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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Historical Recipe of the Week!

Robert May, born in 1590, published his one and only cook book at the age of 70. It covered all the decades of his life, drawing on the changing styles of cookery in the 17th century and encompassing new culinary fashions, including those of the Restoration Court and at the tables of the rich.

Many dishes were cooked in pastry cases to protect the contents from the heat of the hearth or oven. These cases were not for eating. But as kitchens improved and cooks became more inventive the pastry cases were adapted to become not merely decorative but also to be edible.

Sweet dishes were also cooked in pastry to protect the delicate custard or cheese-based fillings from the fire. As a change from yet more pastry, here is a non-pastry based dessert.

Rose Cream

1 pint double cream
3 tablespoons rose water
2 tablespoons caster sugar
5 leaves of gelatine

Soak the gelatine in water for 5 minutes until it turns into a jelly. Put the jelly into a linen bag and squeeze it out. Place the rose water in a bowl set in a pan of hot water and add the gelatine, which will dissolve. Gently heat a quarter of the cream in a pan with the sugar, stirring to dissolve. When it has, add to the gelatine and rose water liquid. Stir until completely incorporated, remove from the heat and add the remaining cream. Pour into a wetted mould and chill until set.


Carol Townend said...

Ooh, that sounds worth a try, I love recipes with rosewater in them. Last Christmas I made some Turkish Delight, and while it didn't last quite as long at the shop-made Turkish Delight, the smell in the kitchen was heavenly!

Anna Campbell said...

Nicola, that actually sounds tasty. I have to say when I hear about historical recipes, they're usually quite revolting! Especially the ones that combine the sweet and the savory - bleuch! And often the sweet stuff is sickeningly sweet. Thanks for putting it up!

Jan Jones said...

I like the fact that it is a manageable quantity! Usually they begin "Take two gallons of..."

Nicola Cornick said...

Glad you like the sound of it. I do too, but then I tend to like anything that starts off with a pint of cream! Carol, that Turkish Delight sounds fabulous!

Kate Hardy said...

This sounds scrummy.

I did try rose ice cream a couple of weeks back (more like a sorbet than an ice cream, and possibly too much rosewater as it was very, VERY scented).

I bet this would be nice with orange flower water, too.

Nicola Cornick said...

I love the sound of that ice cream, Kate, and what a lovely idea to try this recipe with orange flower water too. As it's such a warm sunny afternoon I'd love to have some right here right now! I must ask the dh to give that a try. He's made some very unusual ices before. My favourite was lavender flavour, which was surprisingly delicious!