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Eliza Acton's Sole in Cream


Sole (or other white fish) cooked in water, then in a sauce of double cream with mace, cayenne and lemon. (Acton 1845, Grigson 1974)

Original Receipt from 'Modern Cookery for Private Families' by Eliza Acton (Acton 1845);

Prepare some very fresh middling sized soles with exceeding nicety, put them into boiling water slightly salted, and simmer them for two minutes only; lift them out, and let them drain; lay them into a wide stewpan with as much sweet rich cream as will nearly cover them; add a good seasoning of pounded mace, cayenne, and salt; stew the fish softly from six to ten minutes, or until the flesh parts readily from the bones; dish them, stir the juice of half a lemon to the sauce, pour it over the soles, and send them immediately to table. Some lemon-rind may be boiled in the cream, if approved; and a small teaspoonful of arrow-root, very smoothly mixed with a little milk, may be stirred to the sauce (should it require thickening) before the lemon-juice is added. Turbot and brill also may be dressed by this receipt, time proportioned to their size being of course allowed for them.

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