Nothing beats a smooth and tasty cone of ice cream any time of the year, right?
I really have to admit that ice cream is one of my weaknesses… But let’s have this stay between you and me!
Though I know, you can’t deny it either...And guess what!
Our favorite Regency Era ladies and gentlemen couldn’t live without it!
But how could they have ice cream back in a day with no refrigerators or freezers?
That’s a good question and apparently, they managed to gather huge chunks of ice from ponds and rivers during winter and then store it in special underground chambers or icehouses!
And as if that’s not impressive enough, ice cream was so popular that the experiments with flavours were endless! We’re talking about burnt filbert ice cream, muscadine ices, royal ice cream and the most unusual one ever, Parmesan ice cream!
Let’s take a tour back into the past and explore this peculiar flavor, which, I myself, have tried!
Wanna know how it was? Keep reading!
First of all, let’s imagine ourselves in the 1810s…
Summer is upon us and we seek to find enjoyment in paying long visits to all relatives that live in the country. The sun is hot and we can only find comfort in something cold and refreshing.
Thankfully our hosts are wealthy enough to have ice and we can have some to cool ourselves. The servants present us with these delicacies:
Of course I would try all of them and I know we would love them too! Until Parmesan Ice Cream...
Parmesan ice cream was an Italian invention and according to 16th century confectioner Frederick Nutt, this is how you make it:
Take six eggs, half a pint of syrup and a pint of cream, put them into a stewpan and boil them until it begins to thicken; then rasp three ounces of parmesan cheese, mix and pass them through a sieve, and freeze it.
As the ingredients begin to boil in your stewpan (or whatever your twenty-first century equivalent is), the wet mixture will begin to stick to the sides, like a very wet omelet. You’ll find that, by the sieving point, this mixture will actually resist sieving (try to imagine straining on omelet), but repeated banging will produce a full ramekin of the warm creamy egg-y sweet cheese liquid.
It looks something like this:
I would suggest you make the half portion, as you will not be able to give this away to people. I almost ended up with no friends by doing so..
I was really afraid of trying it and I didn’t know what it would taste like. Well long story short, I spat it out. To me, this tasted more like frozen parmesan cheese with syrup than ice cream. Cheese, good. Ice cream, good. Cheese ice cream? BAD.
I would only recommend this recipe to the very brave or the extreme parmesan lovers. I don’t know what Regency Era people found in this and loved it so much, but I guess they ate other peculiar stuff too, right?
Of course, you know that I wouldn’t let you down like that and this is why I found an actually very tasty ice cream flavour from the Regency:
Brown Bread Ice Cream (from Mary-Anne Boermans’ Great British Baking)
For the toasted bread crumbs
100g demerara sugar
150g wholemeal breadcrumbs (don’t bother to make your own bread — this is the 1800s, after all — we can buy bread).
For the meringue “ice cream”
2 egg whites
pinch of salt
a few drops lemon juice
90g caster sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 390 F. Mix the bread crumbs and sugar together and spread onto a lined baking sheet for 10 minutes. Remove, stir and bake for another five minutes. Stir again and set aside to cool.
2. Whisk egg whites, salt and lemon juice in a bowl until frothy. Then, beat until they form stiff peaks. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of the caster sugar and whip until stiff, glossy peaks. Set aside.
3. Heat the remaining 60g of sugar and add 60 milliliters of water to a pan, until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup bubbles up to form a sticky mass.
4. Very slowly, pour the hot syrup into the egg white mixture with beaters running, until the mixture is cool to the touch (10–15 minutes).
5. Add vanilla extract to the double cream and whip to soft peaks.
6. Stir the caramelized breadcrumbs into the whipped cream. Then, fold in the meringue mixture.
7. Divide into ramekins and freeze. Serve with caramelized breadcrumbs on the side.
All this talk of ice creams has made me hungry!
I’m gonna have some of this brown bread ice cream now…
Would you try any of these?
Written by Hazel Linwood!