Pine-apple Ice-cream and orange jelly

These sound rather nice don’t they?

Pine-apple ice-cream— Slice one large pine-apple thin, and scatter one pound of sugar between the slices ; cover it, and let the fruit steep three hours ; then cut or chop fine in the syrup and strain through a sieve ; beat gradually into one quart of cream, and freeze rapidly. If you like, reserve a few slices of pine-apple unsugared, cut into squares, and stir through the cream when half frozen.

Orange jelly. — Grate the peel of five fine oranges and two lemons into a bowl; squeeze the juice of them into it; boil one pound of sugar in a quart of water, and, when quite boiling, pour it over two ounces of isinglass; stir until it is dissolved; add the juice to it, strain through coarse muslin, and let it stand until half cold; then pour gently into moulds which have been wet with cold water. Before turning out put the moulds into warm water; loosen the edges with a spoon.

These recipes are form a newspaper published in 1879, in New South Wales. What interests me is the tone of the recipe, really not dissimilar to recipes published in newspapers and magazines today. I guess if you asked most people when home cooks started making their own ice-cream they would guess a much more recent date, but here we are nearly a hundred and forty years go, home cooks making pineapple ice-cream. I’m sure they didn’t have home freezers, but maybe they bought ice – but how would that ice have been made? Did they have commercial freezer units and housewives bought ice from them? or did refrigerated ships sail south to Antarctica and collect ice from the frozen wastes? The idea of having chunks of pineapple stirred into the ice-cream also seems modern – and to our twenty-first century taste.

Jelly is still quite popular, but these days we buy packets of it to dissolve and then make up. In this old recipe they don’t use gelatin but isinglass… my dad who was a scientist in food research, researching collagen; he said someone could make their fortune if they discovered a substitute for isinglass – I don’t know if anyone has… it comes from fish, and this is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

Isinglass is a substance obtained from the dried swim bladders of fish. It is a form of collagen used mainly for the clarification or fining of some beer and wine. It can also be cooked into a paste for specialised gluing purposes. Its origin is from the obsolete Dutch huizenblaas – huizen is a kind of sturgeon, and blaas is a bladder. Isinglass is no longer sourced from sturgeon. Although originally made exclusively from sturgeon, especially beluga, in 1795 an invention by William Murdoch facilitated a cheap substitute using cod. This was extensively used in Britain in place of Russian isinglass.

These days everything is so instant – if we don’t buy pre-made jelly, we have easy to make jelly; we would never juice fruit, pound loaf sugar into powder, strain anything through muslin, before pouring into moulds and waiting to set then turning out onto a plate – the moulds would have been decorative to make a fancy dessert.

I have no pictures of pine-apples, pineapples, or oranges, so er is an orange house as my featured image.

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