Inspired by my post on Tuesday uncovering the history of lemons and limes, I went searching for old recipes and stumbled across a great website: Cooking in the Archives A search of the site revealed no recipes featuring limes but a total of six with lemon as a main ingredient. I will only share one here (the one that sounds the most yummy to me) but, if like my Mr. Darcy, you love lemon-flavored desserts, pop over to the website and check out all the lemon recipes.
The recipe snippet above is from the 1701 recipe book of Margrett Greene. Click the link for a digitalized version of the entire book. Don’t strain your eyes trying to read the lovely cursive. Below is the typed out version:
Take the white of 7 & the Yolke of 3 Egg, beat them very well & put to
them the Peel of one & juice of two Lemmons Stir it Soundly & put
in half a porringer of Rosewater & the like Quantity of fair
water, Sweeten it to your Tast, then Straine it & sett it on the
Fyre, & keep it Constantly Stirring untill it bee as Thick as
as you desire to have it.
The description of Lemmon Cream below is by Marissa Nicosia, the owner of Cooking in the Archives, who takes old recipes and updates them for modern cooks. All the preparation details and images are curtesy of Marissa and her excellent blog.
Luscious lemon cream does not necessarily require “cream.” The gorgeous texture of this lemon cream is the product of eggs, lemon juice, low heat, and gentle stirring. Emulsification creates a delectable, tart, floral pudding.
NOTE from Sharon: The updated recipe below calls for “rosewater” as does the original from Margrett Greene. Luckily, this is readily available. A quick Google search yields loads of purchasing options, including Amazon and Kroger.
7 eggs (7 whites, 3 yolks)
2 lemons (zest 1, juice 2)
¼ c rosewater
¼ c water
½ c sugar
Zest one lemon into a small mixing bowl. (You can also peel the lemon and finely chop the peel.) Add the juice of the lemon that you zested and the juice of a second lemon. Add the rosewater and water. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Transfer the mixture into a saucepan.
Separate seven eggs. In a large bowl, combine seven egg whites and three egg yolks. Add the eggs to the lemon mix.
Over a low heat, whisk the lemon cream as it thickens for approximately 20 minutes.
Chill before serving.
The Results – Sharp with lemon, fragrant with rosewater, and just sweetened enough with sugar, this lemon cream delighted Clark Library guests, fellows, and staff alike. Although it does require some attention on the stove and careful egg-separating, its relatively easy to prepare.
To be honest, rarely do these old style recipes appeal to me either due to the strange ingredients or intensive steps. This one, however, sounds SO yummy and quite easy to prepare that I must give it a try. What about y’all? Ready to give it a whirl? And, do you think Mr. Darcy would have delighted in Lemmon Cream? I’m quite certain Mrs. Langton could whip up a batch of Lemmon Cream with her eyes closed!