Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bacon Week: Part the Third.

I have noticed recently a spate of recipes popping up - mostly in blogs - for bacon in such ‘odd’ things as doughnuts, muffins, ice-cream, and even alcoholic beverages. There are probably more blogs devoted to bacon than to any other single food (with the exception of bread), and perhaps this recipe angle can be attributed to the drive for novelty, and the hope that this novelty will provoke blog hits.

There is nothing really ‘novel’ of course about something like bacon as an ingredient for ‘sweet’ dishes (although I am not so sure if this is true about alcoholic drinks!). In medieval times, as we know, there was not the strong distinction between ‘sweet’ and ‘savoury’ dishes that is familiar now. Sugar was very expensive in medieval times, it being an exotic imported item, and it was used more in the way of a spice. An early iteration of ‘blancmange’ was, as we have seen previously, a dish of chicken, rice, almonds, cream and eggs, sweetened with sugar.

Here is an interesting dish from the early eighteenth century. It is a sort of elegant, creamy, bacon custard pie which would be quite sweet as it contains ‘a handful of sugar’

A Bacon Pudding.
A Quart of Cream, and boil it, with a handful of Sugar, an a little Butter; Yolks of eight Eggs, and three Whites, boil it together, with three spoonfuls of Flower [flour] and two spoonfuls of Cream; when the Cream boils, put in the Eggs, stirring it till it comes to be thick, and put it in a Dish, and let it cool; then beat a Piece of fat Bacon in a Stone Mortar, till it comes to be like Lard, take out all the Strings from it, and put your Cream to it little by little till it’s well mixed; then put some Puff-past round the Brim of your Dish, and a thin Leaf at Bottom, and pour it into the Dish. Do the Top Chequerwise with Puff-Paste, and let it bake half an Hour.
Court Cookery: or, the Compleat English Cook, Smith, 1725.

Quotation for the Day

I eat bacon for breakfast, bacon for lunch, and I drink my dinner.
Grumpy Old Men (movie)

1 comment:

Shay said...

My mother used to include half-slices of bacon in our waffles, which we then doused with butter and maple syrup and devoured.

(This was only an occaisonal treat; I did not realize until I was an adult that my childhood was singularly bereft of such normal American commodities as candy, cookies, soda pop, potato chips, cupcakes, muffins, etc. We were never allowed snacks and our candy disappeared the day after Hallowe'en).

Anyway, reminiscing aside, the combination of hot waffles, crisp salty bacon, melted butter and maple syrup was DIVINE.