Bake off is back; so let’s get cooking 18th century style!

As followers of this blog will know many of the museum team have a healthy interest in cakes and that’s probably why one of our favourite objects is Elizabeth Raffald’s Cookbook from the late 18th century.  With the Great British Bake Off due back on television next week it seemed the ideal time to share a couple of Elizabeth’s recipes particularly ones suitable for harvest time.

To make an Apple Tart.

SCALD eight or ten codlins*, when cold skin them, take the pulp and beat it as fine as you can with a silver spoon, then mix the yolks of six eggs and the whites of four, beat all together as fine as possible, put in grated nutmeg and sugar to your taste, melt some fine fresh butter, and beat it till it is like a fine thick cream, then make a puff paste (pastry), and covera tin petty-pan with it, and pour in the ingredients, but do not cover it up with the paste (pastry); bake it a quarter of an hour, then flip it out of the petty-pan on a dish, and strew fine sugar finely beat and sifted all over it.

  • Keswick Codlins are apples that were in use before Victorian times. Their name comes from the term to coddle which is to cook gently.  As these apples were good for cooking as they reduced to a puree easily.

To make Black Currant Jam

GET your black currants when they are full ripe, pick them clear from their stalks, and bruise them in a bowl with a wooden mallet, to every two pounds of currants put a pound and a half of loaf sugar beat fine, put them in a preserving pan, boil them full half an hour, skim it and stir it all the time, then put in the post and keep it for use.

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