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Propagating Wild Yeast for Reenactments


Today, if you asked 50 people about how to start a wild yeast culture for making sourdough bread, it’s likely you’ll get 100 different answers, but in reality, all it takes is a little bit of flour, some water and…

Which Yeast (Time 0_00_55;12)

September 29, 2017


Akara Recipe


Akara is a simple, easy to make snack that was frequently made in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Dried Black-eyed Peas Onions Parsley flour Boiling water Lard First, pulverize the dried black-eyed peas into very small pieces. Add to…

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A Fanciful Yet Easy Asparagus Soup


This delicious Asparagus Soup recipe from Elizabeth Cleland’s A new and easy methods of cookery (1755). Many of this recipe's techniques, including roux, food coloring, bone broth, and court-bouillon (the ingredients boiled in the soup that are removed before eating)…

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September 28, 2017


Rye and Indian Bread


This is called Rye and Indian bread, because it’s made of part rye flour and part Indian meal or sometimes we call it cornmeal. You can use just those two grains to make the flour, or you can add wheat…

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Simple Boiled Plum Pudding


Many people hear the word pudding today and they think about some little custardy stuff in a cup or something you buy at the grocery store in a box and mix it up with some milk. Pudding has a much…

Plum Pudding (Time 0_11_05;10)


An Onion Soup Recipe from 1801


This recipe for onion soup is out of John Mollard’s 1801 cookbook, “The Art of Cooking Made Easy and Refined”. 4 oz. Butter 4 tbsps. Flour 8 midsized Onions of choice Salt 3 qts. Beef Stock 4 Egg Yolks 1…

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A White Pot Recipe


A White Pot with Raisins and Dates Serves 1 - 6 (depending on how polite you are) The name “White Pot” originates from the Devon region of England. But this sweet, buttery custard bread pudding, layered with sweetmeats (dried fruits)…

Also Known as a White Pudding


Master Wood Turner Erv Tschanz


In this special video, master wood turner Erv Tschanz shares his passion for the craft. Erv is one of several skilled artisans that sells handcrafted items through Jas. Townsend & Son. The treenware cherry wood plate being made in this…

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September 13, 2017


Weaver/Trapper Interview: Experiencing History Through Reenacting


We've been busy interviewing fellow reenactors for the purpose of inspiring and encouraging viewers who are interested in getting involved in historical reenacting but don't know how to begin. Today we interview Tony Baker, a weaver by trade, who has…

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Starting a Living History Group from Scratch


It took an idea and a group of friends, and it went from there. Albert Roberts tells the story of how the innovative historical interpretive group "The HMS Acasta" was born. http://ift.tt/2wQkO31 More great information! ***************************** Our Retail Website -…

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Page 1 of 69

Green Bean Tarts, Really?

Today’s recipe comes from John Nott’s 1724 cookbook “The Cooks and Confectioners Dictionary.” On the surface these tarts seem rather normal, a standard lemon tart made with puff paste. But there is another ingredient that we’re sure will surprise you! It really sets this dish off!

Puff Paste Crust – http://bit.ly/2egi2Ox

If you’re interested in learning more about reenacting, including the different kinds of historical interpretation you can do, be sure to sign up of our FREE “Getting Started in Living History” video course!

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A Delicious Lemon Minced Pie

We conclude our Dutch oven series today with a recipe from Maria Rundell’s, “A New System of Domestic Cookery.” This is a minced pie that uses a surprising main ingredient: lemons! Baking this recipe in a Dutch oven is very easy if you use the techniques we have learned in previous episodes. Enjoy!

The Dutch oven was perfectly suited for use on the frontier. One can fry in it, make stews and soups with it, as well as bake in it. While the first two cooking methods are fairly easy, baking with a Dutch oven can be a little intimidating. With a few hints and a little experimentation and practice, baking in this 18th-century pot can be easy and rewarding. We hope you enjoyed this little series!

Short Paste Video – http://bit.ly/25Yijqm

Suet Video – http://bit.ly/1OlSc8j

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Ivy Makes A Delicious Strawberry Tart

Ivy is in the kitchen today! She is using the preserved strawberries we made in last weeks episode to make a delicious strawberry tart. You don’t want to miss this!

Tart Tin – http://www.townsends.us/inch-piece-tart-s3455-p-1363.html

Carolina Snowball Recipe – http://www.townsends.us/blog/two-18th-century-vegetarian-recipes-carolina-snow-balls-and-a-simple-but-delicious-boiled-rice-pudding/

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Red Currant Tart

There seems to be a lot of confusion about currants in the 18th century, was it a tiny raisin or a berry. Well, it’s both. In this video we explore currants and use them in a wonderful tart.

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Chocolate Tart

Jon and Ivy cook and wonderful chocolate tart using a recipe from the 18th century. It is easy and you will love it.

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Cheese Tart

In this episode we make a wonderful cheese tart from a 17th century cookbook.

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Lemon Minced Pie

Lemon Minced Pie

Our recipe today comes from Maria Rundell’s 1808 cookbook, “A New System of Domestic Cookery.” This is a recipe for a minced pie, but it’s a little different. It’s got a different twist on it. It’s a lemon minced pie.

  • Short Paste
  • 1 Lemon Peel
  • 1 large Baking Apple
  • ¼ cup Suet
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • Juice from 1-2 lemons
  • ½ cup raisins

Butter an 8 inch tart tin very well and place short tin in the bottom.

Lemon Minced Pie (Time 0_02_04;12)

Boil lemon peel about 20 minutes to get rid of some of the bitterness and make it easier to work with, then mince very fine.

Lemon Minced Pie (Time 0_02_52;26)

In a ceramic or wooden bowl, pare, core, and chop apple very fine and mix together with suet, sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice and raisins.

Lemon Minced Pie (Time 0_03_37;23)

Pour into short paste and bake around 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Lemon Minced Pie (Time 0_03_46;24)

Cool completely, even overnight or refrigerate to remove from tart tin.

Transcript of Video:

We’re concluding our baking in the Dutch oven series with this wonderful little fruit tart. I think you’re going to be surprised with this one. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.

Our recipe today comes from Maria Rundell’s 1808 cookbook, “A New System of Domestic Cookery.” This is a recipe for a minced pie, but it’s a little different. It’s got a different twist on it. It’s a lemon minced pie. Let’s get started.

Today we’re baking this in one of our 8 inch tart tins. These guys are hand made by Dennis Kutch, one of our tin smiths. He does a wonderful job. They’re available in the print catalog and on our website. The original recipe actually calls for making this in patty pans and probably the closest thing you’ve got in a modern kitchen is a cupcake tin so this is actually meant to be small individual little pies or tarts. Today we’re making this in one of these tart tins because of course we’re going to be baking in a Dutch oven.

If you’re going to be using one of these 18th century style tart tins, the bottom doesn’t come out of this so you want to make sure to butter it really, really well or you’ll never be able to get it out of the tin. This tart tin’s already well buttered. We can just lay in our paste in the bottom, any paste will work fine here, but short paste will work great and if you’re interested in a short paste recipe I’ll put a link to our short paste episode down in the description section below.

Our first ingredient is lemon peel and you might immediately say, “well, wait a minute Jon, did they have lemons in the 18th century?” Obviously you see lemons all over in the cookbooks. It really depends on where you’re located and the economic level of the person as to how common lemons would be in their standard daily diet, but obviously they’re very popular in the cookbooks. In this particular setting, we’re going to be using lemons. What we’re going to do is, we need lemon peel and you can just peel off the peel of your lemon, cut it off in one nice long strip to make it easier to work with and boil your lemon peel about 20 minutes. This is going to get rid of some of the bitterness and make it much easier to work with. Once we’ve boiled this lemon peel, we can take it out and mince it nice and fine.

To mix this up, we need a nonreactive bowl, something like a ceramic bowl or a wooden bowl. Inside this, we’ve got 1 large apple chopped up. It’s been pared and cored and chopped rather finely. You’ll want to use some baking kind of apple. Golden Delicious might work well in this. That’s what we’re using right now. To this, we’re going to add the diced lemon peel that I talked about earlier, ¼ cup of suet, ¼ cup of sugar, the juice of 1-2 lemons, and ½ cup of raisins. Mix these up well. We are using suet in this recipe. It can be difficult to find. We do sell a USDA approved suet in our catalog and on our website. You may be able to find some kinds of suet in your local supermarket or at your butcher shop. Again, if you’re interested in suet I want to point you to an earlier episode we did on rendering your own suet.

We need to cook this at around 400 degrees so we’ll need to get this Dutch oven nice and hot before we put this in and make sure it’s got plenty of coals. It’s going to bake probably 20 minutes or so.

And there we go. This one’s definitely cool enough to handle. If we wanted this to really set up so that we might be able to get it completely out of the pan, you’ll want to let this cool overnight, maybe even in the refrigerator or someplace really cool to let it really solidify, because it’s going to be hard to get out of this tart tin. Some of those juices have boiled up out of it and come down the edges so it’s going to be hard to get out. I’m just going to take a slice out of this guy, because there’s no way at this kind of temperature that it’s going to come out whole.

Let’s give this a try.

That’s got an amazing punch to it. This is wonderful. I can see why they call it a lemon minced pie. It’s got a wonderful lemony flavor to it. That lemon peel and the lemon juice really come through and yet you get these other chunks of, I guess the meat of, the tart which is the apple and the raisin, which give you a wonderful sweetness, but the flavor that really comes through is the lemon.

So this concludes our Dutch oven series on a wonderful note. This will definitely make a wonderful dessert. If you’re in the field and want to do a simple one, excellent, you can make the crust right there. None of these things needs to be refrigerated so you can definitely do this in the field. So wonderful, if you get a chance, you can try this at home. Again, wonderful dessert dish. Definitely give this one a try.

I want to thank you for coming along while we experiment with these Dutch ovens, while we see exactly what you can do in a Dutch oven in the field. Amazing things, wonderful dishes, great. I want to thank you for coming along as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.

If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

Parmesan Cheese Tart

Parmesan Cheese Tart

  Ok, I am obviously some kind of cheese pie freak, and I admit this is my third cheesecake type recipe in the last couple of months, but you will just have to bear with me.

In the past, we made a couple of 18th century dishes that were called cheesecakes, but they were very different from the familiar modern cheesecake. 18th century cookbooks seem to have a lot of recipes that are called cheesecake, a few even containing cheese, but most do not come very close to what we now call a cheesecake. This dish comes a bit closer than most, but with a interesting twist: Parmesan.

The recipe is from William Rabisha’s The Whole Body of Cookery Dissected (1682)

To Make a Cheese Tart

This recipe makes quite a large tart so we are going to cut the recipe in half.

Parmesan Cheese Tart

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz Parmesan cheese, grated fine
  • 3 whole eggs plus 3 additional egg yolks.
  • 4 oz of butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp of powdered ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 of a nutmeg, grated (about 1/2 tsp)
  • 3 oz fresh bread crumbs (the crumb of any white bread, crust removed, and pulsed in a food processor will work perfectly)
  • 3 Tbs of sugar
  • somewhere around 2 to 3 cups of heavy cream

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, except for the cream, and stir with a spoon until well incorporated. Add as much cream as necessary to make a thin batter. The amount of cream needed will vary depending on the type of bread you use. The goal is to have a batter that you can pour — like pancake batter. The cheese and the bread crumbs will make the batter lumpy.

For a savory pie cut back the sugar to 1 or 2 Tablespoons. If you want it a sweeter pie,  add 3, even 4 tablespoons.

Pour the batter into pie pans lined with a short paste. This recipe filled one of our 9″ pie pans with enough left over to fill a tart made in our pewter bowl. You can place optional strips of puff paste across the top.  Finish by sprinkling a little sugar on top just before you place the pie in the oven, or add some sugar after baking and brown it with a salamander or torch.

savoringthepast_cheese tart 5

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. Larger pies will take longer than smaller ones. The puff paste will puff up and brown, indicating when the pie is done.

The finished tart has a texture similar to that of a modern American cheesecake but is not nearly as sweet. You can take detect in this cheesecake the subtle bite of the Parmesan Cheese, but it’s not overpowering — perfect for the addition of fruit.

Another Cheesecake

Another Cheesecake

anothercheesecake

This “cheesecake” is easy and tasty.  As you can see from the above recipe from Eliza Smiths 1739 “The Compleat Housewife”, it is basically a 1/3 potato, 1/3 egg and 1/3 butter tart with some sugar and nutmeg added for flavor.

Hints:  Don’t skimp on the nutmeg.  If it tastes too potato-y try baking it a little longer.

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