A couple weeks ago, Tricia asked me to do a post on ice cream for 4th of July weekend. She figured in my vast arsenal of books I’d have an ice cream recipe, and she was correct, to a degree. I have made ice cream from an 1800s recipe, but I didn’t actually have a copy of the recipe or a picture of an ice cream maker. What I thought would be a simple search turned into hours of research—that in all honesty I can’t say I minded, as I learned a fair amount. Not to mention I ended up finding not just one but four recipes!
The history of ice cream in the United States goes back to recipes brought from Europe by the colonists. However, it wasn’t until the 18th century that cream, milk and egg yolks were introduced to the previously dairy-free recipes. Like most food preparation in the 1800s, making ice cream wasn’t simple and required one very important ingredient that wasn’t necessarily available year round. Any guesses? Did I hear someone say ice? You are correct. Electricity was still a couple decades away and the freezer even further. If you wanted ice cream, you needed ice (cut from the rivers and lakes in the winter and stored in ice houses for use throughout the year for as long as the harvest lasted), and a sabottiere (from the French word: sorbetière).
The sabottiere is the inner canister shown in the picture to the right. The prepared ingredients would be placed in the canister with the lid secured. The sabottiere was then placed in a bucket where a mixture of ice and salt was packed around it. When a recipe called for “turning the sabottiere” it meant someone had to manually grab the handle and turn the canister clockwise and then counterclockwise, for whatever length of time the recipe specified.
Ice cream lovers are in good company. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson enjoyed it too. In fact, the first written account of an American recipe for ice cream comes from Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson’s recipe included two bottles of good cream, six egg yolks and half a pound of sugar.
His entire recipe can be found HERE.
The following recipes are two variations to Jefferson’s recipe. These recipes come from Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats by Miss Leslie, of Philadelphia and can be found HERE.
In my research, I found way too much information to cover here, but for those interested, here are the links to some other sites: