Pilgrim Seasonings

Plymouth Colony Foodways: Notes and Recipes from a 17th Century Kitchen

Cheesey interlude…

August 23rd, 2013 by KM Wall

I know I said no cheesecakes in the Pie-wise Time, but I’m always a little confused between Cheesecake,which is no cake, and Boson Cream Pie, which is no pie, but in the end it’s ….

As You Like It

As You Like It

Which would be the name of the little cafe I would run, if I had the Time and the Money and the Inclination, which I really don’t…..and the sign on the door would read:

Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table

 (Act II, scene 7 Duke Senior to Orlando)

where there would be pies….and Boston Cream Pies

Boston Cream Pie (really a cake)

Boston Cream Pie (really a cake-ish)

and cheesecakes

Cheesecake with raspberries...rather pie-ish

Cheesecake with raspberries…rather pie-ish

and 17th century goodies to serve with coffee and tea and chocolate beverages that aren’t in Plimoth Colony (or much of England) for the first half of the seventeenth century. No gin, either. However did they manage?

By goodies, I mean jumbles and Shrewsbury cakes  and Oxfordshire cakes and Peach Pie and of course, 17th century cheesecake.


Cheesecake from the Warren House August 2013 - photo by Makla Benjamen

Cheesecake from the Warren House August 2013 – photo by Malka Benjamen – very Vermeer-ish

To make Cheesecakes.

Let your paste be very good, either puff-paste or cold butter-paste, with sugar mixed with it, then the whey being dried very well from the cheese-curds which must be made of new milk or butter, beat them in a mortar or tray, with a quarter of a pound of butter to every pottle of curds, a good quantity of rose-water, three grains of ambergriese or musk prepared, the crums of a small manchet rubbed through a cullender, the yolks of ten eggs, a grated nutmeg, a little salt, and good store of sugar, mix all these well together with a little cream, but do not make them too soft; instead of bread you may take almonds which are much better; bake them in a quick oven, and let them not stand too long in, least they should be to dry.

Robert May The Accomplist Cook


  1. If you buy packaged puff paste the work is half done – cut circles and fold the edges over to make this shape. These are not necessarily deep dish cheesecakes…. think more like cheese danish
  2. Ricotta make a good stand in for fresh cheese curds
  3. This is an Italian style cheesecake, not a New York style one.
  4. almonds are MUCH better the bread crumbs
Cheesecake design from Robert May

One of many cheesecake designs from Robert May


There are still tickets available to As You Like It by the Plimoth Players….check out the website….and would you like this blog in your in-box? It’s easy, just fill in your e-mail address…

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3 Responses to “Cheesey interlude…”

  1. Mindy says:

    Boson Cream Pie? Was it cooked in the Large Hadron Collider? ;-)

    • KM Wall says:

      Where were you when I needed proofreading? I’m just really glad the mayflower II is back in the harbor….now to invent the Boson Cream Pie…..NOW it highlights boson like a misspelled word.

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