The Elegance Of A Milkmaid


Lemon Syllabub

If history has taught us anything, it’s that life was delicious in ancient times.  Although to enjoy such tasteful pleasures, you had to be of a certain stature in society or royalty.  Servants were commonly known as commoners, but there was nothing “common” on how this luscious dessert came about.  *The definition of my name is “Princess”, thank goodness*

Created back in the early 1500’s, this creamy dream from England had several spellings for the same name.  The one that appears to have made it to the 21st Century, is the “Syllabub”.  Quite possibly the silliest name for a dessert I’ve come across, yet there’s nothing silly about the flavor and texture of this treat.  A cream based pudding, often infused with citrus from lemons, mixed with sherry or wine, and then sweetened to taste.  A very light and fluffy dessert, with a smooth lemon finish.  *Spoken like Dr. Frasier Crane at a wine tasting*

The syllabub, a dessert that was not prepared in the kitchen and required quite the delicate hand, was made in the barn.  Oh the life of a milkmaid.  The master of the syllabub, milkmaids would pour beer or cider into a jug, topping it off with fresh warm milk straight from the cow.  This process caused the mixture to curdle.  It would be sweetened to taste and served.  GENIUS!  *MOOve over Kriss Harvey* 

Syllabub heavy whipping cream

Naturally this recipe has evolved just a bit.  As much as I am beyond intrigued by that technique, I don’t own a cow. *Dairy regulations ruin everything*  Heavy whipping cream is the best option for making this dessert hold true.  Over the years the liquid of choice has gone from beer and cider, to sherry or wine.  In this recipe, I chose a white table wine.  Perfect combination of cream, sugar, wine, and lemon juice/zest, makes this dessert absolutely decadent.

Once you have whipped the cream into a magical cloud, add the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and wine.  Continue to whisk until the cream forms again, into soft peaks.

Syllabub cream finale

Serve in a slightly chilled glass, top with a lemon slice and mint leaf for garnish.  I chose a shallow margarita glass, as I found this old world dessert needed a little 21st Century accessory.  *Did you lick the glass?  Yes, yes I did*

Recipe:  2 servings

1 cup of heavy whipping cream

1/2 of turbinado sugar; sugar in the raw

1/4 cup of white wine

1/8 of a cup of fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon of lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg; or to taste

mint leaves and thin lemon slices cut in half

In a chilled bowl (chill mixing bowl in refrigerator for one hour prior to making), begin whisking the cream until soft peaks form, about 20 minutes or so.  Then begin to add the sugar slowly, as to not deflate the cream.  Continue whisking until sugar is almost dissolved.  Then slowly add the lemon juice and wine.  Whisk until the cream forms peaks again.  Fold in the lemon zest.  Serve in a chilled glass, dust the top with nutmeg, and top with your garnishes of lemon slices and mint.  Enjoy!


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