Thursday, December 04, 2014

Forty Miles from a Lemon.

What to do when you are forty miles from a lemon, but absolutely need to make lemonade? Yesterday’s resource - From Twenty lessons in domestic science: a condensed home study course, glossary of usual culinary terms, pronunciations and definitions, marketing, food principles, functions of food, methods of cooking, etc. (1916) gives you a solution.

Lemons in Drinks.
“When one is forty miles from a lemon, one may still have ‘lemonade’ by using citric acid in crystals or pulverized, with or without a pure lemon tincture as flavoring. No ill effects can accrue from using such trifling quantity as required to make tart a drink or pudding sauce. It cannot completely take the place of the fruit juice, but, as it is the acid found in, and taken from the fruits of the citrus family, it can be substituted, therefore, if necessary, in moderation without harm.” – R.M. Fletcher Berry.

Sadly, the book did not include recipes for lemonade and pudding sauce using citric acid, so I was forced to look elsewhere.

Lemonade Powder.
Mix one part of citric acid with six parts of finely pounded loaf sugar, a very fine lemonade is thus prepared, which may be preserved for any length of time. The quantity of this mixture necessary to be put in a glass of water to make a pleasant drink must be regulated by the taste of the person using it.
Peterson’s Magazine (1858)

Or you can make your lemon drink with lemon syrup, made with citric acid and lemon essence:

Lemon Syrup.
Ingredients: 2 lbs. of loaf sugar, 2 pints of water, 1 oz. of citric acid, ½ drachm [i.e. 1/32 of an ounce] of essence of lemon.
Mode: Boil the sugar and water together for ¼ hour, and put it into a basin, where let it remain till cold. Beat the citric acid to a powder, mix the essence of lemon with it, then add these two ingredients to the syrup; mix well, and bottle for use. Two tablespoons of the syrup are sufficient for a tumbler of cold water, and will be found a very refreshing summer drink.
Sufficient: 2 tablespoons of syrup to a tumblerful of cold water.
Mrs. Beeton’s Dictionary of Everyday Cookery (1865)

For beverage variety, how about this rather delicious idea, also using citric acid:

Strawberry Acid Royal.
Dissolve in a quart of spring water two ounces of citric acid, and pour it on as many quite ripe and richly-flavoured strawberries, stripped from their stalks, as it will just cover; in twenty-four hours drain the liquid closely from the fruit, and pour on it as much more; keep it in a cool place, and the next day drain it again entireyl from the fruit, and boil it gently for three or four minutes, with its weight of very fine sugar, which should be dissolved in it before it is placed over the fire. It should be boiled, if possible, in an enamelled stewpan. When perfectly cold put it into small dry bottles for use, and store it in a cool but not damp place. It is one of the most delicate and
deliciously flavoured preparations possible, and of beautiful colour.  If allowed to remain longer than the eight-and-forty hours before it is boiled, a brisk fermentation will commence. It must be well secured from the air when stored.
Water, 1 quart; citric acid, 2 ozs.; strawberries, 2 to 3 lbs: 24 hours. Same quantity of fruit: 24 hours. Equal weight of sugar and this liquid: 3 to 4 minutes at the utmost.

Modern Cookery, in All Its Branches(1845) by Eliza Acton.

There are other, more indirectly lemony things to do with citric acid of course:-

Anchovy Powder.
Pound the fish in a mortar, rub them through a sieve, make them into a paste with dried flour, roll it into thin cakes, and dry them in a Dutch oven before a slow fire. To this may be added a small portion of cayenne, grated lemon peel, and citric acid. Pounded to a fine powder, and put into a well-stopped bottle, it will keep for years. It is a very savoury relish, sprinkled on bread and butter for a sandwich.

A Modern System of Domestic Cookery (1823), M. Radcliffe.

And if old-fashioned confectionary is your thing, this just might hit the spot:

Acid Drops and Sticks.
Boil clarified sugar to the crack, and pour it on an oiled marble stone: pound some tartaric or citric acid to a fine powder, and strew over it about a half or three quarters of an ounce of the former, according to its quality, and less of the latter, to seven pounds of sugar; turn the edges over into the middle, and mix the acid by folding it over, or by working it in a similar manner as dough is moulded, but do not pull it; put it in a tin rubbed over with oil or butter, and place it under the stove to keep warm; then cut off a small piece at a time, and roll it into a round pipe; cut them off in small pieces the size of drops, with shears, and let your assistant roll them round under his hand, and flatten them. Mix them with powdered sugar, sift them from it, and keep them in boxes or glasses.
When flavoured with lemon, they are called lemon-acid drops,— with otto [attar] of roses, rose-acid drops. -The sticks are made in the same manner as the drops, without being cut into small pieces.

The Complete Confectioner, Pastry-cook, and Baker (1844)

1 comment:

milgwimper said...

I am not sure I would like the substitute for lemonade but the confection and the strawberry acid sounds delicious.