Regency cheesecakes

 

Celebrate Mother’s Day with some cherished favourites – made with love over the generations ­– from our new book,Eat your history: stories and recipes from Australian kitchens. 

A visit to Elizabeth Farm, Australia’s oldest homestead, takes us back to Jane Austen’s era. Built in 1793, it was home to members of the Macarthur family until the 1850s.

In the early 19th century places for genteel women like Elizabeth Macarthur to meet were limited in the colony, with public houses and coffee palaces entirely unsuitable.  The only option was to entertain guests at home. The trend was known as ‘morning calls’, though many took place in the afternoon. Guests would be served tea, often a blend of green, black and fragrant leaves and flowers, made to the mistress of the household’s preference, with accompanying sweet and savoury snacks. With its cosy drawing room, lush gardens and shady verandah, Elizabeth Farm offered plenty of options for elegant entertaining.

Glimpse of house from lawn, with trees and garden framing the house.

Elizabeth Farm. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Baked cheesecakes made with fresh ricotta-style cottage cheese appear in many cookery texts from the period. The original recipe for these cheesecakes, published in 1816, gives instructions for making fresh cheese from ‘the curd of three quarts of milk’. It was not unusual for families of the time to have their own ‘milch’ goat or, on larger properties, a house cow to provide fresh milk each day. They would also have had to make their own ‘puff paste’, which meant making cheesecakes was quite an accomplishment. These days, however, most of the work is done for us, even when we make things ‘from scratch’.

About the Author

Sydney Living Museums Image
Jacqui Newling
Gastronomer/Interpretation curator
Creative Services
Jacqui explores our history and heritage through food. Our historic properties have been home to many hundreds of people and they all had to eat. And while we can’t meet them for a chat, we can get a taste of their lives!

Group of people on green lawn in middle of sandstone courtyard.

Volunteers

National Volunteer Week 2018Wednesday 23 May 2018

As part of National Volunteer Week, Sydney Living Museums was proud to host our fifth Annual Volunteers’ Morning Tea at The Mint yesterday.

Fence with signage and colonial era building with dome of hospital building in background.

News

Happy International Museums Day 2018Friday 18 May 2018

Happy International Museum Day #IMD2018! Thanks to everyone who has visited and supported our museums and historic houses. Here are some of our favourite photos. Share yours by tagging #DiscoverSLM

 

Charlotte RusseThursday 24 May 2018

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Employment

18/CC056 Venues Facilities CoordinatorWednesday 23 May 2018