Great gram always had a house full of home-baked goodies! She baked all day. It's no wonder she won all kinds of contests and was admired by everyone. She was a great pastry chef!
This is just a "quickie" she would whip up while she was preparing fried dough for everyone to enjoy (and don't forget – during those times you wasted nothing!):
Great Gram's Cake Fritters
She would slice (what Gramps would say was "stale" because it was made the day before) homemade cake into 1/4 – 1/2-inch slices and cut into ovals or rounds using a biscuit cutter.
In a low sided baking dish she would combine 1 egg with 1 cup milk, grated rind from one lemon, pinch salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. Then she would lay the cake ovals or rounds in this mixture until softened (not crumbly) – depending on the density of the cake, etc. and turn to coat the other side.
She would heat fat (lard in those days – but you can use shortening or vegetable oil – although we still use lard or it wouldn't be right to us) in a heavy skillet – about 1/2-inch deep. Carefully she would lift the cake pieces and place in the hot fat; browning on one side and then the other – adding additional lard if needed (depending on how many she was making – many times the recipe was more than doubled!)
Sprinkled with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar when removed from the skillet. Served plain or with hard sauce. When I make them I sometime just sprinkle with confectioners' sugar or sugar, and I also serve them with a nice lemon or fruit sauce or even a nice chocolate sauce.
Times were tough during the Great Depression, foods were rationed, scarce or just unable to get. Families did what they had to do to survive. This recipe calls for just one egg – when eggs were hard to come by.
Preheat oven to moderate temperature (350* F. by today's standards) Grease 8 or 9-inch square baking pan; set aside.
In large bowl, combine and sift:
2 cups sifted cake flour**
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder**
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup soft lard (substitute shortening)
Splash of vanilla (1 teaspoon)
2/3 cup sweet milk (whole milk)
Beat well (in those days it was by hand most of the time – anyone remember the old Betty Crocker recipes – beat 300 strokes?)
Additional 1/3 cup milk
1 large egg
Continue to beat until smooth.
Pour into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes or until cake tests done.
In small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind and 1 cup confectioners'** sugar. Place over low heat, stirring until smooth.
When cake is done baking, poke holes in cake and pour warm glaze over top.
Cool to serve.
**You can make it homemade and save money.