Category: Cookbooks

Tansy Pudding ~ Recipe for a Dangerous Tradition

Wednesday, I shared some history of traditional Easter and spring cooking. Today, I am sharing a couple of old recipes for tansy pudding, as well as links to contemporary recipes for tansy pudding.

Again, tansy is a purifying herb. Used sparingly, it can be healthful. But always do your research on the effects of an herb before using.

Tansy Pudding

Beat twelve eggs, keeping out four whites, a quart of cream, the crumbs of an halfpenny roll grated, a little orange flower or rose water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, a spoonful of tansy juice, half a pint of spinage juice, half a pound of sugar.

Butter your dish, and bake it.

The Lady’s, housewife’s and cookmaid’s assistant  by E. Taylor, 1769

 

To make a Tansie the best way.

Take twenty eggs, and take away five whites, strain them with a quart of good thick sweet cream, and put to it grated nutmeg, a race of ginger grated, as much cinamon beaten fine, and a penny white loaf grated also, mix them all together with a little salt, then stamp some green wheat with some tansie herbs, strain it into the cream and eggs, and stir all together; then take a clean frying-pan, and a quarter of a pound of butter, melt it, and put in the tansie, and stir it continually over the fire with a slice, ladle, or saucer, chop it, and break it as it thickens, and being well incorporated put it out of the pan into a dish, and chop it very fine; then make the frying pan very clean, and put in some more butter, melt it, and fry it whole or in spoonfuls; being finely fried on both sides, dish it up, and sprinkle it with rose-vinegar, grape-verjuyce, elder-vinegar, couslip-vinegar, or the juyce of three or four oranges, and strew on good store of fine sugar.

The Accomplished Cook by Robert May 1660

 

Tansy Pudding.

Beat sixteen eggs very well in a wooden bowl, leaving out six whites, with a little orange-flower water and brandy; then add to them by degrees half a pound of fine sifted sugar; grate in a nutmeg, and a quarter of a pound of Naples biscuit; add a pint of the juice of spinach, and four spoonfuls of the juice of tansy; then put to it a pint of cream. Stir it all well together, and put it in a skillet, with a piece of butter melted; keep it stirring till it becomes pretty thick; then put it in a dish, and bake it half an hour. When it comes out of the oven, stick it with blanched almonds cut very thin, and mix in some citron cut in the same manner. Serve it with sack and sugar, and squeeze a Seville orange over it. Turn it out in the dish in which you serve it bottom upwards.

Original Receipt from ‘The Lady’s Own Cookery Book, And New Dinner-Table Directory’ of 1844 

*The full text of the two recipes reproduced here are available for free on Google Books, as they are in the public domain.

 

Here are some links to contemporary tansy puddings. As you will notice, contemporary cooks add other flavorings and even sugar to counter the bitterness of the herb.

http://www.allfoodsnatural.com/recipe/tansy-pudding.html

http://www.elephantrestaurant.co.uk/tansy-pudding

Regency Cookery

English Housewifery Exemplified
In above Four Hundred and Fifty Receipts Giving Directions
for most Parts of Cookery

Elizabeth Moxon

published in 1764.

This cookbook precedes the regency by about 50 years,but I imagine many of these recipes (or “receipts” as they were called then) were still in use.

Scrolling through this cookbook on Project Gutenberg’s site, I found some interesting dishes including:

 HOW TO JUGG PIGEONS.

I wasn’t sure what ‘jugging’ meant. The dictionary has the verb, to jug, meaning stewing meat in an earthenware jug.

Take six or eight pigeons and truss them, season them with nutmeg, pepper and salt.
To make the Stuffing. Take the livers and shred them with beef-suet, bread-crumbs, parsley, sweet-marjoram, and two eggs, mix all together, then stuff your pigeons sowing (sic) them up at both ends, and put them into your jugg with the breast downwards, with half a pound of butter; stop up the jugg close with a cloth that no steam can get out, then set them in a pot of water to boil; they will take above two hours stewing; mind you keep your pot full of water, and boiling all the time; when they are enough clear from them the gravy, and take the fat clean off; put to your gravy a spoonful of cream, a little lemon-peel, an anchovy shred, a few mushrooms, and a little white wine, thicken it with a little flour and butter, then dish up your pigeons, and pour over them the sauce. Garnish the dish with mushrooms and slices of lemon.

 

This is proper for a side dish.

 

How’s this for a little deception, making a rabbit look like a partridge? The only thing is, I have no idea what they mean by cutting off a rabbit’s wings (cutting off its floppy ears?):

Kitchen Still Life with Hares, Fowl, etc. by Cornelis Jacobsz Delff
Dead Hare and Partridges c.1690 Jan Weenix

 

TO DRESS RABBETS TO LOOK LIKE MOOR-GAME.

 

Take a young rabbet, when it is cased cut off the wings and the head; leave the neck of your rabbet as long as you can; when you case it you must leave on the feet, pull off the skin, leave on the claws, so double your rabbet and skewer it like a fowl; put a skewer at the bottom through the legs and neck, and tie it with a string, it will prevent its flying open; when you dish it up make the same sauce as you would do for partridges.

Three are enough for one dish.

 

And for a little dessert:

AN APPLE PUDDING

Take half a dozen large codlins, or pippens, roast them and take out the pulp; take eight eggs, (leave out six of the whites) half a pound of fine powder sugar, beat your eggs and sugar well together, and put to them the pulp of your apples, half a pound of clarified butter, a little lemon-peel shred fine, a handful of bread crumbs or bisket (sic), four ounces of candid orange or citron, and bake it with a thin paste under it.

 

 

The recipe ends there. Perhaps a thin paste is a pastry shell?

 It would have been interesting to sample some of this fare.