Author: Austen, Jane
Difficulty rating: Little Women
Deliciousness rating: Exceeds Expectations
Part of Afternoon Tea with Emma
Did it measure up?
We don’t understand why these are called cheesecakes when they have zero cheese in them … not even milk … but they are yummy! They aren’t too sweet or heavy, and they remind me a little of Chinese almond cookies. I would try shortcrust instead of puff pastry next time, but either way, they are a very nice treat.
MARTHA’S ALMOND CHEESECAKES
From The Jane Austen Cookbook by Maggie Black & Deirdre Le Faye
Here’s the original recipe:
Take half a pd. of blanch’d almonds pounded small with a spoonful of Orange flower water & half a pound of double-refined sugar 10 yolks of Eggs well beat add the peels of two oranges or Lemons which must be boil’d very tender then beat in a Mortar very fine, then mix them altogether & put in three quarters of a pound of melted butter being almost cold & bake it in good Crust.
And the updated instructions, adapted from the cookbook (can we just mention again how grateful we are to Maggie Black and Deirdre Le Faye?):
- Tartlet pan
- Food processor
- 1 large orange
- 2/3 cup caster sugar, plus 1 extra tbs for sprinkling
- A few drops of orange flower water
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 4 tbs butter, melted and cooled
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- Pare the rind of the orange, taking off the top colored layer only (not the white part as much as possible). Boil them in a small pan of water till soft. Drain.
- Pulverize them with some sugar in a food processor.
- Put them in a bowl. Add the rest of the sugar and the orange flower water.
- Mix in the ground almonds.
- Beat the whole eggs and combine with the almond mixture.
- Whisk the 2 egg whites until semi-stiff and fold them into the mixture. Chill the mixture till the pastry is ready for filling.
- Set the oven to 375 F. Roll out pastry to 1/8 inch. Line the tartlet pan with the pastry and cut apart with a knife.
- Prick the bottom of each, and sprinkle with a little sugar.
- Fill 3/4 full with almond mixture. Bake for 20 minutes.
Austen, Jane. Emma. 1816. Reprint. New York: Penguin Books, 2015. Print.