Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Saucy Lemon.

The lemon butter/cheese/curd which featured in Monday’s post is eminently suitable to use as a sauce on puddings, pancakes, crepes, popovers, scones – whatever you wish, but the lemon has a lot more to offer in the sauce department. I want to give you a generous sample of lemon sauces today.

Firstly, if mint sauce be essential to your roast lamb, but you want to ring the changes without destroying the tradition, this might work:

Lemon Mint Sauce.
You will find this a decided improvement over the ordinary mint sauce. Mix together cupful of orange and lemon juice, and finely chopped mint (fresh), and add 1 full tablespoonful of sugar (powdered), and a tiny pinch of salt and powdered mace. Stir well and set over hot water for half an hour.
The Queenslander, (Brisbane) May 9, 1929

If it is fowl that you want lemon-sauced, the following pair of recipes demonstrate the enduring power of some recipes.
Lemon Sauce.
Pare the rind off a lemon, cut it into slices, take the kernels out, and cut it into small square bits. Blanch the liver of a fowl, and chop it fine. Mix the lemon and liver together in a boat, pour on some hot melted butter, and stir it up.
The Universal Cook: and City and Country Housekeeper (1792); Francis Collingwood

Amazingly, the essentially the same recipe popped up in an English newspaper in 1939.

Lemon and Liver Sauce.
This is excellent with boiled fowl.
Peel, core, and dice a lemon. Blanch the liver of the bird, chop it finely, and mix it with the lemon in a small pan. Pour over sufficient hot melted butter. Stir and give it a boil. A simpler sauce is made by putting the diced lemon in three-quarters of a pint of melted butter, simmering (but not boiling) it, and pouring it over the fowl.
The Times, Monday, May 22, 1939

If we can revert to the sweet sauce idea, here is a simple lemon syrup option, from the Bride’s Cook Book, by Edgar William Briggs, 1915.

Lemon Sauce.
Boil one cup sugar and one cup water together fifteen minutes, then remove; when cooled a little, add one-half teaspoon extract lemon and one tablespoon lemon juice.

Or this similar, yet interestingly different version of lemon syrup.

Lemon Sauce for Puddings.
Put the thin rind of a lemon and three tablespoonfuls of powdered sugar into a saucepan with half a pint of water. Simmer gently for twenty minutes, then add the juice of a lemon and a wineglassful of gin. Strain and serve. Two or three drops of cochineal may be added, if liked.
Cassell’s Dictionary of Cookery (1870 c)

But, really, why would you have anything else but custard on your pudding?

Lemon Custard.
Put the thin rind of two lemons into a pint of cream, and soak until the flavour is extracted. Boil the cream, and pour it gradually over the well-whisked yolks of eight eggs. Remove the lemon rind, add a tablespoonful of brandy, and two tablespoonfuls of madeira. Pour the mixture into a jug, place it in a pan of boiling water, and stir it one way until it thickens. Serve either in cups or on a dish.
Cassell’s Dictionary of Cookery (1870 c)

Quotation for the Day.

The iuyce of orenges or lymons may be taken after meales in a lyttell quantitie.
Thomas Elyot, Castel of Helthe, 1539

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