Food and Entertaining

200 Year-old Crazy Dessert With BUGS In It! | How To Cook That Ann Reardon

Welcome to How To Cook That, I’m Ann Reardon and 
today we’re making a 200 year-old apple tart and   strawberry ice cream that uses a really unusual 
ingredient … dried bugs! Let’s start with the   ice cream recipe … this book was published 
200 years ago so there was no electricity,   no freezers and definitely no ice cream machines 
back then. It says ‘to a pound of preserved fruit   which may be of what kind you choose add a quart 
of good cream’. Now I wanted to use preserved   fruit that was made in the same way that they 
would have done it. Canning was only just being   invented at the time of this book being written 
so you couldn’t just go to the shops and buy a   tin of fruit. Further on in the book there’s 
a whole chapter on preserving all different   kinds of fruits and I followed the directions 
for strawberries, which was basically done by   gently heating them with double their weight in 
sugar and sealing it up. This method of preserving   fruit in jars was only invented a few years before 
this book was published and it worked but they   didn’t yet know why it worked. It wasn’t until 50 
years later when Louis Pasteur explained that it   killed the microorganisms that caused it to go off 
and sealing it stopped more from getting in. The   large amount of sugar would also of course help 
stop microbial activity but they didn’t know that.   ‘Add to that a quart of good cream and the juice 
of two lemons squeezed into it. Add some sugar   to your palette it doesn’t really need a whole 
lot more sugar there was so much in with the   strawberries and then let the hole be rubbed 
through a fine hair sieve’. Now they obviously   didn’t have a metal sieve like I do … a hair 
sieve was made out of wood around the outside and   woven horse hair in the middle. I guess we’ll just 
squash the strawberries through the metal sieve   because I don’t have one of those. They bottled 
their strawberries with the stems on but we don’t   want stems in the ice cream of course so I’m going 
to chop all those off and take them off and after   20 minutes of trying I just can’t get this last 
bit to go through so we’ll just go with that.   Stir the strawberries into the cream and then 
what’s next: ‘let the hole be rubbed through the   fine hair see if we’ve done that and if raspberry 
strawberry or any red fruit you must add a little   cochineal to heighten the color’. Now cochineal 
are sap-sucking scale insects that live on cacti,   if you move their waxy white cotton wool-like 
covering off you can see the little red insect   bodies. These are then collected and dried out 
and that’s what I have here in this bowl. If we   take a closer look this is what they look like 
when they’re dried, they look a bit like little   rocks really not so much like bugs but let’s 
crush them using my trusty mortar and pestle. Look at that ruby red color wow that’s awesome 
… don’t you wonder who discovered this and tried   it first? Like who ate one of these bugs to check 
it wasn’t poisonous and that it didn’t taste bad?   Boggles my mind. Cochineal is actually still used 
in some foods and lipsticks today for this red   color. If you just look for the words carmine 
cochineal cochineal extract crimson lake carmine   lake natural red4 75470 or e120 on the ingredients 
you’ve got bugs in it. It is actually being phased   out because it’s expensive to harvest the insects 
and people don’t like the idea of eating bugs   in their food but people also like the idea of 
things being natural and bugs are natural … who   would be a food manufacturer it’s really hard to 
please everyone! Have your freezing pot nice and   clean and put your cream into it. Now from what I 
could see online a freezing pot looked something   like this … a tall metal container with a lid. 
Then it says to cover it, so we’ll put the lid on   and ‘put it into your tub with ice beat small and 
some salt’. Okay so let’s add some ice all over it   and a generous amount of salt. Salt lowers the 
freezing point of water so it helps make the ice   melt into a liquid that is below freezing level 
but it’s not solid and then when that comes in   contact with the metal tub it’ll help freeze our 
ice cream. People still do this today so i find it   fascinating that they already had this figured out 
200 years ago. Then it says turn the freezing pot   quick and as the cream sticks to the sides scrape 
it down with your ice spoon and so on until it is   froze. The more the cream is worked into the side 
with the spoon the smoother and better the flavor   will be. Now i’m not quite sure how i’m supposed 
to turn it quick … i can spin it i guess   and then scrape down the frozen ice cream from 
the sides. Hand cranked ice cream machines were   not invented for another 40 years so i guess i’ll 
just keep spinning and scraping and 20 minutes   later it’s thick and frozen, that’s looking 
good. Time to move on to making the unusual   apple dessert. I’m in the fruit pies section 
of this book and i want to try the apple tart.   ‘Scald eight to ten large codlins’ … now codlins 
are an old breed of green apples that i can’t get   here so i’m using Granny Smith apples and putting 
them into boiling water. After a few minutes they   look like this and it says to let them stand until 
they are cold. Further on in this recipe it says   we need butter and I found this old butter churn 
on eBay. Isn’t it awesome! It said it was working   but by that i think they meant that the handle 
turned which it does but it had a massive crack   in the bottom so if you poured cream into it it 
just would have run straight out. So what i did   was to get a little bit of beeswax and melt it 
and pour it into the crack and while it was still   soft to take the excess off. I really didn’t 
want to use glue because this is an antique.   I’ve given it a good wash so now it’s time to add 
the cream and unfortunately it is still leaking   but it’s not coming from the crack it’s coming 
from a different spot on the side so i’m gonna   have to tip out the cream and add some more wax 
on the edges and try again. Clearly when they   said it was working they didn’t imagine anyone 
would actually want to use it to make butter.   Yay it’s not leaking this time! The practice of 
churning cream to make butter has been around   for a very very long time. It’s even mentioned in 
the Bible! Proverbs says: “for as the churning of   cream produces butter and as the twisting of 
the nose produces blood so stirring up anger   produces strife”. But the way in which butter was 
churned has definitely changed over the years.   They used to use a tripod and fill a goat-skin 
with cream and air and then rock it back and   forward to make butter. Then there was an up 
and down churn where you pulled a plunger up and   down up and down fairly self-explanatory there and 
then a barrel churn where the whole barrel spun   and then that was refined to be like the one that 
I’m using which is a bit like a barrel but the   paddle on the inside turns. This particular one is 
by E Cherry in Melbourne it’s about 150 years old.   After about 10 minutes of churning the fat in the 
cream is clumped together and separated from the   liquid so now we have butter and buttermilk. The 
book says to ‘spread the butter thin in a bowl and   work it well together with such a quantity of salt 
as you think fit’. Back to our apples it says let   them stand until they are cold then take off the 
skins and beat the pulp as fine as possible with   a spoon. Well the skins come off fairly easily, 
I’m assuming we don’t want the core part of the   apple so I’m just going to cut the chunks of apple 
off around the edges then it said to beat it to a   pulp using a spoon. There’s no way I can beat this 
to a pulp with a spoon because it’s just too firm   still and i wondered how they managed to do it did 
i need to boil it for longer but then i found the   answer thanks to Malcolm from Plantsman’s Corner 
“keswick codlin, one of the most lovely apples   really old one but it’s a it’s a strange apple it 
cooks to a froth it takes about 10, 20 seconds in   boiling to just reduce to a froth the puree is 
absolutely beautiful”. So that’s my problem codlin   apples turn to a very soft pulp very quickly. 
I’m just gonna have to chop mine up with a knife   to try and make them a little bit smaller 
chunks they’ll cook a bit more in the oven.   Then the weird thing is they say to add the yolks 
of six eggs and the whites of four which in other   words is four whole eggs with an extra two yolks 
but i’ve never mixed eggs in with apple like   this before it looks like scrambled eggs. Anyway 
we’ll see what it tastes like when it’s cooked.   ‘Beat it all together very fine and put in some 
grated nutmeg and sweetened to your taste.’ Next   it says to make a puff paste now if we turn to 
earlier in the book it has a puff pastry recipe   here it says: ‘puff paste must be made thus take a 
quarter of a peck of flour and rub into it a pound   of butter very fine make it up to a light paste 
with cold water just stiff enough to work it up   then roll it out about as thick as a crown piece 
put a layer of butter all over and then sprinkle   on a little flower. Double it up and roll it out 
again, double and roll it with layers of butter   three times and it will be properly fit for use.’ 
This has made way more pastry than I need for one   apple tart i’ll have to use the rest for something 
else. ‘Pour the ingredients in but do not cover it   with paste. When you have baked it a quarter of an 
hour strewn over it some sugar finely beaten and   sifted’. Time to see what this 200-year-old apple 
tart and strawberry ice cream with bugs in it   tastes like … hmm I like it, I think 
it’s really good. I have to give it to   Dave though he’s our true taste tester. Okay 
we have here a 200 year old apple tart recipe   and strawberry ice cream. Fantastic 200 years! 
I love apple pie. Hoping you like this… I do … it’s good it’s thumbs up … it’s it’s 
fresh it’s delicious it’s good. Can you guess   the other ingredient that they? Um 200 years 
ago? Is it whale? Baby seal? I don’t know. Okay a mystery ingredient in the ice cream … 
strawberry ice cream and then let me know if   you can taste anything else. It’s quite nice 
it’s uh very fresh it’s not nearly as sweet   as what we would associate as strawberry ice 
cream now. But would you eat the whole plate   of dessert? Yeah absolutely yeah that’s good 
I like it. The mystery ingredient in the pie   is eggs with the apple which was really unusual 
okay and the mystery ingredient in the ice cream   is bugs! I knew you would get me, what sort of 
bugs … is it lice cream? It’s cochineal bugs,   they make it a little bit red in color but they 
have no taste. Okay are you gonna eat the ice   cream? No I’ll probably eat the pie though. 
They still use it nowadays yeah really okay it’s actually really good I like it. Now something 
they didn’t have 200 years ago was merch or they   may have like hessian sacks and stuff like that 
but what we have now is we got a whole uh bunch   of fresh merch just came out. See this is what we 
call the how to cook that science lab logo so that   just came out because obviously Ann is a food 
scientist we have a whole bunch of things like   uh debunking cups and other stuff. Just check them 
out there you can click down the bottom the other   one that i really love is our aprons and if you 
can just see that it’s got an embroidered logo   h2ct. Really good quality I reckon you’ll love it 
and I’m gonna go eat some more pie. You can see   more 200 year old recipes here and lots of other 
sweet stuff on my channel here with thanks to all   of my wonderful patrons for your ongoing support 
make it a great week and i’ll see you on Friday.
Video source:

Related Articles

Back to top button