Georgian and Regency Christmas Cooking

So today I undertook week 2 of the Paul Couchman recipes of the Georgian and Regency eras.  This is the timeframe that he enjoys, and I think it shows.

I started with a Venison Pasty which is pounded venison steaks (from my step-son) sprinkled with flour, salt and pepper and layered with butter in a puff pastry.  It is baked for 30 minutes, and then beef stock is added, and it is baked for another 3 hours.

Next came Potted Ham with Chicken.  This is ham (ours), butter, mace, brown sugar, cloves and pepper combined in a food processor.  Then there is chicken (ours), butter, thyme (ours), salt and pepper then combined separately in the processor.  The ham and chicken are layered in a buttered ramekin and refrigerated.  Here it is at this point:

Next I had my first egg nog of the season while I continued to cook.

It was sunny this afternoon, and it was illuminating the Christmas tree.  I thought it looked beautiful.

Next was the Orange Pudding.  He cites recipes from 1747, 1769 and 1806.  His adaption started with simmering orange peel in water for 1/2 hour.

This was placed in a blender with juice from the orange and egg yolks (ours).  Then lady finger crumbs, sugar and melted butter are added.  This goes in ramekins lined with puff pastry and baked.  Here they are coming out of the oven.

But then they seemed to collapse.

I decided to skip making the Twelfth Night Cake from this era, because I want to make it closer to the twelfth night, January 6.

So next was making Lemon Mince.  This is a recipe from Jane Austin’s family kitchen.  First I needed to procure candied peel.  This was hard to find last year so I ordered this mixed peel early from British Food Shop.  Then, of course, I found plenty of it at my local grocery store including the-usually-hard-to-find candied citron.  So I bought some of that.

This recipe involved boiling 2 squeezed lemons until soft.  This is pureed in a blender  and then added to raisins, sultanas, peeled and grated apples. candied peel and citron, sugar , shredded suet (ours), nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, orange blossom water and rum.  Here it is at this point.

Now it needs to set for 2-3 days being stirred periodically before and then moved to sterilized jars.

Next I made Syllabub from an 1836 recipe. It is cream, sweet white wine, orange juice, brandy (ours), orange blossom water and sugar mixed together until frothy.  The froth is then separate from the liquid, and both are refrigerated fro 15 minutes,  Then the liquid is poured into glasses with the froth placed on top. Here is the result in red depression glasses:

Tom said it was like a milkshake.  To me, syllabub always tastes like pineapple and cream, for some reason.  It was a tasty start to our festive meal.

Next I made Apple Snow.  I used the Bramley Apple Sauce from the British Food Shop to make this.  Egg whites (ours) were mixed with sugar and then beaten in a bowl over simmering water for 3.5 minutes then continued off the water until room temperature.   This was mixed with the apple sauce, placed in glasses and garnished with rosemary (ours).

I realized that the Potted Ham and Chicken was supposed to be served with Bath Olivers.  They apparently have stopped making these in the pandemic, and I did not feel like trying to make them.  Apparently Carr’s crackers are a reasonable substitute so Tom bought some for us at the store.

So I assembled the Potted Ham with Chicken with the crackers.

Here it is with a cut taken out.

To Tom it wasn’t a favorite. I thought it was quite nice.  It was a nice change to cheese and crackers.  Plus it felt festive and elegant to me.

Next was the Venison Pasty.  Here it is:

And here it is inside.

I serve this with the suggested green beans.  But I forgot the red currant sauce I was supposed to serve with it.  I have Bonne Maman Redcurrent Jelly which I though I would warm and call sauce, but it slipped mind when the time came.  But nonetheless the pasty was really good.  The venison was tender and yummy, and the crust was nice.  It also felt very festive and elegant (probably more so if I had remembered the red currant sauce).

Later, when our stomachs had digested some, we had dessert.  It was the Apple Snow and Orange Pudding.  Tom liked the Apple Snow.  I thought the cooked egg whites were a little grainy, but the Bramley applesauce was great again.  I loved the Orange Pudding despite the collapse.  Tom thought it was too “orangey” which doesn’t seem like appropriate criticism for an orange pudding.

All and all it was a lovely, different, historic, and fun dinner.  Plus there are plenty of leftovers.  And the lemon mince will be ready in a few days as well.  Plus there is Twelfth Night Cake in January to look forward to.




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6 Responses to Georgian and Regency Christmas Cooking

  1. Jeanne says:

    Ahhh! Those recipes all sound really delicious! But it was a lot of work for you. If I didn’t have such a complicated diet, I’d be glad to try them. Oh, well. I’ll survive!

  2. Denise says:

    the venison pasty looks quite inviting! too funny about Tom finding the orange pudding to orange-y 🙂

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