When English settlers came to Charles Towne, they brought their favorite recipes, some of which are still widely used today. One of the lesser known, yet very tasty, desserts is Syllabub. Made with heavy cream, lemon and a hearty dose of white wine or sherry or both, this dish was served in aristocratic homes on special occasions. The cream was curdled by the lemon and the entire concoction separated, with the froth on top eaten before sipping the sweet wine.
This recipe was penned by Miss Sara Rutledge, daughter of Edward Rutledge, the signer of the Declaration of Independence, and was printed in an early edition of Charleston Recipes.
To 1 quart of cream add 1/2 pint of sweet wine and 1/2 pint of Madeira, the juice of 2 lemons, a little finely powdered spice and sugar to taste. The peel of the lemon must be steeped in the wine until the flavor is extracted. Whisk all these ingredients together, and as the froth rises, take it off with a spoon, lay it upon a fine sieve. What drains from it put in your pan and whisk again. Pour the froth into glasses. Serves 12. Chill.
*Nutmeg was very popular in colonial American so may be the spice referred to in the recipe.
Another version, Everlasting Syllabub, is found in Classic Desserts edited by Richard Olney. It is a little easier for the modern cook to follow. A fun dessert to serve guests and oh so delicious!
In a bowl, combine the zest and juice of one lemon with 2 tablespoons brandy and 1/2 cup white wine. Infuse overnight. The next day, pluck out the lemon peel and beat the liquid with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 1/4 cups heavy cream until it forms soft, billowy peaks. Spoon into small glasses and grate a little nutmeg on top.