Pioneer Foods & Recipes

Take Conner Prairie Home

Want to learn about food and cooking in the 19th century, and maybe find some recipes you can try yourself? You're in the right place! Read on for ways to take a little bit of Conner Prairie home to your kitchen.

Conner Prairie Hearthside Supper Table

Hearthside Suppers Recipes

Every winter, we create multi-course meals based on authentic 19th-century recipes for our guests in the popular Hearthside Suppers program. 

A full set of recipe cards are available in the Conner Prairie Store for purchase. 

Apple Black Cap

Serves: 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 apples
  • lemon zest from
  • 1 lemon
  • juice from 1 Lemon
  • fine sugar & grated
  • nutmeg from table

DIRECTIONS
Modern Cooking: 

  1. Cut apples in half and core the center.
  2. Place them flat side down into a pie plate touching the next apple.
  3. Drizzle lemon juice over the apples.
  4. Sprinkle with lemon zest and sugar. Add some grated nutmeg
  5. Place them into a 400-degree pre-heated oven.
  6. Bake 15 - 20 minutes in oven. Test by inserting a fork through the skin of the apple.

Hearth Cooking/Campfire Cooking:

  1. Cut apples in half and core the center.
  2. Place them flat side down into a pie plate touching the next apple.
  3. Drizzle lemon juice over the apples.
  4. Sprinkle with lemon zest and sugar. Add some grated nutmeg.
  5. Place them into the pre-heated Dutch oven.
  6. Bake 20 - 30 minutes in oven. Test by inserting a fork through the skin of the apple.

Cook's and Confectioners Dictionary, 1723 by John Nott 

DOWNLOAD RECIPE

Squash Pie

A pie to use as a side-dish, sweeten & use for dessert.

Serves: 8

INGREDIENTS
Filling: 

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 quart milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 cups pumpkin
    (no spices/or pulp
    from cooked pumpkin or
    squash)

Pie Crust:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, lard
    or shortening
  • 1/8 cup water

DIRECTIONS
Modern Cooking: 

  1. Use a pre-made pie crust or in a food processor, mix together the flour and salt.
  2. Add water a bit at a time and continue processing until dough just holds together.
  3. Roll out and place into pie plate. Decorate the edge of the dough as desired.
  4. Mix all filling ingredients together and pour into the unbaked pie crust. No top crust.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 – 50 minutes. Can bake an additional 10 minutes if not set.

Hearth Cooking/Campfire Cooking: 

  1. Mix flour and salt together – Using two knives, cut in shortening/lard/butter.
  2. Add water a bit at a time and mix with a fork until the dough just holds together.
  3. Roll out and place into pie plate. Decorate the edge of the dough as desired.
  4. Mix all filling ingredients together and pour into the unbaked pie crust. No top crust.
  5. Bake moderate heat for 40 – 50 minutes.
  6. Can bake an additional 10 minutes if not set.

The Good Housekeeper, 1839 by Sarah Josepha Buelle Hale 

DOWNLOAD RECIPE 

Pounded Cheese

Cut a pound of good mellow cheese into thin bits; add to it two and, if the cheese is dry, three ounces of fresh butter; put these ingredients into a mortar till it is quite smooth. The piquance of this is sometimes increased by pounding it with curry powder, ground spices, black pepper, cayenne and a little made mustard; and some moisten it with a little sherry. If pressed down hard in a jar, and covered with clarified butter, it will keep for several days.

Cook's Own Book (This recipe can be made with a food processor.)

Baked Hind Quarter of Shoat

Shoat - a young pig; able to feed alone.

Score the skin across in narrow stripes, about half an inch apart, rub it over with salt, pepper, and sifted sage, brush it with lard, or sweet oil, and put it in a pan on some sweet, or white potatoes, having scraped and rinsed clean; add a pint and a half of water, and bake it with moderate heat. During the time it is baking raise the lid several times, and baste the meat with butter, lard, or sweet oil. When it is well done, and of a light brown color; thicken the gravy with butter, flour, cream and parsley.

Kentucky Housewife

Poundcake Gingerbread

Take 6 eggs, 1 lb. of sugar, 1 pint of molasses, a full tea-cup of ginger, a tea-spoonful of pearlash dissolved, a little mace, nutmeg, 1 lb. of fresh butter creamed; after these ingredients are well mixed, beat in 2 lbs. of flour. Fruit is an improvement. 

(This will make three large loaf pans.)

(Mackenzie's Five Thousand Reciepts: An American Physician)

Spiced Cider
  • To one gallon cider, add a bag of spices, 
    heat over trivet.
  • Spices: 6 cloves, 1 broken cinnamon, 
    3 allspices.
  • When hot, remove spices. Serve.

Conner Prairie Cookbook