More Recipes from Eighteenth-Century England
eats                       egetables                       esserts
Excerpt from Martha Lloyd's (second wife of the Reverend James Austen) recipe book, (Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 37)

Forcemeat Balls

Take a little fat bacon, beat it in a marble mortar, take two anchovies, two or three pigeons’ livers, chop them together; add a little lemon-peel shred, a little beaten mace, nutmeg, cayenne, stale bread crumbs, and beef-suet an equal quantity, mix all together with an egg.

Makes 16 balls about 1 inch/2.5 cm in diameter

4 oz/110 g/2 cups breadcrumbs
2oz/50g/scant ½ cup shredded suet
2 canned anchovy fillets, soaked, chopped and pounded
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or ½ tablespoon dried oregano
grated rind of ½ lemon
salt and pepper
pinch each of grated nutmeg and ground mace
a few grains of cayenne pepper
1 large egg, beaten
egg wash for glazing (optional)

The original mixture is stronger in flavour and fattier than we want for most purposes today, but you can add a finely chopped chicken liver and chopped bacon rasher (slice) to the milder ‘mix’ here if you wish. Mix together all the ingredients and adjust the quantity of breadcrumbs if required to make a mixture which will cohere when squeezed. Roll into small balls, coat with egg wash and fry or bake until heated through.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 79)

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Mutton Hams

“To dry a leg of mutton like ham:
Cut it like a Ham and take 2 oz. salt-petre and rub the Mutton all over and let it lie a day and make a Pickle of Bay Salt and spring water and put the Mutton in and let it lie 8 days and take and hang it in a chimney for 3 weeks, and then boil it till it is tender. The proper time to do it is in cold weather.” [1]

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Asparagus Dressed the Italian Way

Take the asparagus, break them in pieces, then boil them soft and drain the water from them; take a little oil, water, and vinegar, let it boil, season it with pepper and salt, throw in the asparagus and thicken with yolks of eggs… the Spaniards add sugar, but that spoils them.

Serves 6

About 60 stems fresh asparagus
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 egg yolks
about 5oz/150g/ 2/3 cup butter, flaked

Cut any woody ends off the asparagus stems and scrape the white parts if needed. Tie the stems in bundles with all the heads at one end and trim the stem ends level. Put a pan of lightly salted water on the stove and stand the bundles upright in the pan so that the stems are almost covered; only the heads should be above water level. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Then lay the bundles flat in the pan and simmer for another 5-10 minutes until the heads are tender. Drain thoroughly. (Small, thin asparagus or sprue cooks in 5 minutes.) When they are ready, cut the tender green heads and stems of the asparagus into 1 inch/2.5cm pieces, and keep warm in a serving dish. In a small pan, boil the vinegar and 1 ½ tablespoons water until reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Cool slightly. Beat the egg yolks until liquid in a heatproof bowl, then stir in the vinegar. Place the bowl over simmering water and stir until the mixture thickens. Gradually whisk in as much of the butter as the egg sauce will hold without separating, sprinkling in a little salt and pepper as you do so. The sauce should be thick and quite sharp to the palate. Serve it over the asparagus while still warm.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 115)

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Herb Pudding

Take a quart of grots, and steep them in warm water half an hour. Take a pound of hog’s lard, and cut it into little bits. Take of spinach, beets, parsley and leeks, a handful of each; three large onions chopped small, and three sage leaves cut fine. Put in a little salt, mix all well together, and tie it close. It will require to be taken up in boiling, to loosen the string a little.

Serves 4-6

4oz/110g/1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
4oz/110g/1 cup fine oatmeal
2oz/50g/1 cup soft white breadcrumbs
5oz/150g/1 ¼ cups shredded suet or pork dripping
a good fistful of finely chopped spinach and other green leaves, including parsley and green of young leek (use enough leaves to tint the pudding)
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or ½ teaspoon dried sage
½ teaspoon salt

Until potatoes replaced it in our daily diet, a plain or savoury pudding was often served with meat, or as a ‘filer’ before it in poorer country households. Flour and oatmeal make an easier pudding to manage than hulled, pounded oats for this basic dish.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 47)

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Apple Pudding of 1700:

 “Peel and quarter eight gold-runnets, or twelve golden-pippins; cast them into water, in which boil them as you do for Apple sauce; sweeten them with loaf sugar, squeeze in them two lemons, and grate in their peels; beat eight eggs, and beat them all well together; pour it into a dish, cover with puff paste, and bake it an hour in a slow oven.” [2]

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Martha’s Almond Cheesecakes

Take half a pound of blanch’d almonds pounded small with a spoonful of Orange flower water and half a pound of double-refined sugar 10 yolks of Eggs well beat add the peels of two oranges or Lemons which must be boil’d very tender then beat in a Mortar very fine, then mix them together and put in three quarters of a pound of melted butter being almost cold and bake it in good Crust.

Makes 24-28

1 large lemon or orange
4oz/110g/ 2/3 cup caster (superfine) sugar, plus 1 extra tablespoon for sprinkling
a few drops orange-flower water
4oz/110g/1 cup ground almonds
2 whole eggs, separated, plus 2 egg whites
2oz/50g/4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1lb/450g shortcrust pastry

Pare the rind of the lemon or orange thinly, taking off the top coloured layer only. Boil the parings in a small pan of water until soft; drain. Pulverize them with some of the sugar in a n electric blender or grinder. Put them in a bowl, add the rest of the sugar and the orange-flower water, then mix in the ground almonds.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 123)

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A Hasty Pudding of 1742:

 “Break an egg into fine flour, and with your hand work up as much as you can into as stiff a paste as possible [the size of the egg and dryness of the flour make it impossible to give quantities, but go on adding flour till the egg rubs into fine crumbs].  Add milk boiling, and put in a little salt, some rose water, or orange-flower water, a few drops put to your taste, some butter, and keep stirring all one way till it is thick as you would have it, pour it oute and when it is in the dishe stick it all over with littel bits of butter, and beaten cinnamon over.” [3]

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A Trifle

Take three Naple Biscuits cut them in Slices dip them in sack lay them in the bottom of your dish, then make a custard of a pint of cream and five Eggs and put over them then make a whipt Syllabub as light as possible to cover the whole the higher it is piled the handsomer it looks.

Serves 6

1 quantity Solid Custard
plain Madeira cake, cut in 1 inch/2.5 cm slices, to line the bottom and 1/3 of the sides of a 2 ½ pint/1.4 litre/6 ¼ cup glass bowl
medium dry sherry to moisten
1 quantity Solid Syllabub
chopped, candied or crystallized fruits to decorate (optional)

The original Naples biscuits were twice-baked, hard sponge cakes stored for used when needed for eating with or in eighteenth-century sweet ‘creams’; I have used instead plain Madeira cake. The sack (sherry) was intended to soften the biscuits, so go easy when adding it to the softer modern cake. Make the Solid Custard first so that it is cooled (but not set) when you are ready to add it to the sponge cake and before you want to add the syllabub. The dessert will then have interesting, contrasting layers. Follow the original recipe above for adding the syllabub. Use chopped, candied or crystallized fruits, if you wish, for a period-style decoration on top of the trifle.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 121)

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Sweetmeats as prepared for dessert after the meal, (Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 22)