Monday, June 15, 2020

Historic cooking at home - Benjamin Franklin's recipes

The American Philosophical Society, founded in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin in 1743, houses his papers, which include recipes in French. The APS “invited scholars, public historians, and chefs with a range of interests to share their reflections on Franklin, his recipes, and the culture of the eighteenth-century Atlantic World over the coming weeks” on their BLOG.  Other sites offer videos or old recipes, below.

Posts on the Franklin recipes thus far include recipes on Puff Paste
(recipe at end of post), Mince Pie and Chef Walter Staib. Gilbert Chiard compiled and translated the recipes in Benjamin Franklin on the Art of Eating, 1958. 

Other sites -
Jas Townsend & Sons Colonial to Federal HERE
Tasting History Max Miller youtube HERE
Cooking in the Archives: Updating Early Modern Recipes (1600-1800) in a Modern Kitchen HERE
Wyoming State Archives recipes from Wyoming cookbooks on Throwback Thursday HERE
Historical Society of Pennsylvania #foodiefridaysAtHSP  cookbooks & manuscripts HERE
New York Historical Society. Recipe of the Week. Handwritten manuscripts HERE
Detroit Historical Society. Pint-Sized Prohibitions. Cocktails HERE
Connor Prairie recipe videos HERE
Old Sturbridge Village recipe videos HERE

This post on cooking historic recipes sites is the most recent addition (and hopefully the last) in my list of things to watch or read online while staying at home due to Covid. still updating
Calendar of virtual talks HERE

Benjamin Franklin Recipe
Original French recipe in Franklin’s papers:
Pâte feuilletée.
Prenez deux Pintes de farine et une Livre de Beurre, pétrissez les ensemble très finement et reduisez les avec l’eau froide en une pâte claire assez ferme pour qu’on puisse la travailler: alors roulez la de l’épaisseur d’environ une piece de 6 Francs étendez dessus une couche de Beurre, jettez y un peu de farine. repliez la et roulez la une seconde fois, repliez la encore et roulez la sept ou huit fois; alors elle sera propre pour toutes les Espèces de Pâtés ou tourtes qui demandent une Pâte feuilletée.

Modern English translation:
Puff Pastry
Take two pints ​​of flour and a pound of butter, knead them together very finely and cut cold water into the dough until firm enough to work with: then roll it to the thickness of a 6 Francs piece and spread a layer of butter on it, throw in a little flour. Fold it over and roll it a second time, fold it over again and roll it seven or eight times; then it will be appropriate for all types of pâtés or pies which require a puff pastry.

Gilbert Chinard’s Recipe (from Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Cookery, c. 1760)--Modern Rough Puff 

©2020 Patricia Bixler Reber
Researching Food History HOME

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