What better way to celebrate the holidays than with some delicious recipes from Little Women. This is a collection of Louisa May Alcott’s family recipes from the Orchard House and courtesy of Sony Pictures.
Enter to win a Little Women prize pack below that includes some of these great recipes.
Writer-director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) has crafted a Little Women that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author’s alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life. In Gerwig’s take, the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on her own terms — is both timeless and timely. Portraying Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth March, the film stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, with Timothée Chalamet as their neighbor Laurie, Laura Dern as Marmee, and Meryl Streep as Aunt March.
Beyond this amazing ensemble cast and powerhouse director is the perfect telling of Little Women. This is a unique take on the classic story. I smell a few awards on the horizon for this group.
Little Women is in theaters on December 25!
Details about the Little Women recipes. Excerpts from Little Women: The Official Movie Companion. You can find more recipes in the book!
Christine Tobin was the food stylist for Little Women.
This peppermint ice cream was scripted to be part of the pivotal food scene where the March girls come home to find the gift of an elaborate Christmas feast from the Lawrence family. Our director stressed the importance of the ice cream being pink.
The ice cream used for this scene was made by a Boston ice cream company, Puritan Ice Cream, that has been making ice cream for more than one hundred years. A perfect match for our nineteenth-century food scene.
The ice cream is indeed REAL. There were more than fifty scoops filling the punch bowl. We had to move quickly, and I had to replace melting scoops in between takes. Our actors were licking their fingers as the ice cream slowly dripped down the sides of bowl. We went through 75 gallons of ice cream for this scene.
People often marvel over the fact that I use only fresh, real food on film sets. “Can we really eat this?” is asked often. I love sharing beautiful foods with people and a film set should not be any different. There are many benefits to displaying time-sensitive foods on camera. Having the actors licking their fingers with joy is one of them! —Christine Tobin
Peppermint Ice Cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 Cup half-and-half
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 6 drops red food coloring
- 3/4 cup crushed peppermint candies
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar into the eggs until thickened and pale yellow.
- Incorporate the cornstarch and set aside.
- In a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the half-and-half to a simmer.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and slowly beat the warm half-and-half into the egg-and-sugar mixture.
- Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly.
- Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard through a strainer into a clean, large bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly, then stir in the heavy cream, peppermint extract, and food coloring.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold or overnight.
- Stir the crushed peppermint candies into the chilled custard, then freeze in one or two batches in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- When finished, the ice cream will be soft but edible.
- For firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for two hours or more.
- Scoop and enjoy!
Like all food works on Little Women, this freshly baked cake was designed to show the March family’s love of the outdoors and how they utilized natural beauty to adorn even the simplest cakes to show that love.
The week this scene was filmed was the peak of Boston’s autumnal display. My daughter, Charlotte, picked me incredibly bright leaves from trees surrounding Jamaica Plain Pond and the Forest Hills Cemetery. It was a special bonding moment for us and my approach to this cake was to display the gratitude we feel when we are presenting a food gift to someone we cherish. There is a special energy that is achieved when something is displayed with a sentimental spirit.
“Made by” Jo and a group of her young students, this cake was created to resemble that process: bulky, messy, playful. This is a simple chiffon cake recipe with a simple meringue buttercream frosting. I chose to leave the cake whole so it would appear more playful, but know you may cut this cake in half (or use two pans), and then fill it with frosting, jam, or curd to your liking. —Christine Tobin
Marmee's Birthday Cake
- Stand or Hand Mixer
- Tube Pan or Cake Pans
FOR THE CAKE:
- 7 large eggs separated
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar or
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 Cup sugar divided
- 2 Cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup milk whole or skim
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
FOR THE MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
- 3/4 cup pasteurized liquid egg whites
- 6 Cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 Cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract or
- 1/4 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia flavoring
To make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Have ready an ungreased 10-inch tube pan or angel food pan, or two 9 inches round ungreased cake pans. If you’re using two round pans, place a rack in the center of the oven; for a tube pan or angel food pan, place a rack just below the center, so the top of the risen cake won’t be too close to the top of the oven.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar or lemon juice until foamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar and continue beating until stiﬀ and glossy. Set aside.
- Whisk together the remaining 1 cup sugar with the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat the oil, milk, egg yolks, and flavorings until pale yellow.
- Add dry ingredients and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes at medium speed using a stand mixer, or longer with a hand mixer.
- Gently fold in the whipped egg whites, using a wire whip or cake blender. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl so the batter is well blended. Pour batter into your pan(s).
- If you're using a tube or angel food pan, bake the cake for 50 minutes, then turn up the heat to 350 degrees F for 10 minutes more or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. If you're using two 9-inch round cake pans, bake for 40 minutes at 325 degrees F, then 10 minutes more at 350 degrees F or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool the cake upside-down in the pan for 30 minutes before using a thin, sharp knife between the cake and the pan to remove it. If you've used a tube pan, set it atop a thin-necked bottle, threading the bottle neck through the hole in the tube. (Cooling with the cake on the bottom and the pan on the top helps keep the sponge light and airy._
Meringue Buttercream Frosting
- Combine the egg whites, powdered sugar, and salt in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed, until the sugar is moistened and no dry patches remain. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula, then turn the mixer to medium speed. Beat on medium for minutes.
- After 5 minutes, turn the mixer to medium-low and start adding the room temperature butter, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. Once all the butter is incorporated, add the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bottom and sides once more. Turn the mixer on to medium speed and beat the buttercream for 10 minutes. The frosting should be light and fluffy in texture.
- To assemble: Place the completely cool cake onto a platter or pedestal. Frost the top of cake with Meringue Buttercream Frosting. (If you have made two cakes, you could fill the layers with more buttercream or with jam or curd.) Adorn with elements of the outdoors for decorations, if you like.
Mrs. Alcott's Ginger Snaps
- Rolling Pin
- 1/2 pound butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 3/4 Cup flour
- 1 cup molasses
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate 1-2 hours
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Roll out on floured board to 1/8-1/4" thickness and cut with round cookie cutter
- Sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
Louisa May Alcott's Apple Slump
- 4-6 tart apples (3 cups sliced)
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 Cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cip sugar
- 1 egg well beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- Pare, core, and slice the apples.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Grease with butter the inside of a 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
- Place into a dish sliced apples, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- Bake apples uncovered until they are soft, about 20 minutes.
- While the apples are baking, sift together into a bowl the flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and sugar.
- Mix into this the beaten egg, milk, and melted butter. Stir gently.
- Spread the mixture over the apples and continue baking until the top is brown and crusty, about 25 minutes.
- Serve with whipped cream.
Win a Little Women Prize Pack
Winner will receive the Little Women book, companion movie book with recipes, calendar, and bag. Additional winners will win some cool swag.