Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Pufferties and Bennies

.I came across a lovely new (for me) source of recipes and inspiration recently.  The New Practice of Cookery, Pastry, Baking, and Preserving: Being the Country Housewife's Best Friend, published in 1804, by Mrs. Hudson and Mrs. Donat.  The authors were "Present and Late Housekeepers and Cooks to Mrs Buchan Hepburn of Smeaton" and the book was apparently published "by her permission."  The book is an interesting demonstration of the incorporation of foreign recipes into the English cook's repertoire, and the associated rather  amusing  interpretation of the names of the dishes. Firstly, some Dutch Pufferties - which are clearly poffertjes. I do rather like the English word, it is a nice example also of folk etymology - these little treats do puff up, after all.

To make Dutch Pufferties.
Take one pint of cream and six eggs, five spoonfuls of fine flour, one of sugar, one of yeast, mix these all then together, then melt a quarter of a pound of fresh butter, and mix it with the rest, then put them into custard cups, sift a little fine sugar over the tops, and send them to the oven to bake.

The book also contains the following recipe for 'Bennies.' It took me a few moments to realise that these are 'Beignets.'

To make Bennies.
Take a pint of milk, three spoonfuls of spring water, set it on the fire, and when it boils, put in as much flour as you can, then beat it in a mortar, and while beating, put in five eggs, one at a time with a little sugar; dip the top of a large key in boiling fat, and with that cut the fritters; you must fry them in mutton or beef suet; the longer you beat them, the lighter they are.

The book also includes recipes for 'Meringles' and 'Ramikents' - and I am sure you can guess what they are.

And finally, although it does not strictly fit the theme, I cannot resist giving you the following recipe for what is surely a variation of Yorkshire Pudding, from the other side of the Pennines?

Lancashire Pancake Pudding.
Two eggs, three spoonfuls of fine flour and a little salt, beat these together, and add to them near an English pint of water; take of the drippings of roasting mutton one or two spoonfuls, and put them into the frying pan, set it over the fire, when hot, pour in the above mixture, then set the pan over a chaffing dish of red hot coals, and set it before the fire; bake it as^quick as you can about ten or fifteen minutes: It must not be turned.

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