Victorian and Edwardian Christmas Cooking

On a snowy day, I cooked and listened to Christmas music.  It was fun.  I started with Nesselrode Pudding.  It is double cream mixed with dried cherries, candied peel, ground almonds, madeira (I used port), cooked chestnuts, a vanilla pods, lemon zest and gelatin.

The candied peel I got from British Food Shop.  I noticed on the label it is a family business since 1880.

The chestnuts I got from D’Artagnan.  They are really yummy.

Here is the pudding in my mold.  It needed to refrigerate for 6 hours so I got it done first.

Next I started the Mince pies a la Eliza Acton, Royal.  I used the Jane Austen’s Lemon Mincemeat I made last week.

To some of the mincemeat you add some sugar, lemon rind and juice, butter and egg yolks.  This goes into a puff pastry crust and is baked.

Then egg whites are whipped with sugar and added as a meringue and then baked again. I am not used to mince pies with meringue.

During this I started Eliza Acton’s mulled wine.  This involved simmering and then boiling water, sugar, sliced fresh ginger, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, peppercorns, and orange peel.

I accidentally over boiled it so it became more of a sticky candy than a syrup.  The fresh ginger I used for this recipe has been preserved in sherry in the refrigerator.  This is a recent trick I learned.  And it really works.  But then I had leftover ginger infused sherry. So I sipped not during the rest of my cooking. One thing from Upstairs, Downstairs is that they liked to drink sherry.

Then I started the Francatelli’s Christmas Cake.  This involved soaking dried cherries, currants and candied peel in brandy and adding it to butter, sugar, flour, egg, ground almonds, orange zest, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, mace and salt.  It is baked in mold.  Mine actually came out of the mold OK.

It is then brushed with apricot jelly and a disc of marzipan is put on top.  It is then decorated with royal icing.  I am not very good with icing.

Next I made the Pork pie from Dickens.  The filling was gammon slices (in my case our ham), minced pork (in my case our pork steaks ground up), belly pork (in my case salt pork), pepper, our fresh sage, our dried thyme and mace.  This is all minced and mixed together and made into a ball.

Then the crust is made with flour, salt, hot water, and hot lard.  This pastry in built around the meat ball and then baked.

I finished the mulled wine by adding wine to the “syrup” and simmering it.

Although the “syrup” remained, but it actually did flavor the wine.  It was quite spicy.

Then I dove into Mrs. Beeton’s All About Cookery (1861) Brussel Sprouts. I purchased them from Boldly Grown Farm on Sunday.

I made the batter with butter, milk, flour, yeast and salt.  This is left to risen.  You are supposed to dip the sprouts in the batter on a skewer. But I decided that the sprouts were too small for a skewer.  So I decided to try to coat the sprouts, but the batter wouldn’t coat them.  So I threw the whole lot in the hot oil to fry them.

I turned into somewhat of a mess.  Some of the sprouts were loose, and some were enmeshed in batter like a fritter.

Then it was time for dinner (for my long suffering husband).  We cut into the pie. Fortunately it looked good.

Then I added the sprouts. 

The pie was too salty. This was because I had to use salt pork instead of pork belly.  I omitted the added salt, but it was still too much.  The sprouts were a little weird but actually the ones without batter were actually OK. And I am not a Brussel sprout fan.  Ton wouldn’t even try one.

We ate dessert to Charlie Brown Christmas.  It is not Victorian or Edwardian, but it came out the year I was born so is vintage.  The mince pies actually taste like lemon meringue which was  surprise to me, but Tom had just been commenting how his aunt used to make awesome lemon meringue pies  So this was a nice surprise.  I loved the cake, but Tom didn’t. He liked the pudding, but I thought the texture was weird.  But we both agree that Charlie Brown Christmas is awesome.  Merry Christmas!!!



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4 Responses to Victorian and Edwardian Christmas Cooking

  1. Jeanne says:

    Oh, my! What a lot of food to make in one day! I’m sorry the pie was too salty. The pudding sounds quite interesting. I’m glad you are so willing to do all those ancient recipes. I can enjoy them by just reading your comments!

    Take care!

  2. What an amazing collection of recipes! It all looks wonderful, even the meringue on the mincemeat, which I’ve never seen before!

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