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Sweetened cream or an oil-water emulsion, congealed by being agitated while chilled to freezing point. Sometimes flavoured, but almost always served very plain, either scooped into a bowl or in a wafer cornet, frequently topped with raspberry or chocolate syrup, crushed nuts.
From Mrs. Beeton's Dictionary of Every-day Cookery (1865)
Known in England at least since Elias Ashmole's 'History of the Order of the Garter' of 1672: "The Soveraign's Table on the Eve..One Plate of Ice Cream." (OED) and in the 1688 London Gazette: "All such Fruits, Iced Creams, and such other Varieties as the Season afforded."
Original Receipt in 'Mrs. Mary Eales's receipts' by Mary Eales (Eales 1718)
To Ice CREAM.
Take Tin Ice-Pots, fill them with any Sort of Cream you like, either plain or sweeten'd, or Fruit in it; shut your Pots very close; to six Pots you must allow eighteen or twenty Pound of Ice, breaking the Ice very small; there will be some great Pieces, which lay at the Bottom and Top: You must have a Pail, and lay some Straw at the Bottom; then lay in your Ice, and put in amongst it a Pound of Bay-Salt; set in your Pots of Cream, and lay Ice and Salt between every Pot, that they may not touch; but the Ice must lie round them on every Side; lay a good deal of Ice on the Top, cover the Pail with Straw, set it in a Cellar where no Sun or Light comes, it will be froze in four Hours, but it may stand longer; than take it out just as you use it; hold it in your Hand and it will slip out. When you wou'd freeze any Sort of Fruit, either Cherries, Rasberries, Currants, or Strawberries, fill your Tin-Pots with the Fruit, but as hollow as you can; put to them Lemmonade, made with Spring-Water and Lemmon-Juice sweeten'd; put enough in the Pots to make the Fruit hang together, and put them in Ice as you do Cream.
Glasse 1747 provides another of the earliest known receipts, but has to explain where to get an ice-cream maker from...
Original Receipt in 'The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy' by Hannah Glasse, 1747 (Glasse 1747);
To make ice-cream.
TAKE two pewter-basons, one larger than the other; the inward one must have a close cover, into which you are to put your cream, and mix it with raspberries, or whatever you like best, to give it a flavour and a colour. Sweeten it to your palate; then cover it close, and set it into the larger bason. Fill it with ice, and a handful of salt: let it stand in this ice three quarters of an hour, then uncover it, and stir the cream well together; cover it close again, and let it stand half an hour longer, after that turn it into your plate. These things are made at the pewterers.
Brown Bread Ice Cream
Christmas Pudding Ice Cream
Ice Cream Cornet
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