Eliza Acton

English food writer and poet
from Modern Cookery for Private Families by Eliza Acton (London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1871. p. 48.)

Elizabeth "Eliza" Acton (April 17, 1799February 13, 1859) was an English poet and cook who produced one of the country's first cookbooks aimed at the domestic reader rather than the professional cook or chef, Modern Cookery for Private Families. In this book she introduced the now-universal practice of listing the ingredients and suggested cooking times with each recipe.

Song (1826)Edit

  • In Beauty's dwelling all things fair,
    And rich, to win her sweet smiles strove;
    But still young Beauty's only care
    Was, to watch o'er the lamp of Love.
  • But tir'd at length poor Beauty slept,
    And while she rested, wearied quite,
    Indifference to the dear lamp crept,
    And quench'd its warm, and splendid light.

To Caroline (1826)Edit

  • To win, beloved Caroline from thee,
    One thought, in years when we shall sever'd be--
    --Sever'd, perchance, by those deep waves, which pour
    Their billowy murmurs round our native shore,--
    For this, I wander'd round the Bow'rs of Song,
    A weary, and rejected suppliant long,
    And of the Muses crav'd in humblest tone
    From their rich wreaths, one simple bud alone:
    They did but fling their wildest weeds at me,
    And thus I twin'd them into verse for thee!

Acton's recipe for Bakewell PuddingEdit

1½-2lb mixed preserves
10 egg, yolks only
½lb sugar
½lb butter
lemon brandy or other flavouring, to taste

This pudding is famous not only in Derbyshire, but in several of our northern counties, where it is usually served on all holiday-occasions. Line a shallow tart-dish with quite an inch-deep layer of several kinds of good preserve mixed together, and intermingle with them from 2-3oz of candied citron or orange rind. Beat well the yolks of ten eggs, and add to them gradually ½lb of sifted sugar; when they are well mixed, pour in by degrees ½lb of good clarified butter, and a little ratafia or any other flavour that may be preferred; fill the dish two-thirds full with this mixture, and bake the pudding for nearly an hour in a moderate oven. Half the quantity will be sufficient for a small dish.
Baked in moderate oven, ¾ to 1 hour.

Obs. This is a rich and expensive, but not very refined pudding. A variation of it, known in the south as an Alderman's pudding, is we think, superior to it. It is made without the candied peel, and with a layer of apricot-jam only, 6oz butter, 6oz of sugar, the yolks of six, and the whites of two eggs.

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