1 lb. ratafia cake (cake or cookies flavored with almond liqueur)
2 bottles port wine
1 bottle claret
1 bottle brandy
2 lemons, juice and grated peel
1 tbs. nutmeg
2 oz. almonds, blanched and ground
Sugar to taste
Very fresh milk, quantity not specified
One pound of ratafia cakes pounded and steeped in two bottles of Port wine, one of claret, and one of brandy, the grated peel and juice of two lemons, one large nutmeg grated, and two ounces of sweet almonds, blanched and pounded with a little rose-water, and pounded sugar sufficient to make it sweet. Put all these ingredients, well mixed, into a large China bowl, or bowls of an equal size, and let the milk of a good cow be milked upon them; add a little rich cream and sifted loaf sugar, and cover it to keep it warm. It may be served out into glasses with a silver ladle.
From The Cook’s Own Book by “A Boston Housekeeper” (Mrs. N. K. M. Lee) Boston 1832.
Comment: Apparently a “China bowl” was a very large bowl indeed. Considering it needs to hold some pounds of solids and quite a few bottles of this and that as well as that very fresh milk, it would have to be. We would think this would be a little alarming to the cow, as well as painful for the cook to carry from the kitchen to the barn, but since Mrs. Lee is not available for questioning at the moment we have only her written words to go on.
The remarkable part of this recipe is really the addition of the almond cookies. Syllabubs are normally made entirely of liquid ingredients, so this would almost qualify as a “syllabub pudding” rather than a beverage. Make sure your silver ladle is properly shined up for the dispensing of this item.