Posts Tagged ‘sugar’
1 lb. white sugar
2 qts. sherry OR 1 qt. Cognac brandy
Bruise the finest ripe raspberries with the back of a spoon; strain them through a flannel bag into a stone jar, allowing a pound of fine powdered loaf sugar to each quart of juice; stir it well together, and cover it down; let it stand for three days, stirring it up each day; pour off the clear, and put two quarts of sherry, or one of Cognac brandy, to each quart of juice; bottle it off; it will be fit for the glass in a fortnight [two weeks].
The Cook’s Oracle by William Kitchiner, MD, New York, 1829
Comment: This is not really so much a recipe for “how to make raspberry wine or brandy” (sorry Dr. Kitchiner) as it is for “how to add raspberry flavoring to wine or brandy you already have on hand.” We confess we have never actually tried this recipe, due to a shortage of affordable raspberries in the quantity needed, so we are not exactly sure what Dr. K. means about that “pour off the clear” instruction. It does suggest that a glass or clear plastic bottle might be the preferred vessel to use during the berry-juice-ripening part of the process. With this one will be able to see where the clear part ceases and the juice part commences, so as to avoid wasting any of the latter.
6 eggs, yolks only
1 pint wine
1/2 lb. sugar
Juice and grated peel of 1 orange
Juice and grated peel of 1 lemon
1 qt. cream
Whipped cream for topping
Beat the yolks of six eggs till very light and smooth; stir into them gradually a pint of wine, and let it set for half an hour; then stir in a half a pound of powdered sugar, the juice and grated peel of one orange and one lemon, and let it set again for half an hour, after which stir in a quart of rich sweet cream, beat it light, serve it in glasses, and crown them with whipped cream. These cold creams, as they are called, are plain, nice, fashionable and easily prepared. They are eaten with tarts, sweet meats and cake.
From The Kentucky Housewife by Lettice Bryan, Cincinnati 1839
Comment: “Powdered” sugar was not in the 19th century the product which goes by this name today. Sugar was sold in solid blocks or chips which had to be ground or grated to reach granular form, a process which was known as powdering. Therefore their “powdered” sugar is simply our “granulated” sugar, so use the cheap stuff from the bag not the expensive stuff in the box.
We are classifying this as a dessert although from the description it is probably thin enough to qualify as a drink. What exactly makes it ‘Italian’ is entirely unclear as well, although we suspect the author’s interest in making a lemon cream sound “Continental” and therefore classier might be a factor.
Although considering the difficulties of transportation and the fact that neither sugar, lemons or oranges were grown in the upper reaches of the Ohio River in 1832, this was probably an entirely expensive and therefore “classy” item in its own right no matter what it was called.
Rub some of the sugar on the peel of the lemon to extract the oil; roll the lemons under the hand on the table, and press out all the juice; add to every lemon two heaping table-spoons of loaf-sugar; mix it thoroughly with the lemon; fill the pitcher one-quarter full of broken ice, and add water.
From The Housekeeper’s Encyclopedia by Mrs. E. F. Haskell, 1861
Comment: Today a direction to “rub sugar on the lemon peel” looks a bit peculiar, and attempting to follow it would undoubtedly produce a dreadful mess of sugar grains scattered about, leading to an infestation of ants in the kitchen.
Sugar in the 19th century was not sold in the already-granulated form we find in bags in supermarkets today. It was sold as “loaf sugar,” produced at the refinery in large cones which were wrapped in paper for shipment to merchants. There it would be sold whole only to very large consumers, perhaps plantations which supported a number of families or else commercial users such as hotels.
For buyers from smaller households the grocer would knock off a chunk with a mallet and chisel and sell it by weight. This still left the end user with the task of further chipping it into bits which would then be ground in a mortar, scraped over a grater, or, in this case, rubbed on the peels of lemons to extract their flavor. Once the lemon juice and water were mixed the remaining sweetener could be tossed in in chunk or chip sizes and allowed to dissolve. Ice, if available, would probably be added last, just before serving.
2 large lemons, peeled
4-5 oz. sugar
yolks of 6 eggs
1/2 lb. butter
Boil the peel of two large lemons till they are quite tender, and then pound it well in a mortar, with four or five ounces of loaf sugar, the yolks of six eggs, half a pound of fresh butter, and a little curd beaten fine; pound and mix together, lay a rich puff paste in some patty-pans, fill them half full, and bake them carefully.
From The Cook’s Own Book by “A Boston Housekeeper” (Mrs. N. K. M. Lee), Boston, 1832
Comment: “Curd” is the hard part of cottage cheese. Either get the dry form of this or put regular cottage cheese in a strainer and rinse the milky white stuff out. Unlike modern cheesecakes, those of the period were baked in regular pie crust, not the crushed graham cracker version more common today. The boiled lemon peel should be the yellow part only with as little of the underlying white pith as possible, as it is bitter. It will mush up with the sugar in the mortar more easily the thinner the strips into which it is cut.
“Loaf sugar” is just regular white sugar, which in the 19th century was normally sold in hard blocks or cones and grated into granulated form for use. We can, thankfully, skip that step today.
4 bottles “still” [as opposed to sparkling] Catawba wine
1 bottle claret
3 oranges OR 1 pineapple
10 tbs. sugar
1 bottle champagne
Four bottles of still Catawba; one bottle of claret, three oranges, or one pineapple, ten tablespoons of sugar. Let this mixture stand in a very cold place, or in ice, for one hour or more, then add one bottle of champagne.
Bon-Vivant’s Companion by Jerry Thomas, 1862.
Comment: This is a very strong punch by the standards of the time. Many of Jerry Thomas’ punch recipes call for the addition of nearly as much water, fruit juice or other liquids as of alcoholic beverages, but aside from the sugar and “juice of three oranges or one pineapple” (which would probably not amount to much more than a cup, if that) this is all hooch here. Be [hic!] aware.
No explanation is given for the name of this drink, the only note attached reads “From a recipe in the possession of Bayard Taylor, Esq.” which gives no particular clue as to what makes this beverage “gothic.” If one feels inspired to don black garments, cut one’s hair in spikes and engage in body piercing after drinking this concoction, much will be explained.
1 gallon cold water
1 lb. white sugar
1/2 oz. race ginger
1 lemon, sliced
1 tea-cup homemade yeast (1 packet dry or 1 cake moist commercial yeast.)
1 gallon cold water, 1 lb. white sugar, 1/2 oz. race ginger, 1 sliced lemon, 1 tea-cup yeast. Let it stand all night to ferment; then pour it off without stirring, bottle it, and add 1 raisin to each bottle.
From The Economical Cook-Book by Elizabeth Nicholson, 1865.
Comment: Yes, unlike the modern product known as ginger beer or its relative ginger ale, this would seem to be genuine beer, as evidenced by the call for the addition of yeast. How alcoholic it would be is another question, since it ferments for only one night. Further fermentation might take place in the bottle, but that would seem unlikely to up the proof content by very much since the direction “do not stir” would leave the majority of the yeast behind. The intent may have been to just make the drink fizzy rather than to give it a kick.
Homemade beers of this sort were extremely common and consumed by everyone, including children. The usual explanation for this is that the water of the time was so polluted as to be a common source of disease, and therefore beer or wine, being made with boiled water or heated at some point in the process, was safer despite any alcohol content. This recipe however does not call for any heating at all. We admit to puzzlement. Perhaps it just tasted good.