A Prickly Dessert

Snippets from the Archives

September went by so fast, and I got a little behind on my recipes.  Working for a month in a kindergarten class every day can do that.  Before I move on to my October themes–and they’re going to be so much fun!–I wanted to give you the last few recipes that I collected for September.  Sticking to the theme of elaborate desserts with fanciful names, I have two different offerings.  The first is from an Irish manuscript cookbook from the 18th century.  For the second–our prickly puddings–I have two separate recipes.  One is from the same manuscript cookbook, and the other is from Agnes.  Enjoy!

Courtier’s promise

To 8 whites of Eggs put a Quarter of a pound of sugar finely pounded, a little grated lemmon peell a little orange flower water beat them all together to a high froth drop them on paper put them into a moderate oven to make them a light brown when they come clean off the papers they are done keep them in a warm place & covered till sent to the table the sooner they are used the better they are proper at a second course or at tea or at supper.

Citation:  National Library of Ireland, MS 34, 953

***

Porcupine

Boil a bottle of milk & let it stand till it is almost Cold then beat the yolks of 12 Eggs & brew them well with the milk then put it on the fire & when just scalding hot, for it must never boil, put in the juice of one large, or two small lemons, not the seeds keep it stiring & when it turns to curds & whey strain it thro a sive then sweeten the curd with powdered sugar & add some grated rine of Lemmon & some Rose or Orange flower Water when it is well drained put it into a very smooth Bowl or Hedge Hog case […] turn it out & stick it with cut almonds, citron & candied orange peell put a red wafer in the Mouth and currants for Eyes.

Hedgehog Pudding

½ cup brandy
2 cups raisins
½ pound beef suet, chopped fine
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups heavy cream
3 egg yolks
2 cups flour
1 cup bread crumbs
2 egg whites, beaten stiff
1 cup blanched almonds, slivered
2 tbs. melted butter
2 tbs. sugar

Heat brandy and pour over raisins in bowl.  Soak for 1 hour.  Drain raisins and put in bottom of 2 quart bowl or pudding mold.  Cream suet with 1 cup sugar.  Add salt and nutmeg.  With fork, mix cream, egg yolks, and brandy drained from raisins.  Into suet mixture beat flour and crumbs alternately with cream mixture.  Fold in beaten whites.  Pour into bowl over raisins.  Cover securely with foil and tie.  Put bowl on rack in pan of simmering water that comes two thirds of the way up sides of the bowl.  Cover and steam for three hours.  Unmold onto serving platter.  Stick slivered almonds all over pudding.  Pour melted butter over all and sprinkle with two tablespoons of sugar.

Citation:  National Library of Ireland, MS 34, 953; Marjorie Page Blanchard, Treasured Recipes from Early New England Kitchens (Charlotte, VT: Garden Way Publishing, 1975).

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