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More lemon creams

Our Cooking Up History group really enjoyed making up lemon creams at their latest historic cookery session. It seems that this dish was rather a favourite in the household of our ‘unknown ladies’ too!

There are three entries for lemon cream in the Cookbook, but two are written in the same handwriting and are identical but for a few variant spellings.

Compare the recipe below to the ‘lemmond cream‘ method that inspired the Cooking Up History group in June… can you spot any differences?

This recipe for "Lemmon Cream" is nearly identical to the one made up by our Cooking Up History group.

This “Lemmon Cream” recipe is nearly identical to the one followed by our Cooking Up History group.

Lemmon Cream

To four large lemmons squees’d put 3 qrs of a pd of ye finest loaf sugar, 8 or 9 spoonfuls of water & a piece of ye peel. Set it over ye fire until ye sugar is melted. Put in ye whites of 4 eggs & strain it through a napkin doubled. Set it on ye fire again & stir it all ye while. When it grows thick, take it off. Put in two spoonfuls of orange flower water. Lay some shreds of boyled lemmon pele at ye bottom of yr glasses. 

The following recipe varies from the latter not only in the quantities used, but also in the level of detail in the method. The author gives full instructions for boiling the lemon peel, and even specifies that it should be boiled in ‘a silver thing’, supposedly to avoid potential poisoning from using a pewter dish.

To help create that extra wobble, a piece of isinglass is added to set the cream.

This is one of three entries for lemon cream in The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

This is one of three entries for lemon cream in The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

Lemon Cream

Take 9 spoonfulls of fair water boyling hot & put to it the peel of a lemon all night. In the morning, strain it on the juce of 3 lemons & half a pd of loaf sugar. Then set it on the fire till the sugar is disolv’d. Then set it by to cool. When cold, put to it the whites of 3 eggs beat to a froth, & strain it through a muslin rag. Set it on the fire with 3 spoonfulls of orange flower water or 2 of honey water. Keep it continually stirring one way till it is as thick as jelly. Then have some lemon peel boyled tender & cut thin & lay in yr cups & put yr jelly at top of them. It must be boyled in a silver thing. Put a bit of Isingglass as big as ye top of yr finger.

If you’d like to try this popular 18th century dish at home, you’ll find a step-by-step method on our Cooking Up History page. Don’t forget to let us know how you get on!

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