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Pioneer Recipes from Camp Flashback

One of the activities our campers love is learning how to cook like the pioneers did.  Each week of camp, we make something from scratch – biscuits, butter, cookies – and always home-churned ice cream!  Try some of these recipes at home with your families.


Jolene Black’s Cream Biscuits

2 ½ cups White Lily self-rising flour (important that you use this brand)

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Lightly grease baking sheet.

Put the flour in a medium mixing bowl and add the cream.  Stir until a soft, sticky ball forms.  (The dough will seem wet at first.) On a very lightly floured surface, knead lightly with your well-floured hands about 3 times, just until the dough comes together.

Pat the dough to about ½ inch thickness.  Cut out biscuits with a 2 ½ inch round cutter that has been dipped in flour so that the dough does not stick.  Bake on the prepared baking sheet for 10-12 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown.  Makes 10-12 biscuits.

From “Cooking Up a Storm – 10th Anniversary: Recipes Lost and Found from the Times-Picayune of New Orleans”, edited by Judy Walker and Marcelle Bienvenu

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

4 cups Whole Milk

3 cups Half & Half

5 cups Heavy Whipping Cream

3 cups Sugar

2 Tbs Vanilla Extract

½ tsp Salt

Pour the milk, half & half and heavy whipping cream into a pot and bring slowly up to a boiling point but DO NOT LET IT BOIL.  While it is heating, add in sugar, salt and vanilla extract.  Allow this to cook for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and chill mixture in refrigerator.  Pour into canister of ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.  Makes approx. 3 ½ quarts.

“Hand-made” Butter                        

1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream (best if not just out of the refrigerator – closer to room temperature)

Pinch of Salt

Combine the heavy whipping cream and salt in a tightly closed container.  (A jar with a lid or plastic storage container works well.) Shake it vigorously for several minutes (or you can use a mixer if you don’t want an arm workout).

First, the cream will turn to a whipped cream stage and then it will start to get thicker and it will start to release watery buttercream. You’ll see little pieces of it splashing against the sides of the container. Finally, the whole thing will start to become liquid-y again, and the butterfat and buttermilk will separate completely.

Use a strainer to separate the liquid from the butter. The butter can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.  Enjoy with some homemade biscuits!

Pumpkin Butter                        

3 cans (15 oz) Pumpkin

2 cups Honey

1-1/2 cups Water

3 teaspoons Cinnamon

¾ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg

¾ teaspoons Ground Ginger

Combine all ingredients in a pot.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Cool.  Can store in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks.

From “The Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook” by Laura Ingalls Wilder and William Anderson.

Katie’s 1840 Corn Bread

1 cup Yellow Corn Meal

1 cup Flour

4 teaspoons Baking Powder

2 Tablespoons Honey

1 cup Milk

2 Eggs

¼ cup Applesauce

1 8oz can Creamed Corn

Combine all ingredients (except for the corn) and beat until smooth.  Stir in the corn.  Pour in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

From “The Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook” by Laura Ingalls Wilder and William Anderson.

Pioneer Cobbler

½ cup Butter

1 cup Milk

1 cup Sugar

1 cup Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1 quart fresh or frozen or canned apples (if fresh – 3 lbs)

Melt butter in 13” x 9” pan or Dutch Oven.  Mix milk, sugar, flout and baking powder.  Pour batter in pan on top of the melted butter.  Cover with fruit.  Do not stir.  Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour.

From “The Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook” by Laura Ingalls Wilder and William Anderson.

Pioneer Applesauce Spice Cake

2-1/2 cup Flour

1-1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

¾ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

½ teaspoon Ground Cloves

¼ teaspoon Baking Powder

½ cup Butter

2 cups Sugar

2 Eggs

2 cups Applesauce

Grease 13” x 9” x 2” pan or Dutch oven.  Combine the first 7 ingredients (dry ingredients).  In a new bowl, beat butter for 1 minute.  Add sugar, beat. Add eggs, beat 1 minute after each egg. Add dry ingredients and applesauce to wet mixture, alternating between each.  Beat after each addition.  Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

From “The Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook” by Laura Ingalls Wilder and William Anderson.


Questions? Please contact

Camp Flashback is sponsored by Dunwoody Preservation Trust, manager and caretaker of the Donaldson-Bannister Farm.