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1908 Ice Cream and Frozen Dessert Recipes

May 28th, 2014 · 4 Comments

icecream-coverMessing around on my kitchen bookshelf, I came across one of the many vintage cookbooks and pamphlets in my collection.

It’s a 1908 copy of “Dainty Dishes for all the Year Round” by Mrs. S.T. Rorer of the Philadelphia Cooking School. I think I pulled it out of a box of junk at a garage sale for 10 cents.

The recipes for ice creams, sherbets, water ices (this is Philadelphia!) and “other” frozen desserts (souffles, punches, frappes and frozen puddings) are still sharp, though – and plentiful – and it’s very fun reading.

The frozen desserts and water ices when done are packed into molds or bombs, as they are known, designed in pewter in fanciful shapes. A few molds, intended for kid’s parties, are lambs, bears or bunnies. The hinged ice cream mold shown was recently available on eBay; they are quite collectible.


Tools like a farina boiler are mentioned, and foods are let rest by orders to “stand it aside to let ripen for two hours.”

As you can see, the booklet is in rough shape – it has been well loved and used somewhere along the line. A happy thought for me as I envision 1908 ladies and gents at picnics and daintily eating these desserts after a lunch of cold potted chicken, homemade crispy pickles and pate.


There are directions for freezing ice cream in a hand-cranked freezer at the start, so the recipes are simply for the mixtures used to freeze the desserts.

Here are a couple of pages that will make some yummy desserts for your next hot summertime get-together. Most serve 10-12 or more – a full ice cream freezer’s worth.

Note that the pistachio ice cream is colored with . . . spinach!



The toasted brown bread ice cream is unique – a wild predecessor to cookies and cream, perhaps?

Here’s the recipe for lemon sherbet.

Lemon Sherbet

  • 4 large juicy lemons
  • 1 quart of water
  • 1-1/4 pounds sugar (2-1/2 cups)
  • Meringue, made of 1 egg and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Put the sugar and water on to boil, chip the yellow rind from three of the lemons*, add to the syrup and boil five minutes. Stand aside to cool. When cold, add the juice of the lemons and strain through a cloth. Chill. Freeze in ice cream freezer to a hard ice, then remove dasher, and stir in the meringue. Repack and freeze until used.

*Zest the lemon rind

(To make meringue: beat egg white till frothy. Add sugar and beat well until stiff.)

Recipe above from “Dainty Dishes For all the Year Round,” by Mrs. S.T. Rorer, published by North Brothers Mfg. Co., Philadelphia, Pa., 1908.

Tags: Jan's Favorite Things · Recipes

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Scott Simmons // May 29, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    I love those ice cream molds. Some of the fanciful shapes included fruits. Some could be quite elaborate. I have one shaped like strawberries. I can imagine it with a wonderful strawberry ice cream.

  • 2 Monica // Jun 5, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Would love to try the toasted brown bread ice cream! So unique indeed! 🙂

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  • 4 Kathleen Kelly // Jan 19, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    I love vintage cookbooks, and these recipes in particular indeed make me imagine what it was like to live during this era. Thanks for sharing your “find”, Jan, along with the opportunity to ponder a time gone by when ingredients weŕe simple, desserts were savored, and gatherings of friends and family were valued enough to share food made by our own hands. No paper plates, no tee shirts, no store bought cookies.

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