Fanchonettes

Fanchonettes are a type of French tart, traditionally topped with meringue. This recipe comes from Charles Elmé Francatelli, who most likely learned how to make them when he was training under Antonin Carême, a famous French chef at the time. The 1836 English translation of Carême’s books, French Cookery, contains a similar recipe for fanchonettes, which can be flavored with vanilla, almonds, coffee, currants, pistachios, hazelnuts, or apricots. I chose to make Francatelli’s version, however, because his fanchonettes are made with chocolate – my favorite.

Read More »

Christmas Pudding

Eliza Acton, one of the first authors to provide a recipe for a specifically “Christmas” pudding, actually included 3 different recipes for Christmas puddings in her encyclopedic work, Modern Cookery in all its Branches. This one, titled “The Author’s Christmas Pudding,” is evidently her own recipe; she calls it a “remarkably light small rich pudding.”

Read More »

Macaroni a la Reine

Macaroni and cheese was one of my favorite foods as a kid. Growing up, it never occurred to me that my favorite comfort food might have historic origins. However, macaroni and cheese dates back to at least the Middle Ages, and became popular in Europe and America during the 18th and 19th centuries. I decided to try Eliza Acton’s macaroni and cheese recipe from her 1845 cookbook Modern Cookery in all its Branches to see what historic macaroni and cheese would’ve tasted like.

Read More »