The recipe was for vaniljsås (literally 'vanilla sauce' but basically a custard but with potato starch as a thickening agent) and it came from this lovely 1945 cookbook that I was gifted by a friend last year:
It's called Billig mat ('Cheap food') and was first published in 1913. This is a 1945 edition though, published the same year that WWII ended. Sweden was a neutral country but food (and many other things) very rationed and scarce, but this book doesn't seem to take rationing into account at all. But it is supposed to be a frugal cookbook ('for the simple household', as the title says) and it is interesting to see how some things have shifted over the years: food that used to be regarded as cheap is now expensive, and vice versa.
But - onward to the recipe!
It was a very easy recipe with few ingredients.
(For 6 persons)
4 dl milk/cream or cream
2 tblsp vanilla sugar
3/4 tblsp potato starch
1-2 egg yolks
Heat milk and sugar to a gentle boil. Mix the potato starch with a little bit of water and add to the milk while stirring. Allow to boil for a short while.
Remove the sauce pan form the stove and stir in the egg yolks, return the sauce to the stove and allow to simmer while stirring briskly until thick enough. Continue to stir until the sauce is completely cool.
I used dl of milk and 2 dl of cream, and three egg yolks because my eggs were very small. The vanilla sugar I used contained 'real' vanilla, not the synthetic kind, but either would have been correct in a 1945 context.
Just the facts
The Challenge: #2 -Soups and sauces
The Recipe: Vaniljsås (a kind of custard) from a 1945 cookbook that I own (recipe can be found above).
The Date/Year and Region: Sweden, 1945.
How Did You Make It: See above!
Time to Complete: 10 minutes tops.
Total Cost: Not very much. I had all of the things already so it was basically 'free'. Should be a very cheap recipe wherever you are.
How Successful Was It?: Very. I really liked it. Before I chilled the sauce in the fridge, I thought it had a too distinct taste of 'warm milk' but it wasn't noticeable afterwards. It was thick and nice, almost a bit on the thick side, at least after a day in the fridge but still totally edible (and it was still yummy even after two days!). It was very rich - you could tell that it contained cream. I think using only cream (as the recipe suggested) would have been too much. I could have used a stronger vanilla flavour, but adding more vanilla sugar would have made it simultaneously sweeter, so next time I might add some extra pure vanilla for a little boost.
How Accurate Is It?: All the way, I guess. Even my gas stove would have been similar in 1945 (my non-stick IKEA pan not so much, on the other hand).
I'm definitely making this again. In fact, I'm having people over in a few days and I need to serve something sweet, so I think I'll make another crumble with berries or fruits of the season and make this sauce again!
- Friberg, Elvira (1945). Billig mat: Fullständig kokbok för det enkla hushållet. [Ny uppl.] Stockholm: Bonnier