Alongside loving vintage cook books comes the love of vintage cookware. On a recent road trip, I came across a genuine vintage Willow nut loaf tin in a country second-hand store.
I have many vintage recipes that call for round loaf tin. Date loaf, nut loaf, or date and nut loaf in many guises. I have fond memories of my paternal grandmother, manual rotary whisk in hand, whizzing this up and serving us rounds slathered in rich creamy butter for afternoon tea. Her mother used to bake to the same recipe, using aluminium foil and empty food cans. Such luxury was the round nut loaf tin to those that could afford one.
The recipe I have chosen is from The Commonsense Cookery Book, this time, the 1959 release. .
One of the things I love finding in vintage recipes is the quirkiness of the measurements. In the absence of exact science and precise measurements bakers call for today, there’s often reference to a bit of this, a dash of that, or a splash of something else. ‘Cooking by cups’ was very common through the depression, the recession and the post war years. Cup recipes were easy, easy to remember, easy to manage, and with utensils required kept to a few, easily accessible for most people. This recipe trusts you will understand the needs for a small cup of milk. Yes?
Date and Nut loaf using a loaf tin: 1959*
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tsp baking powder
Small cup of milk
1 tb butter
Pinch of salt
Beat butter and sugar to a cream.
Add a well beaten egg.
Add milk gradually.
Add chopped dates and chopped walnuts.
Stir in lightly the flour, baking powder and salt, sifted.
3/4 fill the greased loaf tin and secure both ends.
Stand upright and bake in moderate oven 3/4 hour.
This recipe makes enough for 2 loaf tins. Don’t try to fill in a single bake, your tin will explode.
Serve just as my Nan did – slathered in butter and with a nice cup of tea.
Don’t mind if I do.