Edward Kidder (1665?-1739), a renowned pastry chef in eighteenth-century London, was also a very successful teacher of the culinary arts. Kidder's scholars were able to record his recipes in small leatherbound notebooks—most likely in the 1720s and 1730s—that through careful ownership have survived the passage of time. This facsimile edition reproduces one such notebook, written in a flowing and confident hand, as well as a typeset transcription of the manuscript, a historical and culinary introduction, updated recipes for today's chefs, and a glossary which defines Kidder's once-familiar terms.

The entrepreneurial Kidder probably dictated this book with his students in mind; surely they would already know how to prepare meats from veal and venison for baking and how hot to make the fire. The notebook contains many recipes for meat "pyes" and pasties with meat, plus recipes for puddings and cakes and meat, poultry, and fish main dishes: First Dishes, Bottome Dishes, Side Dishes, For Ye Midle, Second Course, and Plates. Many recipes have surprising starting points, such as Pidgeon Peares:

Bone your pidgeons all but one leg & put that thro' ye side out at ye vent cut off ye toes & fill them with forced meat made of ye hart & liver & cover them with a tender forced meat being washd over with ye batter of egges & shape them like peares then wash them over & roul them in scalded chopt spinnage…

and then a Regalia of Cowcumbers, a Swan Pye, and a Calves head hasht. These recipes predate modern squeamishness about cooking with organ meats and consuming animal fat and display a sense of familiarity with and awareness of flesh that are no longer second nature to cooks. From the perspective of the twentieth century the language seems oddly direct, "take ye flesh of a foul beef suet & marrow ye same quantity," and personalized, as in "toss up a handfull of chopt capers."

An Almond Custard

From the 18th Century Text

Blanch & pound them in a mortor very fine in the beating ad thereto a little milk press it thro' a sieve & make it as the aforesaid custard Boyle a qt. of cream or milk with a stick of cinnamon a quarterd nutmeg & large mace then mix it with 8 eggs well beat a little salt sugar sack & orange flower water strain it then put to it 4 grated biskets an handful of currants as many raisons of the sun the marrow of 2 bones all to 4 large pieces then gather it to a body over the fier & put it in a dish having the brim thereof garnished with puff past & raisd in the oven then lay on the 4 pieces of marrow colourd knots & pasts slicd cittrons & lemon piele 1/2 an hour will bake it.

Duke of Buckingham's Pudding

A modernized version of Kidder's recipe

Serves 4

4 cups shredded suet
1 cup raisins
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar

4 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons sherry
2 tablespoons sugar

Mix together the first set of ingredients. Tie in a cloth and boil 2-3 hours. Combine the melted butter, sherry, and sugar and pour over the top just before serving.

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Publication Details

Publication Date
192 pages
1 drawing