Posted in Bringing Alive The Past, Mrs Beeton

Cooking Tartlets with Mrs Beeton

Pudding, Ice, Cake and other Moulds, Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management , 1915 Edition.
Let’s cook again with Mrs Beeton.  Here are  Mrs B’s recipes for:
  • Lemon tartlets (Fr. Tartelettes au Citron) – two different methods;
  • Parisian tartlets (Fr. Tartelettes à la Parisienne);
  • Frangipan tart (Fr.  Tourt à la Frangipanne)
  • Pork pie.

Lemon tartlets – Method one

Ingredients:  Short paste (see earlier blog posting), 4 ozs of butter, 4 ozs of castor sugar, 3 yolks of eggs, 1 lemon.

Method: Cream the butter and sugar well together, beat each yolk of egg in separately, and add the juice of the lemon and the rind finely grated.  Let the mixture stand in a cool, dry place for at least 24 hours, then bake in patty-pans, previously lined with the short paste.

Time taken: To bake, from 15-20 minutes.  Quantity: sufficient for 1 tartlets.

Lemon tartlets – Method two

Ingredients: Short paste (see earlier blog posting), 4 lemons, 4 ozs of loaf sugar, 4 ozs of blanched finely shredded almonds.

Method: Pare the lemons thickly, boil the fruit in 2 or 3 waters until tender, then pound or rub through a fine sieve.  Replace in the stewpan, add the sugar, almonds and lemon-juice, and boil until a thick syrup is obtained.  Line 10 or 12 patty-pans with paste, fill them with the preparation, and bake for about 20 minutes in a moderately hot oven.

Time taken:  To bake from 20 to 25 minutes.  Quantity: sufficient to make 10 or 12 tartlets.

Parisian tartlets

Ingredients:  Short paste (see earlier blog posting), 3 ozs of butter, 3 ozs of castor sugar, 2 ozs of cake crumbs, 1 oz of cornflour, 1 oz of ground almonds, 2 small eggs, 2 tablespoonfuls of cream, 1 dessertspoonful of lemon-juice, 1/2 a teaspoonful of ground cinnamon.

Method: Cream the butter and sugar well together until thick and smooth, add the eggs separately and beat well.  Mix the cream and cornflour smoothly together, stir the ingredients into the mixture, add the ground almonds, cake crumbs, cinnamon and lemon-juice, and mix well together.  Line 12 tartlet-moulds with paste, fill them with the preparation and bake in a moderate oven from 15 to 20 minutes.  When about 3/4 baked, dredge them well with castor sugar.

Time taken: 30 to 40 minutes.  Quantity: sufficient for 12 tartlets.

Frangipan tart

Ingredients: short crust (short paste) (see earlier blog posting), 4 eggs, 1 1/2 ozs of butter, 1 1/2 ozs of sugar, 1/4 of an oz of flour, 1/2 a pint of milk, 1 bay-leaf, 2 or 3 fine strips of lemon-rind, nutmeg.

Method:  Mix the flour smoothly with a little milk, simmer the remainder with the bay-leaf, lemon-rind, and a pinch of nutmeg, for about 15 minutes, then strain it on the blended flour and milk, stirring meanwhile.  Return to the stewpan, add the butter, sugar, and slightly beaten eggs, and stir by the side of the fire until the mixture thickens, but do not let it boil.  Line a tart-tin with the paste, pour in the preparation when cool, and bake from 25 to 30 minutes in a moderate oven. Serve cold.

Time taken: To bake, about 1/2 an hour.  Quantity: sufficient for 1 large or 2 medium-sized tarts.

Note from Mrs B on Frangipanni puddings.  They were originally made chiefly of broken bread and a great variety of flavouring substances.  This was named after the Marchese Frangipanni, head of a very ancient Roman family whose privilege it was to supply “holy bread” or wafers to St. Peter’s cathedral, hence the name, derived from the Latin words frangere (to break) and panis (bread).  The Marchese Frangipanni was the inventor of the complicated, but very durable, perfume which bears this name.

Pork pie

Ingredients:  1 1/2lb of lean pork, 1lb of household flour, 6 ozs of lard, 1 small onion, 1/4 of a pint of water, cayenne, pepper and salt.

Method: Cut the meat into dices, and season it well with salt and pepper.  Place the bones in a stewpan, add the onion, salt and pepper, cover with cold water, and simmer for at least 2 hours to extract the gelatine, in order that the gravy, when cold, may be a firm jelly.  Put the flour into a large basin, and add to it a good pinch of salt.  Boil the lard and water together for 5 minutes, then add it to the flour, stirring it thoroughly until cool enough to be kneaded.  Knead until smooth, cover with a cloth, and let the basin stand near the fire for about 1/2  an hour.  Throughout the whole process the paste must be kept warm, otherwise moulding may be extremely difficult; but overheating must also be avoided, for when the paste is too soft it is unable to support its own weight.  At the end of this time, re-knead the paste, put aside about 1/4 for the lid, and raise the remainder into a round, or oval form, as may be preferred.  If an inexperienced worker finds any difficulty in raising the pie by hand alone, a small jar may be placed in the centre of the paste, and the paste moulded over it.  When the lower part of the pie has been raised to the necessary shape and thinness, subsequent work may be made much easier by putting in some of the meat, and pressing it firmly down to support the lower part of the pie.  Before adding the lid, moisten the meat with 2 or 3 tablespoonfuls of the prepared seasoned gravy; the remainder is re-heated, and added after the pie is baked and still hot.  Three or four folds of greased paper should be pinned round th pie to preserve its shape, and prevent it becoming too brown.  The pie should be baked for at least 2 hours in a moderate oven, and its appearance is greatly improved by brushing it over with yolk or egg when about 3/4 baked.  Slices of hard-boiled egg are often added with the meat.

Time take: To bake, about 2 hours.  Quantity: enough to make 1 medium-sized pie.



Social historian, based in the UK.

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