There is no better way to kick off Women's History Month than with a tribute to Mary Pickford! She is one of the great pioneers, artists and business women in film history. I encourage everyone to do a deep dive into her work. You can read articles, interviews, see film clips and more at Marypickford.org
I have several Pickford recipes in my cookbook collection and I approached my guest Angie Schneider to discuss. She told me that she has the original recipe and menu cards from Pickfair and it was all handwritten by their head chef. Sufficed to say, we simply HAD to pursue making something from that treasure trove! Angie suggested that we start out with the Pickfair Hollandaise Sauce and pair it with asparagus or an artichoke.
2 tablespoons of cream or heavy cream
½ cup butter
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
Put four yolks of eggs in a double broiler (or if no double boiler, vigorously whisk)
Add in two tablespoons of cream (Angie suggests using heavy cream.)
Mix well together and keep on stirring over the hot water (if in double boiler) until
the yolks set and are smooth.
Mix all the time adding in nice pieces of sweet butter (1/2 cup of butter), do not
get too hot or it will curdle. It should be quite thick.
Season with salt and pepper
Add juice of a lemon to taste
The Final Result
I learned so much on this episode! I’ve tried many vintage recipes that call for a double broiler and since I don’t have one, I have long been trying to figure out how to work around that issue. Angie told me that the solution is very simple. She said all I needed to do was to get a pan and fill it with an inch and a half of water. Then I needed to put a glass mixing bowl on top and that’s it! I was grateful to finally find a simple, cost effective solution.
I think in rehearsal, I put too much lemon juice in the mixture and I didn’t heat it long enough. Angie said it also helps to have the butter and eggs sitting out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
The Hollandaise Sauce was so much better this time around!
Hopefully after the pandemic we will be able to recreate a full dinner at Pickfair with many of our fellow film lovers!
Of course we will also include the Ovaltine. Mary would insist!
If you'd like to learn more about Mary Pickford, there are many high quality books out there! You can find many of these books online, but I always encourage everyone to support local bookstores like Larry Edmund's Bookshop in Hollywood!
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to do the dishes.