriet was always so busy! She would have needed something that was pretty easy to make (no time to fuss) but would warm her inside and out.
My suggestion: beef stew. Here’s a recipe my daughters and I used to use when they were little and learning to cook.
- 8 oz. (1 stick) of butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar, plus a couple tablespoons for dusting
- 2 eggs, separated
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 ¾ cup plain flour, plus extra for work surface
- 1tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 oz currants or small raisins
- cookie cutter, any simple shape (rectangle, square or circle are traditional)
- Beat the softened butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer to soften a little more, then cream with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat the egg yolks lightly and stir them into the mixture along with the lemon zest.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, add the currants and mix to give a smooth dough.
- Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 20–30 mins.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºC.
- Roll the dough out on a floured work surface to a thickness of ¼ inch and stamp out the cookies with the cutters.
- Arrange on a couple of large baking sheets and place in the fridge for 10 minutes before baking in the oven for about 12 minutes or until just turning golden.
- Meanwhile, lightly beat the egg whites.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and brush lightly with the egg whites. Sprinkle with a little sugar and repeat until all are done. Return the biscuits to the oven to bake for a further 4–5 minutes or until golden (this gives a crunchy top).
- Remove and leave to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.