About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Reviving the Syllabub Dessert

Elegant syllabub
What a fabulous, frothy finish to our Christmas Eve meal!  Syllabub is the perfect balance of rich yet light.  Why has it been hiding in the attic so long? Dust this recipe off and rediscover a delightful treat. It made me think of eggnog as tiny champagne bubbles.  I remember my mother mentioning it as a American Colonial dessert but it really has its' roots in England, all the way back to the 16th century.

Several years ago, I went to a holiday party and syllabub was dessert.  I was wowed and interested the hosts were using a unique contraption to achieve the frothy consistency.  I finally got around to asking the details and my friend gladly shared her simple recipe and her antique syllabub pump.  It's so easy and delicious, I can't imagine why it isn't as popular as ice cream.  I noted  culinary authors, the Lee Brothers, share the same sentiment in their Charleston Kitchen cookbook.  That version is similar to James Beard's, which is a hand whipped item.  I guess they couldn't get their hands on one of these pumps.  They are only available as antiques and quite rare.  My friend's pump had been passed down through her family.

Syllabub pump
A bubbly drink of wine and milk became the word "syllabub".  Compounded from the words, Sille, a region in the Champagne area of France and the English slang word " bub", meaning a bubbly drink.  There are various versions,  commonly, using sherry and lemon peel, but this is the Deep South version and we prefer it made with Bourbon.  End of discussion.

Now the bigger problem is the tin pump.  They just don't exist anymore and I feel privileged to have been able to make Syllabub with a family heirloom.  It makes the dessert much more etherial.  Small pin size holes in the bottom of the pump express air through the mixture. Using a whisk is fine if that's all that's available but the results will be more whipped cream like, still a delightful creation.  I'm looking for a crafty person to make one. See the picture  and let me know if you have a source.

It's just 4 ingredients :

1 quart heavy cream
1 pint whole milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup bourbon

Mix until sugar dissolves then chill overnight.  Mixture must be very cold.  Stir before you begin to pump to insure the ingredients haven't settled.  Submerge pump and pump like mad (or whisk by hand).  Skim off the foam and serve in a compote with a spoon.  Serves a lot.

No comments:

Post a Comment