To Roast Geese, Turkies etc.

When you roast a goose, turkey, or fowls of any sort, take care to singe them with a piece of white paper, and baste them with butter; dredge them with a little flour, and sprinkle a little salt on; and when the smoak begins to draw the fire, and they look plump, baste them again, and dredge them with a little flour, and take them up.

As to geese and ducks, you should have sage and onion shred fine, with pepper and salt put into the belly, with gravy in the dish; or some like sage and onion and gravy mixed together.  Put only pepper and salt into…all…sorts of wild fowl.  A middling turkey will take an hour to roast; a very large one, an hour and a quarter; a small one three quarters and of an hour.  You must paper the breast till it is near done enough, then take the paper off and froth it up.  Your fire must be very good.  The same time does a goose.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 81)                                      Back to the Dinner menu

Fricasse of Turnips

Servants picking turnips to complete a recipe, (Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 51)

Cut your Turnips in dice, when boiled and put a little cream to them thicken’d with flour and add a little lump Sugar to taste.

Serves 6

2 lb/ 1 kg small young turnips
salt and white pepper
8 fl oz/ 225 ml/ 1 cup single (light) cream
1 tablespoon plain (all-purpose) flour
½ tablespoon white sugar
pinch of grated nutmeg (optional)

Top and tail the turnips, and peel any with coarse or blemished skins. Cut into ½-inch/1 cm dice.  Put at once into a pan of cold water, add a little salt and bring gently to the boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes until tender but not soft.
While the turnips are cooking, gradually blend the cream into the flour, making a smooth paste and then a cream. Stir it in a small saucepan over gentle heat just until slightly thickened; season and fold in the sugar and the spice if you are using it. Drain the turnips and put them in a warmed serving dish.  Then fold in the warmed cream and serve.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 45)                                      Back to the Dinner menu

Salmon, Pike, Carps or Fresh Cod in Corbuillon

Men catching fish for a tantalizing side dish, (Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 15)

First scale, draw, and cleanse your Fish very well; then lay your Fish into a Corbullion, made as follows: Take on Part Wine, one Part Vinegar, and two Parts Water; season it well with Salt, whole Pepper, Cloves, Mace and Ginger; put in some Onions, Horse-radish, a good Faggot of sweet Herbs, and a few Bay leaves; pour this cold all over your Fish, and let there be enough of it to boil it in: let it lie an Hour in this Corbullion, and then take out your Fish, and set your Corbullion on to boil; and when it boils up, put in your Fish; when boil’d enough, take it out, and drain it well; dish it, and lay some other small Fish about it, either boil’d or fry’d, or broil’d, and garnish with Horse-radish and slic’d Lemon.

Serves 6

1 fish, about 3lb/1.4 kg, and 2 inches/5cm thick, gutted and scaled
spice bundle containing 5 black peppercorns; 2 whole cloves; 1 large blade mace; 1 slice fresh ginger root; 1 shallot, halved; 2 red radishes, halved; a sprig each of fresh thyme, marjoram and rosemary; 2 bay leaves
10 fl oz/275 ml/1 ¼ cups medium dry white wine
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
sea salt to taste
garnish of cooked prawns if serving hot or of sliced radishes and preserved lemon slices if serving cold

Any fairly large fish was generally ‘boiled’: that is, poached in a fish-kettle, having first been wrapped in a cloth. An oval pot-roaster or a stew-pan is suitable for most fish; one measuring 12 x 9inches/36 x 23cm is a convenient size, holding about 7pints/4 litres/17 ½ cups liquid when brimful. Ask the fishmonger to gut and scale the fish. Prepare the spices. A square of butter muslin makes a good ‘bundle’. Put in the centre the dried spices, ginger root, radishes and herbs, then tie the opposite points together. Wrap the cleaned fish in another piece of muslin folded over on top to make unwrapping easy. Put it on a trivet or serving dish in a stew-pan or pot-roaster. Add the spice bundle, then pour the liquids, including about 4 pints/2.3 litres/10 cups water, over the lot — the fish should be just covered. Add salt to taste and leave to soak for about an hour. Remove the wrapped fish and gently bring the cooking liquid to simmering point. Replace the fish and poach very gently for about 15 minutes. Unwrap to check whether it is done. When it is, lift it out, and drain it well. You can serve it hot, preferably skinned, with some prawns and the wine sauce on page 73, or cold with the radish and preserved lemon slices, new potatoes and a salad. Substitute scrapings of fresh horseradish for the radishes if you have any.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 50-51)                                      Back to the Dinner menu

White Soup

To six quarts of water put in a knuckle of veal, a large fowl, and a pound of lean bacon, and half a pound of rice, with two anchovies, a few pepper corns, two or three onions, a bundle of sweet herbs, three or four head of celery in slices, stew all together, till your soup is as strong as you choose it, then strain it through a hair sieve into a clean earthen pot, let it stand al night, then take of the scum, and pour it clear off into a tossing-pan, put in half a pound of Jordan almonds beat fine, boil it a little and run it through a lawn sieve, then put in a pint of cream and the yolk of an egg. Make it hot, and send it to the table.

Serves 6 Generously

6 pints/3.4 litres/15 cups water
1 medium sized boiling fowl or chicken
8oz/225g/ lean bacon or gammon trimmings
4oz/110g/ ½ cup white rice
6 black peppercorns
2 onions, peeled and halved
2 canned anchovy fillets
2-3 sprigs each thyme, marjoram and tarragon (or other sweet herbs), tied in a cloth
4-6 stalks celery, chopped
4oz/110g/1 cup ground almonds
1 egg yolk
10 fl oz/275 ml/1 ¼ cups single (light) cream
whipped cream and watercress leaves to garnish (optional)

Mrs. Raffled called her White Soup ‘excellent’, and compared with other versions I have found it good without being pretentious. Pour the water into a large stew-pan. Rinse the chicken inside, then add it to the pan with any giblets (you can joint it first if you like). Add the bacon, rice, peppercorns, onions, anchovies, herbs and celery. Cover the pan, bring to the boil and cook very gently until the chicken meat is fully cooked and the liquid is flavoursome. Strain the stock into a bowl, cover it with a cloth and leave in a cold place for several hours or overnight. Next day, skin off any fat and impurities and pour the stock into a clean pan. Add the ground almonds, bring slowly to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain it yet again, this time through cheesecloth. Whisk the egg yolk into the single cream and add to the soup, which should be slightly cooled by the straining. Reheat until very hot, but on no account let the soup boil again. You can ‘improve’ the soup by serving it with a teaspoon of whipped cream or a few watercress leaves on each bowlful.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 114-115)                                      Back to the Dinner menu

Roast Ribs of Beef

To roast a piece of beef about ten pounds will take an hour and a half, at a good fire…Observe, in frosty weather your beef will take half an hour longer.  Be sure to paper the top, and baste it well all the time it is roasting, and throw a handful of salt on it.  When you see the smoak draw to the fire, it is near enough;  then take off the paper, baste it well, and drudge it with a little flour to make a fine froth; take up your meat, and garnish your dish with nothing but horse-radish. Never salt your roast meat before you lay it to the fire, for that draws out all the gravy.

Serves 6

5½ lb/ 2.5 kg forerib of beef (standing rib roast)
2-3 oz/5 0-75 g/ ¼-1/3 cup clean beef dripping
2 tablespoons melted butter for ‘frothing’
1 oz/ 25 g/ ¼ cup flour
pan-juice gravy (if serving hot)

Originally a joint like this one was spit-roasted.  The technique is not often practical today, but we can ‘froth’ our joint with butter and flour in the old style after cooking it, to give it rich color. Ask your butcher to trim the ends of the rib-bones so that the joint stands level with both cut sides exposed to the heat.  When ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 425? F/ 220? C/Gas Mark 4.  Cover the joint loosely with greaseproof paper (or baking parchment) and roast for another 1½-1¾ hours for under-done meat or for 2-2¼ hours for well-done meat.  Baste the meat 2 or 3 times during cooking. Fifteen minutes before you reckon the meat is done as you wish, remove it from the oven, brush it with the melted butter and dredge it with flour.  Then return it to the oven to finish cooking. Allow the meat to ‘rest’ for 15-20 minutes if you wish to serve it hot, and meanwhile make gravy with the pan juices.  For serving from a cold side table or for a party or picnic meal, cool it under a cloth, then keep it in a meat safe or cold larder until wanted.

In a modern oven-roasting we can use a consistent high or low cooking temperature…
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 77)                                      Back to the Dinner menu

How to Dress Salads

The method which I most approve of for dressing a Sallad is, after we have duly proportion’d the Herbs, to take two thirds Oil Olive, one third true Vinegar, some hard Eggs cut small, both the Whites and the Yolks, a little Salt and some Mustard, all which must be well mix’d and pour’d over the Sallad, having first cut the large Herbs such as Sallery, Endive, or Cabbage-Lettuce, but none of the small ones:  then mix all these well together, that it may be ready just when you want to use it, for the Oil will make it presently soften, and lose its briskness.  Onions should always be kept in reserve, because it is not every one that likes their relish, nor is Oil agreeable to every one; but where Oil is not liked, the Yolks of hard Eggs, bruis’d and mix’d with the Vinegar may be used as above.  The difficulty of getting good Oil in England is, I suppose the reason why every one does not admit it; for I was once of opinion I could never like it:  but when I was once persuaded to taste such as was of the best sort, I could never after like a Sallad without it.

Makes 8 fl oz/ 225 ml/ 1 cup

4 fl oz/ 125 ml/ ½ cup olive oil
2 fl oz/ 50 ml/ ¼ cup white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon made English mustard
good pinch of sea salt
1 hard boiled egg

In a measuring jug, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard and salt.  Shell the egg and chop it roughly, then process it in an electric blender so that the white is finely chopped.  Combine with the dressing and refrigerate until needed.  Whisk again to blend the ingredients just before using.  For a smoother texture, sieve in 3 hard boiled yolks instead of using a whole egg.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 48-49)                                      Back to the Dinner menu


Pare, stone and scaled twelve ripe apricots, beat them fine in a marble mortar, put to them six ounces of doubled refined sugar, a pint of scalding cream, work it through a hair sieve, put it into a tin that has a close cover, set it in a tub of ice broken small, and a large quantity of salt put amongst it, when you see your cream grow thick around the edges of your tin, stir it, and set it in again till it grows quite thick, when your cream is all froze up, take it out of your tin, and put it into the mould your intend it to be turned out of, then put on the lid, and have ready another tub with ice and salt in as before, put your mould in the middle, and lay your ice under and over it, let it stand four or five hours, dip your tin in warm water when you turn it out; if it be summer, you must not turn it out till the moment you want it: you may use any sort of fruit if you have not apricots, only observe to work it fine.

Serves 6

1 lb/450g large juicy apricots or yellow plums
about 4oz/110g/ 2/3 cup caster (superfine) sugar
3 egg yolks, beaten
10 fl oz/275 ml/1 ¼ cups single (light) cream
10 fl oz/275 ml/1 ¼ cups whipping cream
a few drops lemon juice for bland fruit

Set your freezer or refrigerator ice compartment to ‘fast freeze.’ Wash the fruit, cut it up, then cook it gently until tender with 3 tablespoons water. Sieve it into a clean pan and add as much sugar as the fruit’s flavour needs. Do not under-sweeten: freezing dulls flavour. Add the egg yolks and stir them into the pulp, then heat below the boil until the mixture thickens. Taste and add a little more sugar if required. While the mixture cools, beat the two creams together until thickening, then fold them into the purée. Turn into a lightly oiled, chilled mould. Freeze the ice-cream for 1-2 hours, or until mushy. Beat it briskly, to break down the ice crystals, then refreeze it until you need it. (For really smooth ice-cream, beat and refreeze it a second time before finishing it off.) As soon as the ice-cream is frozen to the consistency you want, return the freezer or refrigerator half-way back to its normal setting until you are ready to unmould your dessert. Unmould the ice-cream just before serving. Mr. Darcy’s chef would have set this ice-cream in a decorative jelly mould, or might have made it like a charlotte in a soufflé dish, surrounded by Naples Biskets. It can equally well be served in sundae glasses decorated with crystallized or candied fruits — but not glacé cherries. Greengages, white peaches or nectarines, apples or soft fruits can be used instead of apricots or plums.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 120)                                      Back to the Dinner menu

Petit Pasties

Make a short crust, roll it thick, make them about as big as the bowl of a spoon and about an inch deep; take a piece of veal enough to fill the patty, as much bacon and beef-suet, shred them all very fine, season them with pepper and salt, and a little sweet herbs; put them into a little stew-pan, keep turning them about, with a few mushrooms chopped small, for eight or ten minutes; then fill your petty-patties and cover them with some crust; colour them with the yolk of an egg, and bake them.

Makes 8-10

7 oz/ 200 g shortcrust pastry
egg wash for glazing
5 oz/ 150 g lean cooked veal or chicken without gristle or bone
5 oz/ 150 g rindless bacon rashers (slices), blanched
1 tablespoon shredded suet
salt and pepper to taste
finely grated rind of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 oz/ 25 g mushrooms, finely chopped
about 3 tablespoons white wine sauce (see method)

Make the patty cases first.  Pre-heat the oven to 350?F/ 180?C/ Gas Mark 4.  Roll out the pastry 1/8 inch/ 3 mm thick and use two-thirds of it to line small bun tins (muffin pans).  Cut the remaining pastry into rounds for lids.  Glaze the lids with the egg wash.  Place both cases and lids on baking parchment laid on a baking-sheet.  Bake ‘blind’ until firm and golden.  Keep aside. To prepare the filling, mince the veal or chicken and bacon together.  Mix with all the other ingredients in a small saucepan.  Heat until the mushrooms soften and the sauce is very hot.  Fill the mixture into the baked cases, put on the lids and serve at once.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 117)

For the white wine sauce:
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
2 shallots or 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon plain (all-purpose) flour
salt and pepper
6 fl oz/175 ml/3/4 cup medium-dry white wine

Put 1 table spoon melted butter into a saucepan and add the shallots or onion.  Stir over medium heat until they soften.  Off the heat, blend in the flour and season well.  Then stir in the wine gradually, with a little more butter from the frying-pan if you wish.  Replace the sauce over low heat and stir until the mixture thickens.  Leave at the side of the stove.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 93-94)                                      Back to the Dinner menu

Pyramid Creams

Two ounces Hartshorn shavings, put in a jar stopt quite close, and set in a pot of boiling water till dissolved.  one ounce sweet Almonds blanch’d & beat half a Lemon 2 ounces sugar sifted pour it into ale glasses & when Cold turn them out on your dish, cut Lemon peel in Shape of leaves and stick 3 or 4 in each pyramid.

Serves 6

1 pint/ 575 ml/ 2½ cups white wine mixed with 10 fl oz/275 ml/1¼ cups water
4 teaspoons powdered gelatine
2 tablespoons strained lemon juice
2 oz/ 50 g/ 1/3 cup caster (superfine) sugar
½ oz/ 15 g almond flakes, pounded into small bits but not powdered
1 large piece candied lemon peel, grated, or the grated rind of
1 large fresh lemon mixed with a little sugar
6 tablespoons thick double (heavy) cream

… For general use, 1 oz/ 25 g hartshorn scrapings appears to have set 15 fl oz/ 425 ml/ 2 cups liquid.  In a good many recipes for dessert ‘creams’ the real cream seems only to have been poured over the completed dish.  Hartshorn, like ivory, has no perceptible flavour. Bring the wine and water to just below simmering point and tip in the gelatine.  Off the heat, stir until the gelatine dissolves completely, then stir in the lemon juice and caster sugar.  Make sure that the sugar is dissolved.  Taste for sweetness, then pour into 6x4-fl-oz/120-ml/½-cup flute-shaped glasses and leave until about to set.  Stir in half the pounded almond flakes.  Refrigerate until half-set, then stir in the rest of the flakes.  Refrigerate again until fully set, and then for 24 hours longer to stiffen the jelly. If the jelly is firm enough, you can turn it out by dipping the glasses briefly into hot water.  Whether you do or do not, sprinkle the top surface with grated candied lemon peel, or fresh lemon rind and sugar.  Serve with the cream.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 59)                                      Back to the Dinner menu  

Fricandos of Veal

Take a leg of veal, and cut out of the thick part of it steaks half an inch thick, and six inches long. Lard them with small chardoons, and dredge them with flour. Broil them before the fire till they be of a fine brown, and then put them into a large tossing-pan, with a quart of good gravy, and let them stew half an hour. Then put in a slice of lemon, a little anchovy, two teaspoonfuls of lemon-pickle, a large spoonful of walnut catchup, the same browning, a little chyan pepper, and a few morels and truffles. When your fricandos be tender, take them up, and thicken your gravy with butter and flour. Strain it, put your fricandos in the dish, pour your gravy upon them, and garnish with lemon and berberries. Some lay fried forcemeat balls round them, or forcemeat rolled in veal caul, and yolks of eggs boiled hard, which has a very good effect.

Serves 6

6 slices veal, ½ inch/1 cm thick and weighing about 6oz/150g each
(veal or turkey escalopes can be used instead)
several sprigs fresh rosemary
salt and pepper
oil or butter for frying
2 pints/1.1 litres/5 cups chicken or veal stock
1 tablespoon anchovy sauce or essence
2 or 3 tablespoons mushroom ketchup
4oz/110g mushrooms, finely chopped
cayenne pepper
beurre manié made with 1oz/25g each softened butter and flour
Lemon wedges or slices
Fresh stewed cranberries or cranberry sauce (see note below)
Small forcemeat balls
1-2 hard boiled egg yolks

Beat out the meat slices with a mallet or cutlet bat. Rub them over well with the rosemary and season to taste. Fry the meat in the oil or butter until just browned on each side, then transfer to a stew-pan and add the stock, lemon juice, anchovy sauce or essence, mushroom ketchup, the mushrooms and a pinch of cayenne. Cook gently until tender. Transfer the fricandos to a shallow serving dish and keep warm. Off the heat, add the beurre manié to the sauce in small spoonfuls, then reheat until it thickens to suit your taste. Pour the sauce over the fricandos and garnish the edge of the dish with lemon wedges or slices, cranberries and forcemeat balls. Crumble 1 or 2 hard boiled egg yolks over the dish. If possible, use fairly tart, fresh cranberries or sauce. A sickly-sweet sauce destroys the subtle mixture of flavours which makes this dish a sophisticated treat.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 78-79)                                      Back to the Dinner menu

Ragoo of Celery with Wine

Wash and make a bunch of celery very clean, cut it in pieces about two inches long, put it into a stew-pan with just as much water as will cover it, tie three of four blades of mace, two of three cloves, about twenty corns of whole pepper in a muslin bag loose, put it into a stew-pan, a little onion, a little bundle of sweet herbs; cover it close, and let it stew softly till tender; then take out the spice, onion, and sweet herbs, put in half an ounce of truffles and morels, two spoonfuls of ketchup, a gill of red wine, a piece of butter as big as an egg, rolled in flour, six farthing French rolls, season with slat to your palate, stir it all together, cover it close, and let it stew till the sauce is thick and good; take care that the rolls do not break, shake your pan often; when it is enough dish it up, and garnish with lemon. The yolks of six hard eggs, or more, put in with the rolls, will make it a fine dish. This for a first course.
If you would have it white, put in white wine instead of red, and some cream for a second course.

Serves 6

1 large head celery
3 blades mace
3 whole cloves
12-16 black peppercorns
4oz/110g onion, peeled and cut in large pieces
1 bouquet garni
1 x 20g packet dried porcini mushrooms, soaked and drained
1 ½ tablespoons tomato ketchup (with red wine) or mushroom ketchup (with white wine)
5 fl oz/150ml/ 2/3 cup red or white wine
about 2oz/50g beurre manié made with 1oz/25g each softened butter and flour
2 fl oz/50 ml/ ¼ cup single (light) cream (with white wine)
salt and pepper
4 small bridge rolls, sliced like French bread and toasted
6 whole hard-boiled egg yolks

Wash the celery well, cut of the root and leaves, and discard any damaged parts. Cut the good stems into 1-inch/2.5cm lengths. Put the celery into a saucepan with enough water to cover it completely. Add the spices and onion tied in a square of muslin, and the bouquet garni, but no salt. Cover the pan closely and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the celery is tender. Drain the contents of the pan into a colander (strainer) set over a large bowl. Remove the spice bag and bouquet garni and return 10 fl oz/275 ml/1 ¼ cups liquid from the bowl to the pan. Add the mushrooms, ketchup and wine and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the mushrooms soften. Remove the pan from the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens. Stir in the cream if you are using it. Replace the celery, and heat it through in the sauce. Season to taste, transfer to a heated serving dish and keep warm.
In the old recipe the sliced rolls and hard-boiled egg yolks are added to the thickened sauce. However, the dish will look more dramatic if you surround the celery with golden overlapping slices of bridge roll and pile the whole egg yolks on top of the dish as a garnish.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 46-47)                                      Back to the Dinner menu


Stew a quarter of a pd. of the pipe Macaroni in milk and water until tis tender, then lay it upon top of a sive to drain. Put it into a stew pan with two large spoonfuls of grated parmesan Cheese, a quarter of a pint of Cream, a small piece of Butter and some salt — Stew it gently till the whole seems well done, then put it into a dish, strew grated Parmesan Cheese over it, and brown it with a Salamander or in a Dutch Oven — It may be done with gravy instead of Cream if prefered.

Serves 2

4oz/110g/1 cup dried macaroni
equal quantities of milk and water for cooking
about 2oz/50g/ ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
5 fl oz/150 ml/ 2/3 cup single (light) cream or gravy
1 level tablespoon butter
salt and pepper

Cook the macaroni until tender in plenty of boiling milk and water; keep your eye on it to forestall any chance of it boiling over, and stir round sometimes to prevent the pieces of pasta sticking together. When it is cooked al dente, drain the pasta in a colander or round based sieve (strainer). Then return it to the dry pan. Scatter in about two-thirds of the cheese, and add the cream or gravy, butter and seasoning. Replace the pan over very gentle heat, and toss the pasta to melt the cheese and combine the whole mixture, again taking care not to let it stick to the pan. As soon as the cheese has melted, transfer the pasta to a shallow flameproof dish, scatter the remaining Parmesan on top and slip the dish under a pre-heated grill (broiler) for 3-4 minutes to brown the top. Serve at once.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 49)                                      Back to the Dinner menu

Vegetable Pie

Take as many Vegetables as are in season, Cabbage, Turnips, Carrots, Cucumbers, and Onions, fry them in Butter, when well fry’d drain, and season them with pepper and salt and lay them in layers in your dish or crust, cover them with a crust, have ready some good gravy to put into the pie when baked. It must not be put into a very hot oven.

Serves 6

8oz/225g swede (rutabaga) or turnip, peeled and cut into large ‘matchsticks’
8oz/225g parsnip, prepared like the swede
8oz/225g firm green cabbage, coarsely shredded
8oz/225g cucumber, quartered lengthways and cut across into fan-shaped slices (not too thin)
8oz/225g carrots, scraped and cut into rounds
6oz/175g onions, peeled and chopped
6oz/175g/ ¾ cup unsalted butter, chopped
1 tablespoon frying oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
8oz/225g puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
10 fl oz/275 ml/1 ¼ cups vegetable stock (can be made with ½ stock cube: see method)

Martha suggested using any seasonal garden vegetable for her pie, then specified 5 kinds. I have in fact used 6, because the quantities filled a 2 pint/1.1 litre/5 cup deep pie dish neatly, but you can adapt them to any type of vegetables you want to use. Parboil the swede and parsnip shreds together, and in another pan the cabbage and cucumber. Parboil the carrot rounds separately. Drain all the vegetables, keeping them separate, and pour the cooking water into a measuring jug. In a frying pan (skillet) or wok, fry the onions in about 1oz/25g/2 tablespoons butter and all the oil until just starting to soften. Add the swede and parsnip shreds and toss until tender. Spread them over the base of a 2 pint/1.1 litre/5 cup deep pie dish and sprinkle with seasoning. Put the cabbage and cucumber in the pan, add a little more butter and fry until tender, spread them over the swede and parsnip and season them. Fry, add and season the carrots likewise. They should fill the dish. Set the oven to heat to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C/Gas Mark 6. Roll out the pastry into an oval about 1 ¼ inches/3 cm bigger than the top of the pie dish. Brush the rim of the dish with egg. Cut a strip of pastry from the edge of the rolled-out shape and fit it to  cover the pie. Flute or crimp the edge to seal it. Make triangular slits in the pie to let steam escape, and decorate it with small shapes cut from the pastry trimmings. Bake it in the oven for 12-15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F/170 degrees C/Gas Mark 3 and bake for another 10 minutes or until the pastry is cooked through. While cooking the pie, make a ‘gravy’. Measure the reserved vegetable cooking water and add half a vegetable or garlic-and-herb stock cube. Heat gently to dissolve it. Add enough simmering water to make 10 fl oz/275 ml/1 ¼ cups liquid and taste to check the seasoning. Pour some ‘gravy’ into the pie through one of the slit holes and serve the rest separately.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 43-44)                                      Back to the Dinner menu

Rout Drop Cakes

Mix two pounds of flour, one ditto butter, one ditto sugar, one ditto currents, clean and dry; then wet into a stiff paste, with 2 eggs, a large spoonful of orange-flower water, ditto sweet wine, ditto brandy, drop on a tin-plate floured:  a very short time bakes them.

Makes 16-20

5 oz/ 150 g/ 1¼ cups plain (all-purpose) flour
pinch of salt
2 oz/ 50 g/ 4 tablespoons softened butter
2 oz/ 50 g/ 1/3 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 small egg
½ teaspoon orange juice
½ teaspoon rose-water
1 teaspoon sweet white wine or sherry
1 teaspoon brandy
1 oz/ 25 g/ ¼ cup currants

Set the oven to heat to 350?F/ 180?C/ Gas Mark 4.  Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.  Work in the butter to make a crumbly mixture, then add the sugar.  In a small bowl, beat the egg until liquid.  Add the juice, rosewater, wine or sherry, and brandy.  Stir well.  Then mix the liquids by degrees into the dry goods, to obtain a smooth dough.  Lastly mix in the fruit. Put the cake mixture in small, neat heaps (3/4 inch/ 2 cm across) on a lightly greased baking-sheet.  Bake in the oven for 16-18 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack. These little cakes are pleasant with a glass of wine or cup of coffee at mid-morning or in the evening…
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 124-125)                                      Back to the Dinner menu

Ratafia Cakes

Take 8 fl oz:  apricot kernels, if they cannot be had bitter Almonds will do as well, blanch them & beat them very fine with a little Orange flower water, mix them with the whites of three eggs well beaten & sifted, work all together and it will be like a paste, then lay it in little round bits on tin plates flour’d, set them in an oven that is not very hot & they will puff up & be soon baked.

Makes 36-40

4 fl oz/ 110 g/ 1 cup ground almonds
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon orange-flower water or orange liqueur
6 oz/ 175 g/ ¾ cup caster (superfine) sugar
rice paper

Today we know that bitter almonds may contain prussic acid, so it is wise to use ready-ground sweet almonds and a little orange liqueur for extra flavour instead. Set the oven to heat to 350?F/ 180?C/ Gas Mark 4.  Sieve or pound the almonds in a bowl to get rid of any lumps.  In a second bowl, whisk the egg whites with the orange-flower water or liqueur until stiff. Then mix the sugar into the almonds thoroughly and lastly fold in the whisked whites. Cover a baking-sheet with rice paper and place small teaspoonfuls of mixture on it, well spaced apart.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cakes are just fawn; they must be soft underneath.  Cool them on the sheet, then keep in an airtight tin.  Enjoy them with after-dinner coffee.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 125)                                      Back to the Dinner menu

Little Iced Cakes

Take a pound of fine flour, a pound of loaf-sugar beaten and sifted, and of butter washed in a little rose-water… together. Stroak in your butter into your flour and your sugar with them a little mace finely ground and mix all together. Take 6 eggs leaving out 2 whites. Beat’em and rose-watter into the rest, mixing it with your hand for near a quarter of an hour… put in three quarters of a pound of Currants clean wash’d and made dry and put it into pans or little paper-hoops and sift fine sugar over ‘em, and bake: ‘Em in an oven as hot as for manchet. You may make some of ‘Em plain the same way; only putting in cittron or orange instead of Currants: you may ice ‘Em with the same icing you made for your great cake.

Cake Icing

For a large cake, beat and sift eight ounces of fine sugar, put into a mortar with four spoonfuls of rose-water, with the whites of two eggs beaten and strained, whisk it well, and when the cake is almost cold, dip a feather in the icing, and cover the cake well; set it in the oven to harden, but don’t let it stay to discolour. Put the cake in a dry place.

Makes 36-40

8oz/225g/1 cup softened butter
1 tablespoon rose-water
1-2 drops rose flavouring (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground mace
8oz/225g/1 ¼ cups caster (superfine) sugar
2 whole eggs and 1 yolk
a few drops lemon or orange juice
14oz/400g/3 ½ cups flour, sifted
2oz/50g/ ½ cup sifted icing (confectioner’s) sugar
1 tablespoon rose-water
rose flavouring (optional)
1 egg white, beaten until liquid

Set the oven to heat to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4. In a fair sized bowl, beat the softened butter with the rose-water and, if you wish, the rose flavouring for extra taste. Sift in the mace and sugar and beat until they are blended in well. Whisk the eggs and yolk together until frothing, add the juice, then beat them into the butter-sugar mixture in 3 parts, alternately with the sifted flour. Go on beating until blended well. Put small dollops of dough onto buttered bun or tartlet tins (patty tins) 2 inches/5 cm across and ½ inch/1cm deep. Bake for 10-12 minutes (no more), then cool on a wire rack. When they have cooled, place the cakes side by side on a baking-sheet. Blend together the icing ingredients. With a pastry brush, cover the tops of the cakes with icing. Put them in the oven heated again to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4 for 2-3 minutes, until the icing has hardened. Serve cold.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 122-123)                                      Back to the Dinner menu