Recipes recreated: news from our readers

A big thank you to our reader Catherine, who has sent in these fantastic photographs of dishes she’s created from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies.

Catherine followed our Cookbook of Unknown Ladies recipe to create this tasty gooseberry pudding

Catherine followed our Cookbook of Unknown Ladies recipe to create this tasty gooseberry pudding

The first picture shows her take on the Cookbook‘s 18th century gooseberry pudding. Not only does it look extremely appetising, but it also tasted great too. As Catherine told us:

This produces an excellent tart, with the sharp taste of gooseberries enhanced by the other flavourings, none of which dominates.  I found it produced a sponge-like layer on top with a more fool-like layer underneath.  Only putting pastry round the sides of the dish is a neat trick to avoid a soggy bottom!

Catherine’s stunning recreation of an 18th century sweet spinach tart proved to be a very enjoyable dessert

Catherine’s stunning recreation of an 18th century sweet spinach tart proved to be a very enjoyable dessert

Catherine also took the brave step of serving up our sweet ‘Spinach Tort‘ as a dessert for one of her friends:

“I rather surprised a lunch guest by serving Spinach Tart for dessert.  She always says how much she likes spinach, but she’d never had it like this before.  I had a bowl of strawberries in the fridge, just in case, but she happily finished off the portion of tart.  She said it had a subtle flavour and she wouldn’t have realized there was spinach in it had it not been green!”

We love the look of this dish, and Catherine’s beautiful decorative pastry work really sets it off nicely!

If you, like Catherine, have been trying your hand at recipes from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies, do get in touch! You can leave comments here on the blog, or email your cooking experiences and photos to westminster@archives.gov.uk

We look forward to hearing from you…

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Gooseberry pudding

Tangy gooseberries lend this pudding a sharp-sweet note – and it all sounds rather delicious! We’ll definitely be giving this recipe a go at home…

18th century recipe for a 'Goose Bery Pudding', from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

18th century recipe for a ‘Goose Bery Pudding’, from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

A Goose Bery Pudding

Boyle three quarts of goose berrys soft, and strain them through a haire sieve with the back of a spoon and when cold mix it up with some melted butter, cinaman, nutmeg, a glass of brandy grated (sic), a dust of flower, white sugar, eight eggs, three whites, two spoonfulls of rose water, half a pint of new milk. Put peast about the brim of the dish.

Based on our experience of other pudding recipes in the Cookbook, just over half  an hour at 180°C should see this cooked through nicely. Enjoy!