You can't have a conversation about recipes passed down from immigrants without having a conversation about measurements. It doesn't matter what corners of the world someone travelled from, they will absolutely write down a recipe in a way that makes it hard to figure out what was going on. Is that two tablespoons of sugar? Or two teaspoons? And that's if you're lucky. Many recipes are passed down without any reference to measurements at all.
I was having this exact conversation with a friend when she said she had one of those recipes.
It's her Great-Grandmother's Crumble Tart. It's a lovely walnut and date tart that bakes up similar in texture to a quick bread.
Here's the recipe as sent to me by my friend, Kimberly. (Thanks, Kimberly!) (If you have an immigrant recipe you would like to see in this space, please email it to me at burghbaby (at) gmail (dot) com.)
As delivered in hand writing from my Grandmother! This was her mother’s recipe, my Great-Grandmother who came to the USA from Germany.
5 t flour
1 c walnuts
1 c dates
3 t baking powder
1 c sugar
Mix, beat, sugar and eggs. Add nuts etc. Bake 30 minutes at 350
Now for my modern updates and how I prepare it
5 tablespoons flour
1 cup course chopped walnuts
1 cup course chopped dates
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Mix flour and baking powder. Beat eggs (one at a time) into the flour/baking soda mixture, and then beat in sugar. Fold in walnuts and dates. Bake in a 9-inch round baking pan 25-30 minutes. Serves 4-6.
To serve: The texture will be like a quick bread, layer it with whipped cream (usually 2 layers) and put a cherry on top.