SEVILLE ORANGES

The receipt, “An Orange Pudding Another Way,” from Elizabeth Moxon’s English Housewifry, 1764, cookery book intrigued me. I love to make puddings and this seemed special, as she uses Seville oranges. These oranges are very bitter, and most often you find them being made into marmalades with lots of sugar. So how would they taste as a pudding? Late February I went off to my local specialty store to see if I could acquire some. As it happened, they were available and I just needed to order them, which I did.  When they called me to let me know they were in, I purchased a dozen and went home. I put them in the closet under the pantry sink and there they kept very well. A week later I tried the receipt and loved it. This is a keeper, and I’m sure it could be made with any orange. Following are the results of the Orange Pudding made in the last workshop.

After cutting a small, round top off the oranges, Lynn and Mary grabbed spoons and scooped out the meat. The next task was to try and remove as much pith as possible without breaking through the skin. It was important to the overall taste of the finish pudding to have the bitterness gone.1

To insure that the pudding would be sweet, the carved-out oranges and tops were boiled for 15 minutes, then removed and boiled in clean water again. This helps reduce the bitterness, and make the skin softer.

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While the oranges boiled, the pudding was made. Naples biscuits were torn asunder and put in a pot, with cream, to scald. Eggs were whipped and added slowly to the cream mixture and blended together.2copy

With the addition of a glass of sack, sugar, currants, and a bit of salt, the pudding was ready. The oranges were cool enough to handle. Like most boiled puddings, this was going to be done in a cloth. I had made individual bags for the oranges out of fine linen. An orange was placed in each bag and the pudding mixture spooned into it.3copy

The tops were placed on the stuffed oranges, and the bags tied. Mary gave us all a good laugh as she used what she called a half-hitch knot to tie the bags to the supports on the pot. Then again, what would you expect from someone who lives by the sea? As long as the oranges did not touch the bottom, and stayed in the bag, we were safe. The pot was placed over the fire and boiling water was added. The pot was watched for the next 45 minutes to make sure it never stopped boiling. When the pudding was done, the oranges were placed into the pantry to cool.

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There was some pudding left over, so the girls put it in a dish and grated some nutmeg over it. HMMM, NUTMEG!! If you notice, I never mentioned nutmeg above in the ingredients they use. It seems that it was forgotten. The dish went into the oven and came out smelling wonderful. We had high hopes for stuffed Seville oranges.

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At the end of Moxon’s receipt she writes, “You must have a little white wine, butter and sugar for a sauce.” Our sauce included dry sack instead and was warmed by the fire while we waited for the rest of the meal to be done.9 copy

Natalie and Mary removed the oranges from their bags and placed one on each plate. In the 18th century, you ate dessert with your meal. (How civilized!)

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The Orange Puddings came out wonderfully, and, with the sweet, buttery sauce poured over it, you did not notice that the nutmeg was missing.

This is definitely, as I said before, a keeper receipt; unique, yet simple and elegant.

 Sandie

 Fine Sevil oranges, fine lemon, fine;

Round, sound and tender, inside and rine

(An old street cry of London)

WE HAVE A WINNER!!!

WAFERS 101-3

I was not going to give up until I found the perfect wafer receipt. I looked at every wafer receipt I could find and read everything I could online about making them. I had emails from supporters cheering me on. I even received an email from both Clarissa Dillon and Mercy Ingram, who have been following my tale of woe.

They had made wafers a few weeks ago – not just to make wafers, however. It seems Clarrisa is working on a publication celebrating the arrival of the Dutch and the founding of New Amsterdam 400 years ago. And the Dutch made wafers. Mercy emailed me great pictures of the process and the receipt, To Fry Wafers, from the Sensible Cook, Dutch Foodways in the Old and the New World, translated and edited by Peter Rose. It has a lot of cinnamon in it and ginger. So I printed this receipt as a possibility.

Still searching, I found “To make the best Wafers,” Gervase Markham, The English Housewife: Banqueting and made dishes. Others seemed to have success with this receipt. I also re-read a great article by Louise Miller, The Wafer – A Delicate Dessert. This had the receipt, “To make Goofer Wafers” from the English Housewifery by Elizabeth Moxon, 1764.

I really liked the name of Elizabeth’s receipt. What are goofers? With a bit of research I found that in the Oxford English Dictionary it is spelled gofer and is defined as a thin batter-cake with a honeycomb pattern stamped by an iron plate and Gofer irons is mentioned. So that is where the interesting name comes from. My wafer irons is the same as Moxmon’s Gooffer irons.

It’s Sunday night again and Allan fires up the hearth. Elizabeth’s receipt won the shuffle on the table and I cut it down by a fourth. I instantly loved the batter. It was much thicker than pancake batter and stuck to the spoon. We heated up the goofer iron and I put a blob of the batter in the middle on the hot side. Allan closed it up, this time there was a loud whistling sound as steam escaped. OH! Horror, visions of last week swam in my head, batter spitting out everywhere. BUT NO, I could smell the cinnamon and nutmeg and everything looked okay. After a few minutes of turning, Allan opened it up and I took a picture of the best looking wafer we have made so far.

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As they came off the hot iron, I rolled them up, for the first one I used the tin cone. However, I really wanted to try to make them like piroulines.

I grabbed a wooden spoon and put some butter on it and I began rolling the wafers while still hot. First I was doing it on the plate and they were not very tight. I took some parchment paper and put it on the table then rolled them and that seemed better, yet still not small and tight as I would have liked.

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Allan went to the basement and came back up with a ¼ inch dowel washed it and buttered it. This worked better, still not the size of a pirouline. Perhaps it is because the size of the wafer is not large enough.

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However, by now, I’m beaming and ecstatic that I found a receipt that I can share at the Just Dessert Workshop in a few weeks. It took trial and error and I appreciate the encourgament from everyone.

I will take these wafers and put them in a tin and see how long they will last. Not because we would eat them in short order, however, because I want to see if they will still be as good in six months as when they were first made. By the way the receipt made 8 wafers and one was shared by Allan and me. Yes, this is definitely a keeper receipt. It tasted wonderful.

Sandie

Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.

Napoleon Hill