Jefferson’s Ice Cream Recipe

     Thomas Jefferson was able to enjoy ice cream throughout the year because ice was “harvested” from the Rivanna River in winter and taken to the Monticello ice house, which held sixty-two wagon-loads. The ice house located in Monticello’s north dependency wing was used throughout the year primarily to preserve meat and butter, but also to chill wine and to make ice cream. In 1815, Jefferson noted, the ice supply lasted until October 15.  Tomorrow, Jackson’s statement of the Essential Prinicples of Government from his 1st Inaugural Address.  Rita Bay

 

    The original recipe is found in the Jefferson Papers collection at the Library of Congress.  The recipe written in Jefferson’s own hand is the first American recipe for ice cream.  The sabottiere Jefferson refered to is the inner cannister shown in the drawing. There was no crank to turn it; when Jefferson wrote “turn the Sabottiere in the ice 10 minutes” he meant for someone to grab the handle and turn the cannister clockwise and then counterclockwise.

Ice Cream.

     2 bottles of good cream.
     6 yolks of eggs.
     1/2 lb sugar

Mix the yolks & sugar. Put the cream on a fire in a casserole, first putting in a stick of Vanilla. When near boiling take it off & pour it gently into the mixture of eggs & sugar.  Stir it well. Put it on the fire again stirring it thoroughly with a spoon to prevent it’s sticking to the casserole.  When near boiling take it off and strain it thro’ a towel.  Put it in the Sabottiere then set it in ice an hour before it is to be served.  Put into the ice a handful of salt. Put salt on the coverlid of the Sabottiere & cover the whole with ice.  Leave it still half a quarter of an hour.  Then turn the Sabottiere in the ice 10 minutes  Open it to loosen with a spatula the ice from the inner sides of the Sabottiere. Shut it & replace it in the ice open it from time to time to detach the ice from the sides  when well taken (prise) stir it well with the Spatula.  Put it in moulds, justling it well down on the knee. Then put the mould into the same bucket of ice. Leave it there to the moment of serving it. To withdraw it, immerse the mould in warm water, turning it well till it will come out & turn it into a plate.

MODERN VERSION  From Marie Kimball’s Thomas Jefferson’s Cook Book 

Beat the yolks of 6 eggs until thick and lemon colored. Add, gradually, 1 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil 1 quart of cream and pour slowly on the egg mixture. Put in top of double boiler and when thickens, remove and strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. When cool add 2 teaspoonfuls of vanilla. Freeze, as usual, with one part of salt to three parts of ice. Place in a mould, pack with ice and salt for several hours. For electric refrigerators, follow usual direction, but stir frequently.

Source of full text:  http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/home-activity-0

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Jefferson’s Ice Cream Recipe

  1. Neat information, Rita. When our boys were young we toured beautiful Monticello and were amazed at how advanced Jefferson was for his time. Thanks for sharing his ice cream recipe.

  2. Steve

    Would be fun to make some Jeffersonian ice cream.

  3. I may have to try this recipe come summertme.

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