16 March 2015

Paul Richard's Pastry Book

Another from our golden oldie selection that was published in 1948.  Paul Richard's Pastry Book is from the collection of publications published by the Hotel Monthly Press and meant to aid restaurant chefs.  Many of their publications were slim volumes meant to be stuffed in a jacket pocket for quick reference.  As with baking, as opposed to cooking, there are far more exacting rules, so the pastry book is larger and more detailed.

Still most of the recipes require a great deal of "know how" before attempting them.  Take this simple pie recipe for instance:

Banana Pie

Peel and slice the bananas very thin; add sugar, a little fresh butter, the juice of some oranges or lemons, and a pinch of allspice; or flavor with some good rum. Bake with a full crust, or with a meringue cover.

How easy is that? 

Since this book was meant for the trade, there are very revealing statistics for pricing out your pastry. 

A bride's cake should sell for somewhere between  $3 to $20.

A groom's cake from $5 to $25. 

Ice cream will run you 60 cents a quart.

A quart of lobster salad should be priced at $2.50.

Soft shelled crabs at $3.00 per dozen. 

We haven't quite figured out why there is a discussion of the prices for crabs and lobster salad in a pastry book.  Among the recipes for Charlottes, Bismarks, and Creme de Noyeau, there is a fine ant repellent.

Clearly, being in the hotel business was a bit more than making cupcakes.

While these old cookbooks probably don't have a lot to offer the modern cook, they are great historical references and a lot of fun.  Just imagine cracking open Eric Ripert's next book and finding a recipe for ant repellent!



1 comment:

  1. That cover looked familiar, but I knew I didn't have this. What I have is also by Hotel Monthly Press: The Hotel Butcher, Garde Manger and Carver. Google the title and you will see images in a familiar style.

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