Friday, November 25, 2016

HFF 2.23: Sweet Sips and Potent Potables

I'm a little late posting this one.  In fairness, it was done within [four days of] the challenge fortnight.

The Challenge: Sweet Sips and Potent Potables

The Recipe: Posset  (page 168) from Cookery, Rational, Practical and Economical, Treated in Connexion with the Chemistry of Food by Hartelaw Reid

Posset consists of hot wine added to custard (see page 107) the whole being well mixed by pouring it alternately from one vessel to another. It is generally made with canary or sack wine and called Sack Posset. 
Page 107:
Custard Sauce for Sweet Puddings and Fruit Pies or Tarts--Heat in a very clean saucepan till just about to boil a pint of new milk. Beat together in a basin the yolk of two eggs, a little cream and some pounded loaf sugar. Pour over this the hot milk and immediately return the whole to the saucepan and continue pouring it from the saucepan into the basin and back again until thoroughly mixed. Lastly return it to the saucepan set it over the fire and stir it continually till nearly boiling. Serve it cold in a glass dish or jug with nutmeg grated over the top.

According to Wikipedia, Canary or sack wine is a fortified white wine, such as sherry.

The Date/Year and Region: 1855, London

How Did You Make It: As instructed, I warmed 1 pint of milk until almost boiling, meanwhile mixing two eggs, 1/3 cup cream, and 1/3 cup granulated sugar (quantities guessed).  I poured the milk into the mixture, poured everything back into the pan, and repeated pouring.  I then heated up the whole mixture to almost-boiling, then set it aside to thicken.  While it cooled (in the freezer), I heated a bottle of sherry on the stove.  When the custard was cool, I poured the sherry into it, and repeated the pouring twice more until it was thoroughly mixed.

Time to Complete: I didn't note the time.  A bit over an hour, perhaps?

Total Cost: Ingredients on hand.

How Successful Was It?: Not very.  It ended up somewhat grainy in texture, and didn't taste particularly noteworthy--mostly just like sherry.  Perhaps it would work better with different quantities of cream and sugar in the custard?  Or with the right kind of wine?  I probably won't be making this again.  In fact, all of the recipes I try which contain sherry end unsuccessfully, so I probably will avoid it in the future.

How Accurate Is It?: Usual disclaimer about using modern heat sources.

Posset, 1855 recipe

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