In 1919, Daisy of Erskineville submitted her recipe for Dripping Biscuits to the ‘Women’s Sphere’ page of Sydney’s The Sun Newspaper. Daisy’s recipe appeared in the ‘Housewives’ Exchange’ column: ‘any kind of useful wrinkle concerning the home-cooking,
dressmaking, care of children-will find a place in this column.’
The recipe for dripping biscuits appeared amongst several recipes submitted by residents of Sydney, which included wheatmeal pastry, apple strudel, sponge cake, carrot pudding, and honey toffee.
Daisy’s recipe uses dripping, or beef fat in place of the butter or oil that most biscuit recipes tend to use today. In 1919 beef dripping would have been an inexpensive ingredient, a by-product of family cooking, dripping being the fat that dripped from roasting meat. Today, beef dripping is sold at the supermarket at great expense as a gourmet ingredient.
The recipe appears pretty straight forward right up until the direction is reached to add ‘sufficient flour’ and ‘bake in a brisk oven’ and finally ‘a little cornflour added to the flour is an improvement.’ How much? How hot? For how long?
Would that be a Britsh Imperial measure of sufficiency?
Well, there’s nothing for it but to pre-heat the oven to ‘brisk’ and get down to business with a beater and some rendered beef fat…
Daisy’s Dripping Biscuits