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6: Festive fare

For our Cooking Up History Session in December, we entered the Christmas spirit with a menu of mince pies and warming lemon caudle.

You can find out how we got on with the recipes by taking a look at Kim’s special report.

Mamma’s Mince Pyes

Mamma's Mince Pyes

Mamma’s Mince Pyes

Take a neats tongue, parboule it & skin it, & shred it. Put to it 3 pd of beif sewit, a pd & a half of raisins, 2 pd of currants, half a dozen of pipens, a qr of a pd of sweet meats, 3 qrs of a pd of white sugar, half a pint of sack, a qr of an ounce of nutmegs, the same quantity of all other spice’s, a little salt. Mix all well together.

Inspired by ‘Mamma’s’ recipe, here’s our take on Georgian-era mincemeat pies. It makes enough mixture for two dozen pies.

  • 500g shortcrust pastry
  • 150g cooked ox tongue
  • 175g suet
  • 170g raisins
  • 225g currants
  • 1 apple (we used a cox’s apple), peeled, cored and chopped small
  • 85g sugar
  • 100ml sherry (plus an extra tablespoon)
  • 100g finely chopped sweetmeats (we used candied ginger, dried apricots, dried cranberries and candied peel)
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • pinch of salt
  1. Shred the ox tongue into small pieces and place in a large bowl
  2. Add the suet, sugar, raisins and currants to the bowl and mix
  3. Peel, core and finely chop the apple
  4. Finely chop the sweetmeats (candied and dried fruits) and mix with the spices
  5. Add the spiced sweetmeats and apple to the tongue mixture
  6. Pour in the sherry and season with a pinch of salt. Use your hands to combine the mixture
  7. Grease a muffin tray and line with shortcrust pastry cases
  8. Put some of the mincemeat mixture into each pastry case, ensuring the pies are not overfilled
  9. Top with pastry and bake at 180ºC until golden brown and cooked through, approximately 30 minutes

Lemon Caudle

Lemon caudle

Lemon caudle

Boyle some milk & turn it with ye juce of a lemon till it is very clear. Take of the curd & strain the whey, & season it with nutmeg & sugar, & thicken it with the yolks of eggs & a little rose water.

Here’s our version:

  • 1 pint milk (we used semi-skimmed)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ tbsp rose water
  1. Bring the milk to the boil in a large saucepan. Remove from the heat
  2. Add the lemon juice to the milk, so that the milk curdles
  3. Strain the milk through a muslin cloth to remove the curd*
  4. Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and pour the warm whey over them, whisking all the time
  5. Return the whey and egg yolks to the saucepan and place on a gentle heat, stirring constantly
  6. Stir in the sugar, nutmeg and rosewater to taste
  7. When warm and slightly thickened (the consistency of a thin custard), pour into cups and enjoy!

* To avoid wasting the curd, why not try our Cookbook of Unknown Ladies recipe for lemon cheese?

3 thoughts on “6: Festive fare

  1. Pingback: The Cooking Up History Sessions – 6: festive fare | The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

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