Fresh milk, skimmed
Set a china or glass dish of skimmed milk away in a warm place, covered. When it turns, i.e. becomes a smooth, firm but not tough cake, like blanc-mange–serve in the same dish. Cut out carefully with a large spoon, and put in saucers, with cream, powdered sugar and nutmeg to taste. It is better, if set on the ice for an hour before it is brought to table. Do not let it stand until the whey separates from the curd.
Few people know how delicious this healthful and cheap dessert can be made, if eaten before it becomes tart and tough, with a liberal allowance of cream and sugar. There are not many jellies and creams superior to it.
From Common Sense in the Household by Marion Harland, New York, 1871
Comment: People who dealt with milk in the days when it came straight from the cow rather than in processed, homogenized, pasteurized and professionally packaged form were not as horrified by milk which had “turned” as we are today. In fact they used its natural life cycle to their advantage, preserving the valuable fats in the form of butter and hard cheeses, and the remaining fluid as what are known as farmer or pot cheeses. This dish is essentially a cottage cheese which has not been broken up into curds.
The term “bonny-clabber” is also used for a drink in which the milk, rather than be set out to curdle a bit, is mixed with beer and used as a drink instead of a dessert. Although the name sounds Scottish it is actually Irish in origin.