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Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London

Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London

Last week I went on a business trip to the UK to meet with Ann-Marie Dyas and John Siddall of The Fine Cheese Co., the eminent maturer, wholesaler, retailer, and exporter of British cheeses. Founded and based in Bath, England, The Fine Cheese Co.’s cheese shops ­– one in Bath, and a second that recently opened in London’s fashionable Belgravia neighborhood – are two of the most skillfully curated artisan cheese shops I’ve ever set foot in. Not only that, but each shop has a café that features incredible cheese plates and menu items as well.

After noshing at their Belgravia café on the day I arrived, Ann-Marie and John were eager to show me the vast range of cheese options London fine dining has to offer.

Our first stop was Bombay Brasserie, a much-lauded, spacious Indian restaurant that featured a stellar piano player and impeccable service. I ordered the peeli mirch paneer soola, a tandoori-roasted house-made paneer cheese that had been marinated in a yellow chili paste and cooked in the smoky clay oven until the edges were charred. Scrumptious.

The next evening, we dined at The Dining Room at The Goring Hotel, a Michelin-starred restaurant located just a block from Buckingham Palace. On this occasion I doubled up on cheese dishes, starting with a truffled cauliflower custard served with warm Montgomery Cheddar straws, then diving into a cep mushroom risotto topped with crispy chanterelles and a generous measure of grated Rachel, a goat’s milk cheese from our friends at White Lake Cheese. The risotto was rich, creamy and perfectly satisfying on a chilly London evening.

The following day, my Fine Cheese friends and I went to Wiltons in the St. James neighborhood. Wiltons has been a bastion of British dining since 1742 (!), and walking in felt like stepping back in time. Known for its private-club-like atmosphere and some of the most polished, attentive service around, I found the food to be stellar as well. I started with a delicious twice-cooked Cropwell Bishop Stilton Soufflé, then my main course was house-made tagliatelle pasta with morel mushrooms and a heaping mound of parmesan. (Word to the wise: never turn down a heaping mound of parmesan.)

On my last day in London I took a solo jaunt into the famed Harrod’s Food Hall, a gallery filled with a massive variety of exquisite specialty foods. I found my way to the basement to check out their wine selection and discovered Tartufi & Friends restaurant; truffles are a good friend of mine, so I grabbed a seat at the counter. I ordered a menu item I simply couldn’t pass up – griddled polenta in an Italian cheese fondue topped with shaved truffles – and was not disappointed. The earthy truffles, pleasant crust on the polenta, and the lush melted cheese were the ideal end to a cheese tour of London.

You can follow Raymond's cheese adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and his website. Additional reporting by Madeleine James.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


Hooked on Cheese: The Cheeses of London - Recipes

These little edible creatures appear to have been moulded in chocolate, but in fact are made from succulent medlar cheese. This unusual sweetmeat was a Victorian variation on the medieval spiced fruit paste called chardequince, though it was made from that Cinderella of the British orchard, the medlar, rather than the more popular quince.

The bletted medlars are softened in an earthernware jar placed in a saucepan of gently boiling water.

After being rubbed through a fine sieve, the medlar paste is mixed with the sugar and allspice and cooked gently in a preserving pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

You will know it is ready when it darkens and then becomes thicker, leaving the pan clean as the paste is stirred, as in the above photograph. Before filling, the moulds should be lightly brushed with almond oil .

Flavoured with allspice, the medlar "cheeses" have been made in little tinned copper moulds that were known to Victorian cooks as entrée moulds. They were designed for moulding little novelty entrée dishes from savoury forcemeats, though they were also used (as here) for sweet foods. Nowadays, antique dealers, who often incorrectly list them as chocolate moulds, frequently polish off the outside coating of tin to reveal the copper underneath. Although they look more attractive like this, they are not as useful in the kitchen, as the copper quickly gets stained by fruit acids and is difficult to clean.

Before they can be used medlars need to be "bletted" (see Robert May's Medlar Tart on how to do this). Theodore Garrett was the editor of the magisterial Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery, (London 188 ), probably the most important English recipe collection of the nineteenth century and a book that deserves to be much more widely known. His recipe is printed below in his own words.

Put some Medlars into an earthernware jar, stand it in a saucepan with boiling water nearly to the top and keep it boiling gently over a slow fire. When the Medlars are quite soft, pass them through a fine hair sieve, and weigh the pulp, and for every pound allow one and a half breakfast cups of coarsely crushed loaf sugar and half a teaspoonful of allspice. Put all the ingredients together in the preserving pan, and stir them over the fire with a wooden spoon until thickly reduced, skimming occasionally. Turn the cheese into moulds, and keep them in a cold place. When ready to serve, turn the cheeses out of the moulds on to a dish.

From Theodore Garrett The Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London 188 )

This recipe is a descendent of the chardequince and chardewarden spiced fruit pastes of the late medieval period, though these were made from quinces and pears respectively. Other fruit pastes belonging to this interesting family were cotoniack and quiddany, once commonly made in England, but now more or less extinct. The banquetting stuffe sections in seventeenth century recipe collections indicate that these pastes were also made from a wide range of other fruits, such as pippins, apricots and cherries.

Click the swan dish in the left column to find out more about entrée moulds.


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