Do you ever just want something decadent but don’t want to spend hours making it? Sometimes it seems the most delicious things require time and/or money but I think I’ve found something that seems lovely and sweet but won’t require a lot of time. In fact it doesn’t look like it needs cooking, a bonus on a hot evening. I’m going to make Caledonian Cream, a recipe contributed by Mrs. A. T. Reed of St. George for the 1898 New Galt Cook Book.
I cracked two medium eggs separating the yolks and whites. The yolks aren’t needed for this recipe and if I’d planned ahead I probably could find a use for them. I beat the whites and then tried to decide at what point to add the 2 tablespoons of white sugar. I’ve made meringue and often it is suggested to add the sugar when the whites are airy but are not yet stiff. Other times they say to beat the whites stiff and then fold in the sugar. I decided to try the first method partly because the whites just didn’t seem to want to get firm. I was using a hand rotary beater — what could be called a Dover mixer in 1898 — and my hand was getting tired. After I added the sugar the whites did get a little thicker but not to the point that they would stand on their own as the recipe required. I suspect there was still a bit of water on my beater or bowl.
Although the whites weren’t stiff I decided to continue and added 2 tablespoons of red currant jelly and 2 tablespoons of black currant jam. I know it was supposed to be raspberry jam but I didn’t have any and I wasn’t sure what sort of currant jelly to use so I decided to use both black and red. I mixed the jelly & jam with the sweet whites and prepared to taste.
Mrs. A. T. Reed of St. George is a mystery! I expected to find her easily with two initials in her husband’s name but so far no luck.
I was surprised that this concoction tasted so good. It is light and fluffy and sweet but not cloying. It was also a bit creamy even though it doesn’t have any dairy in it, something I appreciate since I shouldn’t have milk. If you have concerns about consuming raw egg whites you can buy a carton of pasteurized egg whites. Even that won’t ease everyone’s fears but I can’t imagine heating this mixture. I suppose you could bake it but you’d end up with meringues not Caledonian Cream. I thought the title of this dessert sounded familiar and a quick internet search revealed that Caledonian Cream is a traditional Scottish dessert. No wonder it appears in a cook book created in Galt Ontario, an area settled by many people from Scotland. However, the recipes I found were different since they used cream, cream cheese and marmalade. Here‘s an example. Somewhere I have a cookbook of Scottish recipes and I think it also has a recipe for Caledonian Cream. I’m also making it at the wrong time of year since apparently it is a New Year’s tradition. Unfortunately, since I hadn’t whipped the whites enough, the mixture started to separate and wasn’t as appealing as in the first hour. I’m going to keep this recipe in mind since it is easy to reduce or multiply since currently the proportions are 2 whites x 2 T sugar x 2 T jam x 2 T jelly.
Mrs. A. T. Reed, St. George
Two whites of eggs, two tablespoonfuls loaf sugar, two tablespoonfuls raspberry jam, two tablespoonfuls of currant jelly; beat until they will stand alone.