Cookbook dating back to 1690 reveals Georgian recipes

Historians trying to hunt down authors of cookbook dating back almost 200 years. Photo: Westminster City Council

A hidden hoard of eighteenth century recipes has come to light for the first time in nearly 200 years in a central London archives centre.

Staff at Westminster City Councils Archives Centre came across the recipes earlier this year in a digital project where some sources were posted online and began sharing its culinary delights in the Cookbook of Unknown Ladies blog.

With more than 350 recipes dating from 1690 to 1830, followers of the online blog will be able to find out how to make dishes such as Veal kidney Florentine, a pastry tart with kidney, apples, lettuce, orange peel, spices and currants, or Mammas Mince Pyes, made with a mince mixture of candied fruits and cows tongue.

A Veal kidney Florentine Credit: Westminster City Council

The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies blog is so-called because the authors of the handwritten recipes are unknown, but believed to be dishes which would have been cooked in the Georgian family home.

Local historians are now trying to piece together the information to find out more about the unknown cooks of the seventeenth century.

Orange and lemon dumplings Credit: Westminster City Council

Here are the top recipes:

  • Sweet spinach tart - Cooked with almonds, brandy, nutmeg and half a pound of sugar.
  • Stuffed carrot puddings - Carrots stuffed with grated bread, cinnamon, sugar and currants, creating a texture akin to sausagemeat.
  • Tansy - An egg dish, similar to an omelette, coloured green with spinach water and flavoured with the bitter juice of tansy flower.
  • Veal kidney Florentine - A pastry tart with kidney, apples, lettuce, orange peel, spices and currants.
  • Tort de Moy - A tart with minced chicken meat, candied fruits, almonds and bone marrow - this was a dish also served at James IIs coronation in 1685.
  • Tewahdiddle - A Regency cocktail of beer, brandy, sugar, ginger, nutmeg and lemon peel.
  • Mammas Mince Pyes - Mince pies with a mixture of candied fruits and cows tongue.
  • Sheeps Head Soup - exactly what it says - a soup made from a sheeps head.