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A Recipe for Lemon Cream

lemon cream

A Recipe for Lemon Cream

The origin of the lemon is a mystery, though it is thought that lemons first grew in Southern India, northern Burma, and China. A study of the genetic origin of the lemon reported that it is a hybrid between sour orange and citron.

lemons

The first substantial cultivation of lemons in Europe began in Genoa in the middle of the 15th century. The lemon was later introduced to the Americas in 1493 when Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds to Hispaniola on his voyages. Spanish conquest throughout the New World helped spread lemon seeds. It was mainly used as an ornamental plant and for medicine. In 1747, James Lind’s experiments on seamen suffering from scurvy involved adding lemon juice to their diets, though vitamin C was not yet known.

By Jane Austen’s lifetime, lemons were not an uncommon household item and many recipes in both commercially published cookery books and private collections, such as Martha Lloyd’s Household book, call for the fruit. The following recipe for lemon cream is fairly easy to replicate and offers a light and refreshing custard like dessert.

Lemon Cream
Take a pint of thick cream, and put it to the yolks of two eggs well beaten, four ounces of fine sugar and the thin rind of a lemon; boil it up, then stir it till almost cold: put the juice of a lemon in a dish or bowl, and pour the cream upon it, stirring it till quite cold.
Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell, A New System of Domestic Cookery; 1806

iStock_000023663150_ExtraSmall

 

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Orange Cream

The orange wine will want our care soon. But in the meantime, for elegance and ease and luxury, the Hattons and Milles’ dine here to-day, and I shall eat ice and drink French wine, and be above vulgar economy. Luckily the pleasures of friendship, of unreserved conversation, of similarity of taste and opinions, will make good amends for orange wine.
-Jane Austen to Cassandra
June 30, 1808

By Jane Austen’s day, oranges were no longer a novelty, though they were certainly an expensive delight. Orange Marmalade, also known as Dundee Marmalade, was developed in Scotland and so popular that, by 1797,  James Keiller and his mother Janet opened a factory to produce “Dundee Marmalade”,a preserve distinguished by thick chunks of bitter Seville orange rind. The business prospered, and remains a signature marmalade producer today. Martha Lloyd’s household book contains a recipe for “Scotch Marmalade” and the Austen’s were known to bottle their own Orange Wine.

There are no reports of sweet oranges occurring in the wild. In general, it is believed that sweet orange trees have originated in Southeast Asia, northeastern India or southern Chinaand that they were first cultivated in China around 2500 BC.

Continue reading Orange Cream

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Bread and Butter Pudding with Currants

Bread and Butter pudding

Bread and Butter Pudding with Currants

Bread and Butter pudding is a bread-based dessert popular in many countries’ cuisine, including that of Ireland, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Malta, Argentina, Louisiana Creole, and the southern United States. In other languages, its name is a translation of “bread pudding” or even just “pudding”, for example “pudín” or “budín” in Spanish; also in Spanish another name is “migas” (crumbs).

There is no fixed recipe, but it is usually made using stale (usually left-over) bread, and some combination of ingredients like milk, egg, suet, sugar or syrup, dried fruit, and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, mace or vanilla. The bread is soaked in the liquids, mixed with the other ingredients, and baked.

It may be served with a sweet sauce of some sort, such as whiskey sauce, rum sauce, or caramel sauce, but is typically sprinkled with sugar and eaten warm in squares or slices. In Canada it is often made with maple syrup. In Malaysia, bread pudding is eaten with custard sauce. In Hong Kong, China, bread pudding is usually served with vanilla cream dressing.

This recipe for “Bread and Butter Pudding” comes from Maria Eliza Ketleby Rundell’s  A New System of Domestic Cookery, 1814, and features currants in a starring role.

 

The following recipe is reprinted with permission from “Table for 2…or More”

Butter Bread Pudding
(serves 1-2, depends on who much one can eat)
Few slices of French loaf, about ¼ of a stick
Some butter softened for spreading
150ml milk
75ml whipping cream
1 egg
Few drops vanilla extract
3 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp currants or raisins

1. Spread butter over bread slices. Oh please be generous.
2. Arrange bread slices into a lightly buttered baking dish.
3. Sprinkle raisins or currants over.
4. Combine milk, whipping cream, vanilla and egg.
5. Pour ¾ of it over arranged bread. Sprinkle sugar over bread.
6. Let the bread soak for few minutes before pouring the rest of the egg mixture.
7. Bake in a preheated oven of 160C in a waterbath  for 40-45 minutes  or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Let the bread soak and soak, then pour the balance of the custard in.


Wendy lives in Malaysia where she enjoys cooking  for her husband and two young daughters, sharing the recipes she creates, like this one for bread and butter pudding, on her blog, Table for 2…or more: http://wendyinkk.blogspot.com.

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Mrs. Musgrove’s Christmas Pudding

 Immediately surrounding Mrs. Musgrove were the little Harvilles, whom she was sedulously guarding from the tyranny of the two children from the Cottage, expressly arrived to amuse them. On one side was a table occupied by some chattering girls, cutting up silk and gold paper; and on the other were tressels and trays, bending under the weight of brawn and cold pies, where riotous boys were holding high revel; the whole completed by a roaring Christmas fire, which seemed determined to be heard, in spite of all the noise of the others. Charles and Mary also came in, of course, during their visit, and Mr. Musgrove made a point of paying his respects to Lady Russell, and sat down close to her for ten minutes, talking with a very raised voice, but from the clamour of the children on his knees, generally in vain. It was a fine family-piece.
-Persuasion

Plum Puddings have long been associated with the Christmas Season. In this recipe, as in most other “Plumb” recipes of the time, raisins take the place of the plums or prunes modern cooks would expect. Christmas pudding really came into its own in Victorian times, finally being immortalized in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.

This recipe calls for a melted butter sauce; the flaming brandy sauce now so common was a later addition.  It is also a lighter color than later recipes, with their treacle, molasses and brandy; it is meant to be served fresh, instead of kept for weeks and weeks like other versions. If garnishing with fresh holly, remember that the berries are toxic and best replaced or removed before serving.

Boiled Plumb Pudding
Shred a pound of beef suet very fine, to which add three quarters of a pound of raisins stoned, a little grated nutmeg, a large spoonful of sugar, a little salt, some white wine, four eggs beaten, three spoonfuls of cream, and five spoonfuls of flour. Mix them well, and boil them in a cloth three hours. Pour over this pudding melted butter, when dished.
Susannah Carter,
The Frugal Housewife, or,Complete woman cook; wherein the art of dressing all sorts of viands is explained in upwards of five hundred approved receipts, in gravies, sauces, roasting [etc.] . . . also the making of English wines. (London: Francis Newbery, 1765)

454 g/ 1 lb Beef Suet, finely chopped
397 g / 14 oz / 2 ½ Cups Raisins
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
½ tsp Salt
180 ml / 2/3 cup White Wine
4 Eggs
5 tbsp Flour, plus extra for dusting
3 tbsp Cream
60 cm x 60 cm /2 ft x2 ft muslin cloth and kitchen string

Set a large stockpot of water on to boil.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, wine, cream and nutmeg. Add in the suet and flour. When this is incorporated, add the raisins and continue mixing until a stiff batter is formed.

Thoroughly wet the cloth and dust it with flour on both sides. Lay this cloth across a mixing bowl large enough to accommodate all your batter. Spoon the batter into the center of the cloth and tie it up securely (with a little room for expansion) with kitchen string, being sure to leave long ends to hang the pudding in the water. The pudding should look like a ball wrapped in fabric.

Submerge the pudding in the boiling water by suspending it from a wooden spoon placed across the top of the pot. Boil vigorously for 3 hours, adding additional water as necessary.

Remove the pudding from the water after three hours. Allow it to drain in a colander and then store it in a bowl (to preserve its shape) overnight or for several hours before serving. Reheat before serving. Serve with melted butter.

*Melted Butter
Melted butter was perhaps the most common sauce to be served with any number of dishes. To make your own, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over a medium heat. Quickly whisk in 2-3 tsp of flour and remove the butter from the heat. Do not allow the mixture to boil or the sauce will separate, thus becoming “oiled”.

Serves 8


Excerpted from Cooking with Jane Austen and Friends by Laura Boyle.


 

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Cassandra Austen’s Baked Custard

“Mrs. Bates, let me propose your venturing on one of these eggs. An egg boiled very soft is not unwholesome. Serle understands boiling an egg better than anybody. I would not recommend an egg boiled by anyone else – but you need not be afraid, they are very small, you see – one of our small eggs will not hurt you. Miss Bates, let Emma help you to a little bit of tart – a very little bit. Ours are all apple-tarts. You need not be afraid of unwholesome preserves here. I do not advise the custard. Mrs. Goddard, what say you to half a glass of wine? A small half-glass, put into a tumbler of water? I do not think it could disagree with you.”
Mr. Woodhouse, Emma
by Jane Austen

 

Cassandra Austen was Jane Austen’s dearest friend and confidant, as well as her only sister. Much of what we know of Austen’s personal life is the result of the letters exchanged between these sisters over the course of Jane Austen’s life.
Custards, rich concoctions of milk, eggs and spices have been made for centuries. The basic recipe is the base of many other dishes including baked meats, frozen ices and crème desserts. It is simple to prepare and loved by both children and adults, though Mr. Woodhouse certainly felt obliged to recommend against it.

Cooking with Jane Austen and Friends

 

A Custard
Sweeten a quart of new milk to your taste; grate in a little nutmeg, beat up eight eggs well (leaving out half the whites) stir them into the milk, and bake them in china cups, or put them into a deep china dish. Have a kettle of water boiling, set the cups in, let the water come about half way, but do not let it boil too fast, for fear of its getting into the cups. You may add a little rose-water, and French brandy.
Susannah Carter, The Frugal Housewife ( 1765)

 

470 / 16 fl oz / 2 Cups whole Milk

2 Eggs + 2 Egg Yolks

½ tsp Nutmeg

½ tsp Rose water, Brandy or Vanilla if desired

Preheat your oven to 177 ° C / 350° F.

In a blender, combine the milk, eggs, nutmeg and seasoning of choice. Purée until smooth.

Place 6 porcelain ramekins or custard cups in a large, deep baking dish and divide the mixture evenly between them. Pour hot water in the dish until it reaches half way up the sides of the cups. Place the whole pan in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Cool slightly before serving, or serve chilled with fresh fruit and whipped cream.

 


Excerpted from  Cooking with Jane Austen and Friends, by Laura Boyle. Available to buy online at The Jane Austen Gift Shop.

 

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Let them eat Georgian [Cheese]cake!

georgian cheesecake

Georgian Cheesecake: What came before?

Our journey yesterday went off exceedingly well; nothing occurred to alarm or delay us… At Devizes we had comfortable rooms and a good dinner, to which we sat down about five; amongst other things we had asparagus and a lobster, which made me wish for you, and some cheesecakes, on which the children made so delightful a supper as to endear the town of Devizes to them for a long time.
Jane to Cassandra
13, Queen’s Square, Friday (May 17) 1799

An ancient form of cheesecake may have been a popular dish in ancient Greece even prior to Romans’ adoption of it with the conquest of Greece. The earliest attested mention of a cheesecake is by the Greek physician Aegimus, who wrote a book on the art of making cheesecakes (πλακουντοποιικόν σύγγραμμα—plakountopoiikon suggramma). Cato the Elder’s De Agri Cultura includes recipes for two cakes for religious uses: libum and placenta. Of the two, placenta is most like most modern cheesecakes, having a crust that is separately prepared and baked. It is important to note that though these early forms are called cheese cakes, they differed greatly in taste and consistency from the cheesecake that we know today.

To Make Almond Cheesecakes
Take 1/2 lb. of blanch’d almonds pounded small with a spoonful of orange flower water, a lb of double refined sugar, 10 yokes of eggs well beat. Add the peels of two oranges or lemons (which must be boiled very tender). Then beat in a mortar very fine, then mix them together. Then add 1/2 of a pound of almonds beat fine with orange flower water; 3/4 lb of a pound of sugar, and eggs (half ye whites), a little mace pounded, and a little cream; beat all together a quarter of an hour; bake them in a puff paste in a quick oven.
-From Martha Lloyd’s Household Book

Modern commercial “American” cream cheese was developed in 1872, when William Lawrence, from Chester, New York, while looking for a way to recreate the soft, French cheese Neufchâtel, accidentally came up with a way of making an “unripened cheese” that is heavier and creamier; other dairymen came up with similar creations independently. In 1912, James Kraft developed a form of pasteurized cream cheese. Kraft acquired the Philadelphia trademark in 1928, and marketed pasteurized Philadelphia Cream Cheese which is now the most commonly used cheese for cheesecake.

A Tangerine Georgian Cheesecake

Crust:
1 cup Graham Crackers — Crushed
2 tablespoons Melted Butter
2 tablespoons Sugar

Filling:
2-4 eight-ounce packages Cream Cheese — Softened
2 tablespoons Tangerine Juice
4 Eggs
1 tablespoon Grated Tangerine Peel (or other citrus)
1 cup Sugar

Topping:
1 1/2 cups Sour Cream
2 tablespoons Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla
2 tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Tangerine Juice (or other citrus)

Combine first 3 ingredients thoroughly. Press into bottom and sides of 9″ springform pan. Bake 5 minutes and cool; (350 degrees F. oven). Turn oven to 250 degrees F.

Place 1 8-ounce package cream cheese and 1 egg in large mixer bowl; beat thoroughly. Repeat with remaining cheese and eggs, beating well after each addition. Gradually add sugar alternately with juice. Beat at medium speed for 10 minutes. Stir in peel. Pour into crust and bake 25 minutes. Turn off heat; let cake stand in oven 45 minutes and then remove.

Turn oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly combine topping ingredients. Let stand at room temperature. Gently spread over warm cake. Return to preheated 350 degree F. oven for 10 minutes. Partly cool on wire rack. Refrigerate overnight.

 

*****
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A Regency-Inspired Lemon Ice Recipe

lemon ice

A Regency-Inspired Lemon Ice Recipe

“The Hattons’ & Milles’ dine here today– & I shall eat Ice & drink French wine and be above Vulgar Economy.”
Jane Austen
July 1, 1808

Fanny Dashwood Ice Cream has been enjoyed for hundreds of years. Some legends attribute the first frozen dessert to Emperor Nero, of Rome. It was a mixture of snow (which he sent his slaves into the mountains to retrieve) nectar, fruit pulp, and honey. Another theory states that Marco Polo, 13th century bard and adventurer, brought recipes (said to be used in Asia for thousands of years) for water ices to Europe from the Far East.

Whatever the story, it is now an established treat- not just in the summer (or winter when ice is plentiful)- but all year long. Traditional ice cream was not invented until sometime in the 1830’s. In fact, the Ice Cream Maker wasn’t even patented until 1843 (by a woman, no less!) Even still it was a popular treat among those who could afford it. During his reign in the 1600s, King Charles I of England offered a cook a job for life if he made him ice cream and kept it a secret. George Washington loved ice cream so much that he ran up a $200 bill for the dessert treat one summer in the late 1700s and Dolly Madison served ice cream in the White House at the second inaugural ball in 1812.

The key factor in the manufacture of ice cream was ice. Where was it to come from? In the early 19th century importation of ice started from Norway, Canada and America, this made ice cream readily available to the general public in the UK. Ice was shipped into London and other major ports and taken in canal barges down the canals, to be stored in ice houses, from where it was sold to ice cream makers. This burgeoning ice cream industry, run mainly by Italians, started the influx of workers from southern Italy and the Ticino area of Switzerland to England.

While innumerable recipes abound (the first one appearing in 1718, the easiest to concoct are “Ices” similar to today’s Italian Ices. Light and refreshing, they make a perfect summer treat. Ices have no dairy content, where Sorbet has a slight amount of cream and ice Cream is based entirely on diary products.

Photo by Michael Gordon

Lemon Ice Recipe
2 cups sugar
4 cups water
1 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp grated lemon rind
Dash of Salt

  1. In a saucepan, combine sugar, salt, water and lemon rind.
  2. Boil for 5 minutes. Cool.
  3. Add lemon juice to cooled sugar water.
  4. Churn freeze (in Ice Cream maker) or pour into a dish and cover. Freeze at least 6 hours. Break frozen mixture into chunks. Place chunks in food processor; process until smooth. This method produces more of a “smoothy” texture. Makes 1/2 gallon of lemon ice.

If Churn Frozen or slightly stiff, this looks lovely served inside half of a lemon. Simply cut your lemons in half lengthwise before beginning process. Squeeze out the juice to be used in the recipe, cut a small slice of peel off the bottom of the lemon half so that it sits upright. Scoop out excess pulp and membrane, cover in plastic until ready to fill with frozen mixture. Garnish with Mint and berries.

 

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Jam Tartlets

The Queen of Hearts
She made some tarts,
    All on a summer’s day;
The Knave of Hearts
He stole those tarts,
    And took them clean away.
The King of Hearts
Called for the tarts,
    And beat the knave full sore;
The Knave of Hearts
Brought back the tarts,
    And vowed he’d steal no more.

The Queen of Hearts” is a poem based on the characters found on playing cards, by an anonymous author, originally published with three lesser-known stanzas, “The King of Spades”, “The King of Clubs”, and “The Diamond King”, in the British publication The European Magazine, no. 434, in April 1782.However, Iona and Peter Opie have argued that there is evidence to suggest that these other stanzas were later additions to an older poem.

There has been speculation about a model for the Queen of Hearts. In The Real Personage of Mother Goose, Katherine Elwes Thomas claims the Queen of Hearts was based on Elizabeth of Bohemia. Benham, in his book Playing Cards: History of the Pack and Explanations of its Many Secrets, notes that French playing cards from the mid-17th century have Judith from the Hebrew Bible as the Queen of Hearts. However, according to W. Gurney Benham, a scholar who researched the history of playing cards: “The old nursery rhyme about the Knave of Hearts who stole the tarts and was beaten for so doing by the King, seems to be founded on nothing more than the fact that ‘hearts’ rhymes with ‘tarts’.”

The poem’s story is retold in a much expanded form in an 1805 poem known as King and Queen of Hearts: with the Rogueries of the Knave who stole the Queen’s Pies by Charles Lamb, which gives each line of the original, followed by a poem commenting on the line. In 1844 Halliwell included the poem in the 3rd Edition of his The Nursery Rhymes of England (though he dropped it from later editions) and Caldecott made it the subject of one of his 1881 “Picture Books”, a series of illustrated nursery rhymes which he normally issued in pairs before Christmas from 1878 until his death in 1886.

“The Queen of Hearts” is quoted in and forms the basis for the plot of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter XI: “Who Stole the Tarts?”, a chapter that lampoons the British legal system through means of the trial of the Knave of Hearts,where the rhyme is presented as evidence. The poem became more popular after its inclusion in Carroll’s work.

A tart is a baked dish consisting of a filling over a pastry base with an open top not covered with pastry. The pastry is usually shortcrust pastry; the filling may be sweet or savoury, though modern tarts are usually fruit-based, sometimes with custard. Tartlet refers to a miniature tart. Examples of tarts include jam tarts, which may be different colours depending on the flavour of the jam used to fill them, and the Bakewell tart.

Buy Jam Tarts online from the Cotswold Cake Company.

The following recipe is for Cassandra Austen’s (Jane’s Mother) short crust (for pies) from Martha Lloyd’s household book. Use your favorite jam filling to make tarts or follow the modern recipe below.

Short Crust
a lb of flour a 1/4 lb of butter a 1/4 lb of lard, rubbed in, wetted of a moderate thickness with hot water.
Mrs. Cassandra Austen, from Martha Lloyd’s Household Book

Jam Tarts
Plain flour – 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp (14 oz)
Salt – ¼ tsp
Butter or margarine – 7 tbsp (3½ oz)
Margarine or lard – 7 tbsp (3½ oz)
Cold water – to mix
12 tsp. Fruit Jam

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the fats. Cut into the flour with a knife then rub in with your fingertips. The mixture should resemble fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Sprinkle water over the crumbs. Mix to a stiff crumbly-looking paste with a round-ended knife. Draw together with fingertips, turn out on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead quickly until smooth and crack free.
  3. Roll out and use as required. If not to be used immediately, transfer to a polythene bag or wrap in aluminium foil and refrigerate.
  4. Roll out the pastry and cut out 12 circles with a 7.5 cm (3 inch) cutter. Line the 12 holes of a bun tin with the pastry.
  5. Place a teaspoon of the jam in each pastry case. Do not overfill or the jam will boil over and make a very sticky mess.
  6. Bake at 200 °C / 400 °F 6 for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Cool on a wire rack.Modern recipe from Helen’s British Cooking Site.

 

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