Here’s a collection of some of our favorite Körner family or Victorian recipes. Please note, these have not all been tested in a modern kitchen; you made need to look up modern equivalents. Many of these recipes are from the “Körner’s Folly Cookbook” by Beth Tartan written in 1977. The “Körner’s Folly Cookbook” provides an unusual blend of Körner’s Folly history, local Kernersville history, and historical recipes. The author, Beth Tartan, was the food editor at the Winston-Salem Journal for many years and wrote many cookbooks that focused on local North Carolina recipes. It is available for purchase in our gift shop. Interested in a copy, have questions, or suggestions? Please contact 336-996-7922 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you make any of these recipes, please connect with us online by sharing a photo and tagging @kornersfolly with #cookingwiththekorners
Moravian Sugar Cake
This recipe appears in the “Körner’s Folly Cookbook,” as an excerpt from a collection of recipes given to Doré on the occasion of her marriage to Drewry Lanier Donnell in 1916. A delicious recipe at any time of the year, Moravian Sugar Cake was especially popular with guests visiting for Christmas. The Körner family, who were practicing Moravians, would have enjoyed this cake frequently!
“For the yeast – one cake Fleischman’s yeast soaked in half a cup lukewarm water, one cup mashed potato, half cup sugar.
When yeast is risen, take one scant cup lard, one cup sweet milk lightly warmed, one egg, and salt. Mix all together with flour to make moderately soft dough, and let rise again.
When risen, press out with hands into a thin sheet in a large biscuit pan, let rise again.
Pinch the dough up round the edges of the pan to keep the sugar from running into the pan. Make indentations in dough and cover with bits of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. (Mrs. W. C. Stafford)”
For modern cooks, we recommend this recipe from the famous Dewey’s Bakery of Winston-Salem, NC: https://gardenandgun.com/recipe/moravian-sugar-cake-recipe/
Many Halloween traditions took root in America as Old World immigrants arrived from Scotland and Ireland in the late 1800s. Americans became enthralled with these customs, especially the party snack and game of Halloween Pudding (or Barmbrack Cake as it was known in Ireland, which involved fortune-telling aspects through symbols baked inside the dessert.
Instructions included that a cake be made in complete silence, and after the batter was poured in a pan, several tokens would be hidden inside, including a ring, a coin, a bean, and a button. When served, the cake would be cut into as many pieces as there were guests. Every slice would have been either eaten or “crumbed” until the tokens appeared. The finder of the ring would be assured a quick marriage, the coin would provide wealth, the bean meant poverty or financial difficulty, and the button would foretell a solitary life.
Recipe for Barmbrack Cake:
2 ½ cups chopped dried mixed fruit
1 ½ cups hot brewed black tea
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ cup lemon or orange marmalade
1 tsp. grated orange zest
- Soak the dried fruit in the hot tea for 2 hours, then drain and squeeze out extra tea
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9” Bundt pan. Stir together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda; set aside.
- Beat the egg, sugar, marmalade, zest, and fruit until well combined. Gently fold in flour until just combined, then pour into prepared pan.
- Bake for 1 hour or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Allow to cool 2 hours in pan before removing. Contine to cool to room temperuate on a wire rack. Thoroughly clean objects (avoid copper pennies) before pressing into the cake from the bottom before serving.
Irish Bramback Recipe by Brooke Elizabeth (https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/162072/irish-barmbrack/)
Aunt Dealy’s Corn Cakes
- 2 C corn meal
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ C buttermilk, more or less
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Form stiff batter into small round balls and flatten into cakes about ½ inch thick. Grease cast iron skillet with bacon grease or lard; Heat pan over medium-high heat. When the cakes are brown, flip. They should rise and be light and happy. When both sides are brown, whisk the cakes to the table. Best served hot, topped with molasses.
Polly Alice’s White Chicken Soup
- ¼ pound cold poultry
- A blade of mace, pounded
- ¼ pound of sweet almonds
- 1 ½ C heavy cream
- A slice of dry bread
- Yolks of 2 hard-boiled eggs
- A shred of lemon peel
- 2 Quarts of chicken stock
Pound the almonds to a paste with a spoon of water. Add the meat, which should be pounded together with the bread. Beat all together. Add the chopped lemon peel and the mace. Heat the stock to boiling and pour over the mixture. Simmer for 1 hour. Mix the egg yolks with the cream, add to the soup, let boil up, and serve immediately.
The World’s Best Cookie
- 1 C Butter
- 1 C Brown Suger
- 1 C Granulated Sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 C Salad Oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 C rolled oats, uncooked
- 1 C crushed cornflakes
- 1 C shredded coconut
- 1/2 C chopped pecans
- 3 1/2 C sifted flour
- 1 tsp soda
- 1 tsp salt
Preheat over to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugars until fluffy, add egg, mix well. Blend in salad oil and vanilla. Add flour, soda, and salt, mixing well. Stir in oats, corn flakes, coconut, and nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with fork dipped in water. Bake 12 minutes until lightly browned around edges. Makes 8 dozen
Recipe adapted for modern cooks by Beth Tartan
Strawberry Custard Pie
For strawberry season, here’s a classic Körner family recipe to put those berries to good use.
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon flour
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell, chilled
Wash berries, cap and cut into small pieces. Mix together sugar and flour. Beat eggs and stir in sugar-flour mixture. Add milk, vanilla, and berries. Stir and pour into pie shell. Dot with butter. Bake on lower shelf of 375 degree over for 30 minutes or until the custard is firm.
Recipe adapted for modern cooks by Beth Tartan
Fried Sweet Potatoes
Peel fresh, raw sweet potatoes and cut into thin slices. Fry in deep or shallow fat. Arrange in a single layer on a platter and sprinkle with sugar. Good served with ham and ham gravy for breakfast.