Austen, ice cream and summer


Inspired (somewhat) by Carolyn’s post yesterday I’ve been over at History Hoydens today talking about eels and thought I’d talk today about summer and summer foods.

First, here’s a great link to some recipes from the online newsletter from the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, including the delectable Anne Elliott’s Apricot Ice Cream.

The modern recipe you’ll find there is based on one in Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Housekeeping Made Plain and Easy (1756):

Pare and stone twelve ripe apricots, and scald them, beat them fine in a mortar, add to them six ounces of double refined sugar, and a pint of scalding cream, and work it through a sieve; put it in a tin with a close cover, and set it in a tub of ice broke small, with four handfuls of salt mixed among the ice. When you see your cream grows thick round the edges of your tin, stir it well and put it in again till it is quite thick; when the cream is all froze up, take it out of the tin, and put it into the mould you intend to turn it out of; put on the lid and have another tub of salt and ice ready as before; put the mould in the middle, and lay the ice under and over it; let it stand for four hours, and never turn it out till the moment you want it, then dip the mould in cold spring water, and turn it into a plate. You may do any sort of fruit the same way.

Another delicious morsel you might have missed was Jonathan Yardley’s article in the Washington Post, Pride. Prejudice. Perfection, one in a series of rereading favorite books. His article is a lovely tribute to his mother, a lifelong admirer of Austen, who, like Mr. Bennett, with a book in her hand was “regardless of time.”

Oh, wait. Summer. A great time for reading and re-reading, for eating delicious seasonal foods (peaches, anyone?). I have finally read Naomi Novik’s latest, such a sad book, but with some phenomenal battle scenes, and writing (although not nearly enough) and not getting nearly enough ice cream.

What have you been doing?

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