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From an Eighteenth-Century Kitchen

Posted in resources by Editor on April 3, 2010

If this Easter weekend has you thinking about eggs, you might consider this eighteenth-century recipe for Princess Poached Eggs from the blog, 18thC Cuisine. Written by Carolyn Smith-Kizer, the site focuses especially on French cuisine of the period “as a habitante in Nouvelle France may have cooked,” complete with “Anglo and other American influences.”

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Princess Poached Eggs.
Start by dissolving sugar [simple syrup], cooking until it takes a consistency of syrup; break eggs, using only the yolks, put each one in an eating spoon, & hold in the syrup, until they are cooked; make as many and as cooked [hard or soft] as you like, & when your dish is filled, sprinkle with sugar, and when they are served, pour a little Orange flower water over them and add a grating of candied lemon peel.

Interesting taste, one of those items of which you close your eyes before you take a bite–reminds me of what I thought was crazy when the boys in the cafeteria at college in East Texas poured pancake syrup on their eggs–but it actually tastes good. Evidently it is still appreciated in Quebec where they pour maple syrup over eggs.

*****Œufs pochez à la Princesse.
On commence par faire fondre du sucre qu’on cuit, jusqu’à ce qu’il ait pris une consistance de syrop; on casse des œufs dont on ne prend que les jaunes, qu’on met l’un aprés l’autre dans une cuilliere à bouche, & qu’on tient ainsi dans le syrop, jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient cuits, on en fait tant qu’on en veut de cette maniere, & lorsque le plat est rempli, on les poudre de sucre, puis on les sert, piquez d’écorce de citron confits, avec de l’eau de fleur d’Orange, qu’on verse pardessus.

Le Menage de la Ville et des Champs, et le Jardinier François, Louis Liger & Nicolas de Bonnefons. Chez Jean Leonard, Brussels, 1712, p.156-157.

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Warm thanks to Carolyn Smith-Kizer for permission to republish this posting. For an interview with her, click here»