‘Take thicke cream’. When a recipe starts this way, you know that it’s going to be good. Maybe not ‘take a pound of butter’ good, but certainly good enough, possibly very indeed.
The question then is – just what is thicke cream in the seventeenth century?
An aside about clotted or clouted cream:
In The Shepheardes Calendar, by Edmund Spenser (1579) under November:
She while she was, (that was a woful Word to fain)
For Beauty’s Praise and Pleafance had no Peer:
So well she couth the Shepherds entertain
With Cakes and Cracknels, and fuch Country Cheer,
Ne would she scorn the simple Shepherd’s Swain;
For she would call him often heam,
And give him Curds and clouted Cream.
O heavy Herse!
And give him Curds and clouted Cream – THAT”S Entertainment – and true love!
To make a Bagge Pudinge.
Take thicke cream and make yt somewhat hotter than bloud warme, then take halfe a dossen egges and beate them well and mingle them wth yor Creame then ad to yt a little parsely and winter savory cut very smale and some nutmegges suger and a little salte then put to yt as much Crumes of bread and fine flower as will make yt thicker than batter for pan-Cakes, then wett yor bagge in cold water and put yt in and when yor water boyles put him into yt, yt must not bee boyled wth meate but alone in fayre water.
- Elinor Fettiplace’s Receipt Book: Elizabethan Country House Cooking. Hilary Spurling (1986) p. 46