Today is the end of Confectionary week at the Old Foodie. I want to talk to you about prawlongs. Prawlongs (or prawlins) appear in a couple of old confectionary books, and I have been intrigued about the name for a while. I was going to ask your help in puzzling out what they are, as the OED, Google, and Wikipedia are of no use at all. Silly me. I should have looked at the recipes – I mean, really looked at them. When I did, the answer was embarrassingly obvious. Prawlongs are Pralines, which the OED does know about. They are ‘a confection made by browning almonds or other nuts in boiling sugar.’ Mrs. Kettilby in her book Above 300 Receipts (1714) also calls them Fry’d Almonds, which I like. There is nothing so consistent as inconsistency in culinary language however, and one of the supporting quotations in the OED is from
For no better reason than that his name fits his subject, I have chosen a recipe for prawlongs from Frederick Nutt’s The Complete Confectioner, published in 1807.
He gives recipes for lemon, orange, pistachio (red), pistachio (white), burnt filbert (red), and orange flower prawlongs, as well as burnt almonds and filberts.
Burnt Filbert Prawlongs, Red.
Take some Barcelona nuts and crack them, put the kernals into a copper pan or sheet, and put them in the oven to roast; have a pan with syrup boiling and let it boil till it becomes almost to carimel; put a little cochineal in a cup, when the sugar is boiled, add it to it and the filberts, and stir them very much with a large wooden spoon, till you find the sugar is got hard around them; put them in a sieve, and separate them which stick together; have another pan, with syrup in, and boil it as before and as high; put the same quantity of cochineal in, and mix them as before, because the second time you do them, the finer the colour will be, and then put them in your box.
Apart from the fact that it sounds delicious, there are two other great things about this recipe. Firstly, it gives me another new-old food word – ‘
In the meanwhile, if any of you hail from
Quotation for the Day …