As to geese and ducks, you should have sage and onion shred fine, with
pepper and salt put into the belly, with gravy in the dish; or some like
sage and onion and gravy mixed together. Put only pepper and salt
into…all…sorts of wild fowl. A middling turkey will take an hour
to roast; a very large one, an hour and a quarter; a small one three quarters
and of an hour. You must paper the breast till it is near done enough,
then take the paper off and froth it up. Your fire must be very good.
The same time does a goose.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 81) Back to the Dinner menu
Top and tail the turnips, and peel any with coarse or blemished skins. Cut into ½-inch/1 cm dice. Put at once into a pan of cold water, add a little salt and bring gently to the
boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes until tender but not soft.
While the turnips are cooking, gradually blend the cream into the flour, making a smooth paste and then a cream. Stir it in a small saucepan over gentle heat just until slightly thickened; season and fold in the sugar and the spice if you are using it. Drain the turnips and put them in a warmed serving dish. Then fold in the warmed cream and serve.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 45) Back to the Dinner menu
Any fairly large fish was generally ‘boiled’: that is, poached in a
fish-kettle, having first been wrapped in a cloth. An oval pot-roaster
or a stew-pan is suitable for most fish; one measuring 12 x 9inches/36
x 23cm is a convenient size, holding about 7pints/4 litres/17 ½
cups liquid when brimful. Ask the fishmonger to gut and scale the fish.
Prepare the spices. A square of butter muslin makes a good ‘bundle’. Put
in the centre the dried spices, ginger root, radishes and herbs, then tie
the opposite points together. Wrap the cleaned fish in another piece of
muslin folded over on top to make unwrapping easy. Put it on a trivet or
serving dish in a stew-pan or pot-roaster. Add the spice bundle, then pour
the liquids, including about 4 pints/2.3 litres/10 cups water, over the
lot — the fish should be just covered. Add salt to taste and leave to soak
for about an hour. Remove the wrapped fish and gently bring the cooking
liquid to simmering point. Replace the fish and poach very gently for about
15 minutes. Unwrap to check whether it is done. When it is, lift it out,
and drain it well. You can serve it hot, preferably skinned, with some
prawns and the wine sauce on page 73, or cold with the radish and preserved
lemon slices, new potatoes and a salad. Substitute scrapings of fresh horseradish
for the radishes if you have any.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 50-51) Back to the Dinner menu
Mrs. Raffled called her White Soup ‘excellent’, and compared with other
versions I have found it good without being pretentious. Pour the water
into a large stew-pan. Rinse the chicken inside, then add it to the pan
with any giblets (you can joint it first if you like). Add the bacon, rice,
peppercorns, onions, anchovies, herbs and celery. Cover the pan, bring
to the boil and cook very gently until the chicken meat is fully cooked
and the liquid is flavoursome. Strain the stock into a bowl, cover it with
a cloth and leave in a cold place for several hours or overnight. Next
day, skin off any fat and impurities and pour the stock into a clean pan.
Add the ground almonds, bring slowly to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Strain it yet again, this time through cheesecloth. Whisk the egg yolk
into the single cream and add to the soup, which should be slightly cooled
by the straining. Reheat until very hot, but on no account let the soup
boil again. You can ‘improve’ the soup by serving it with a teaspoon of
whipped cream or a few watercress leaves on each bowlful.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 114-115) Back to the Dinner menu
Originally a joint like this one was spit-roasted. The technique is not often practical today, but we can ‘froth’ our joint with butter and flour in the old style after cooking it, to give it rich color. Ask your butcher to trim the ends of the rib-bones so that the joint stands level with both cut sides exposed to the heat. When ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 425? F/ 220? C/Gas Mark 4. Cover the joint loosely with greaseproof paper (or baking parchment) and roast for another 1½-1¾ hours for under-done meat or for 2-2¼ hours for well-done meat. Baste the meat 2 or 3 times during cooking. Fifteen minutes before you reckon the meat is done as you wish, remove it from the oven, brush it with the melted butter and dredge it with flour. Then return it to the oven to finish cooking. Allow the meat to ‘rest’ for 15-20 minutes if you wish to serve it hot, and meanwhile make gravy with the pan juices. For serving from a cold side table or for a party or picnic meal, cool it under a cloth, then keep it in a meat safe or cold larder until wanted.
In a modern oven-roasting we can use a consistent high or low cooking
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 77) Back to the Dinner menu
In a measuring jug, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard and salt.
Shell the egg and chop it roughly, then process it in an electric blender
so that the white is finely chopped. Combine with the dressing and
refrigerate until needed. Whisk again to blend the ingredients just
before using. For a smoother texture, sieve in 3 hard boiled yolks
instead of using a whole egg.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 48-49) Back to the Dinner menu
Set your freezer or refrigerator ice compartment to ‘fast freeze.’ Wash
the fruit, cut it up, then cook it gently until tender with 3 tablespoons
water. Sieve it into a clean pan and add as much sugar as the fruit’s flavour
needs. Do not under-sweeten: freezing dulls flavour. Add the egg yolks
and stir them into the pulp, then heat below the boil until the mixture
thickens. Taste and add a little more sugar if required. While the mixture
cools, beat the two creams together until thickening, then fold them into
the purée. Turn into a lightly oiled, chilled mould. Freeze the
ice-cream for 1-2 hours, or until mushy. Beat it briskly, to break down
the ice crystals, then refreeze it until you need it. (For really smooth
ice-cream, beat and refreeze it a second time before finishing it off.)
As soon as the ice-cream is frozen to the consistency you want, return
the freezer or refrigerator half-way back to its normal setting until you
are ready to unmould your dessert. Unmould the ice-cream just before serving.
Mr. Darcy’s chef would have set this ice-cream in a decorative jelly mould,
or might have made it like a charlotte in a soufflé dish, surrounded
by Naples Biskets. It can equally well be served in sundae glasses decorated
with crystallized or candied fruits — but not glacé cherries. Greengages,
white peaches or nectarines, apples or soft fruits can be used instead
of apricots or plums.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 120) Back to the Dinner menu
Make the patty cases first. Pre-heat the oven to 350?F/ 180?C/ Gas
Mark 4. Roll out the pastry 1/8 inch/ 3 mm thick and use two-thirds
of it to line small bun tins (muffin pans). Cut the remaining pastry
into rounds for lids. Glaze the lids with the egg wash. Place
both cases and lids on baking parchment laid on a baking-sheet. Bake
‘blind’ until firm and golden. Keep aside. To prepare the filling,
mince the veal or chicken and bacon together. Mix with all the other
ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat until the mushrooms soften
and the sauce is very hot. Fill the mixture into the baked cases,
put on the lids and serve at once.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 117)
Put 1 table spoon melted butter into a saucepan and add the shallots or
onion. Stir over medium heat until they soften. Off the heat,
blend in the flour and season well. Then stir in the wine gradually,
with a little more butter from the frying-pan if you wish. Replace
the sauce over low heat and stir until the mixture thickens. Leave
at the side of the stove.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 93-94) Back to the Dinner menu
… For general use, 1 oz/ 25 g hartshorn scrapings appears to have set 15
fl oz/ 425 ml/ 2 cups liquid. In a good many recipes for dessert
‘creams’ the real cream seems only to have been poured over the completed
dish. Hartshorn, like ivory, has no perceptible flavour. Bring the
wine and water to just below simmering point and tip in the gelatine.
Off the heat, stir until the gelatine dissolves completely, then stir in
the lemon juice and caster sugar. Make sure that the sugar is dissolved.
Taste for sweetness, then pour into 6x4-fl-oz/120-ml/½-cup flute-shaped
glasses and leave until about to set. Stir in half the pounded almond
flakes. Refrigerate until half-set, then stir in the rest of the
flakes. Refrigerate again until fully set, and then for 24 hours
longer to stiffen the jelly. If the jelly is firm enough, you can turn
it out by dipping the glasses briefly into hot water. Whether you
do or do not, sprinkle the top surface with grated candied lemon peel,
or fresh lemon rind and sugar. Serve with the cream.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 59) Back to the Dinner menu
Beat out the meat slices with a mallet or cutlet bat. Rub them over
well with the rosemary and season to taste. Fry the meat in the oil or
butter until just browned on each side, then transfer to a stew-pan and
add the stock, lemon juice, anchovy sauce or essence, mushroom ketchup,
the mushrooms and a pinch of cayenne. Cook gently until tender. Transfer
the fricandos to a shallow serving dish and keep warm. Off the heat, add
the beurre manié to the sauce in small spoonfuls, then reheat until
it thickens to suit your taste. Pour the sauce over the fricandos and garnish
the edge of the dish with lemon wedges or slices, cranberries and forcemeat
balls. Crumble 1 or 2 hard boiled egg yolks over the dish. If possible,
use fairly tart, fresh cranberries or sauce. A sickly-sweet sauce destroys
the subtle mixture of flavours which makes this dish a sophisticated treat.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 78-79) Back to the Dinner menu
Wash the celery well, cut of the root and leaves, and discard any damaged
parts. Cut the good stems into 1-inch/2.5cm lengths. Put the celery into
a saucepan with enough water to cover it completely. Add the spices and
onion tied in a square of muslin, and the bouquet garni, but no salt. Cover
the pan closely and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the celery is tender.
Drain the contents of the pan into a colander (strainer) set over a large
bowl. Remove the spice bag and bouquet garni and return 10 fl oz/275 ml/1
¼ cups liquid from the bowl to the pan. Add the mushrooms, ketchup
and wine and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the mushrooms soften. Remove
the pan from the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens. Stir in the
cream if you are using it. Replace the celery, and heat it through in the
sauce. Season to taste, transfer to a heated serving dish and keep warm.
In the old recipe the sliced rolls and hard-boiled egg yolks are added to the thickened sauce. However, the dish will look more dramatic if you surround the celery with golden overlapping slices of bridge roll and pile the whole egg yolks on top of the dish as a garnish.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 46-47) Back to the Dinner menu
Cook the macaroni until tender in plenty of boiling milk and water;
keep your eye on it to forestall any chance of it boiling over, and stir
round sometimes to prevent the pieces of pasta sticking together. When
it is cooked al dente, drain the pasta in a colander or round based sieve
(strainer). Then return it to the dry pan. Scatter in about two-thirds
of the cheese, and add the cream or gravy, butter and seasoning. Replace
the pan over very gentle heat, and toss the pasta to melt the cheese and
combine the whole mixture, again taking care not to let it stick to the
pan. As soon as the cheese has melted, transfer the pasta to a shallow
flameproof dish, scatter the remaining Parmesan on top and slip the dish
under a pre-heated grill (broiler) for 3-4 minutes to brown the top. Serve
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 49) Back to the Dinner menu
Martha suggested using any seasonal garden vegetable for her pie, then
specified 5 kinds. I have in fact used 6, because the quantities filled
a 2 pint/1.1 litre/5 cup deep pie dish neatly, but you can adapt them to
any type of vegetables you want to use. Parboil the swede and parsnip shreds
together, and in another pan the cabbage and cucumber. Parboil the carrot
rounds separately. Drain all the vegetables, keeping them separate, and
pour the cooking water into a measuring jug. In a frying pan (skillet)
or wok, fry the onions in about 1oz/25g/2 tablespoons butter and all the
oil until just starting to soften. Add the swede and parsnip shreds and
toss until tender. Spread them over the base of a 2 pint/1.1 litre/5 cup
deep pie dish and sprinkle with seasoning. Put the cabbage and cucumber
in the pan, add a little more butter and fry until tender, spread them
over the swede and parsnip and season them. Fry, add and season the carrots
likewise. They should fill the dish. Set the oven to heat to 400 degrees
F/200 degrees C/Gas Mark 6. Roll out the pastry into an oval about 1 ¼
inches/3 cm bigger than the top of the pie dish. Brush the rim of the dish
with egg. Cut a strip of pastry from the edge of the rolled-out shape and
fit it to cover the pie. Flute or crimp the edge to seal it. Make
triangular slits in the pie to let steam escape, and decorate it with small
shapes cut from the pastry trimmings. Bake it in the oven for 12-15 minutes,
then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F/170 degrees C/Gas Mark 3 and
bake for another 10 minutes or until the pastry is cooked through. While
cooking the pie, make a ‘gravy’. Measure the reserved vegetable cooking
water and add half a vegetable or garlic-and-herb stock cube. Heat gently
to dissolve it. Add enough simmering water to make 10 fl oz/275 ml/1 ¼
cups liquid and taste to check the seasoning. Pour some ‘gravy’ into the
pie through one of the slit holes and serve the rest separately.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 43-44) Back to the Dinner menu
Set the oven to heat to 350?F/ 180?C/ Gas Mark 4. Sift the flour
and salt into a bowl. Work in the butter to make a crumbly mixture,
then add the sugar. In a small bowl, beat the egg until liquid.
Add the juice, rosewater, wine or sherry, and brandy. Stir well.
Then mix the liquids by degrees into the dry goods, to obtain a smooth
dough. Lastly mix in the fruit. Put the cake mixture in small, neat
heaps (3/4 inch/ 2 cm across) on a lightly greased baking-sheet.
Bake in the oven for 16-18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. These little
cakes are pleasant with a glass of wine or cup of coffee at mid-morning
or in the evening…
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 124-125) Back to the Dinner menu
Today we know that bitter almonds may contain prussic acid, so it is wise
to use ready-ground sweet almonds and a little orange liqueur for extra
flavour instead. Set the oven to heat to 350?F/ 180?C/ Gas Mark 4.
Sieve or pound the almonds in a bowl to get rid of any lumps. In
a second bowl, whisk the egg whites with the orange-flower water or liqueur
until stiff. Then mix the sugar into the almonds thoroughly and lastly
fold in the whisked whites. Cover a baking-sheet with rice paper and place
small teaspoonfuls of mixture on it, well spaced apart. Bake for
10-12 minutes or until the cakes are just fawn; they must be soft underneath.
Cool them on the sheet, then keep in an airtight tin. Enjoy them
with after-dinner coffee.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, p. 125) Back to the Dinner menu
Set the oven to heat to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4. In a
fair sized bowl, beat the softened butter with the rose-water and, if you
wish, the rose flavouring for extra taste. Sift in the mace and sugar and
beat until they are blended in well. Whisk the eggs and yolk together until
frothing, add the juice, then beat them into the butter-sugar mixture in
3 parts, alternately with the sifted flour. Go on beating until blended
well. Put small dollops of dough onto buttered bun or tartlet tins (patty
tins) 2 inches/5 cm across and ½ inch/1cm deep. Bake for 10-12 minutes
(no more), then cool on a wire rack. When they have cooled, place the cakes
side by side on a baking-sheet. Blend together the icing ingredients. With
a pastry brush, cover the tops of the cakes with icing. Put them in the
oven heated again to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4 for 2-3 minutes,
until the icing has hardened. Serve cold.
(Black, The Jane Austen Cookbook, pp. 122-123) Back to the Dinner menu