Whipped Syllabub

Katie Maxwell, Visitor Services Coordinator

Now that spring is gradually approaching, I am ready for something light and refreshing. Hopefully the delightfully named Whipped Syllabub will come to my rescue. You can find this 1844 recipe on pages 38 and 39 of 35 Receipts from “The Larder Invaded”  by William Woys Weaver. Dr. Weaver describes this boozy desert as an ancestor to the ice cream soda. I’m sold.

I will be using Dr. Weaver’s 1986 adaptation for the electric mixer. I lack the patience to whip by hand.

First the ingredients:

Ingredients for whipped syllabub

1 pt. heavy whipping cream

½ cup superfine sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon

¼ cup lemon juice strained

1 bottle claret, good quality

4 tbsp. Madeira *

* I couldn’t find any Madeira, so I am using Marsala. A very helpful employee at the liquor store recommended this substitution when no Madeira could be found.

Beat the cream until stiff;

Cream, beaten until stiff

Stiff peaks achieved.

Then beat in the superfine sugar (do not use granulated or confectioners),

Sir, yes sir!

the lemon zest and lemon juice.

Whipped cream, with sugar and lemon

This texture looks . . . interesting.

When this is thoroughly blended, add the Madeira and beat smooth. If heavy whipping cream is used, there will be no need to drain it.

Whipped cream with madeira

This looks better.

Fill tall, lily-shaped wine glasses half full of claret; then pile up the cream into peaks. Garnish each glass with a fresh currant if available.

Yield: Serves 10-12 persons.

Claret with whipped syllabub

I tried to pipe it into the shape on the illustration and confirmed that I am indeed not a pastry chef. My lack of piping skill notwithstanding, it manages to look pretty anyway.

Time for tasting! The creamy topping is a little tart, airy and the perfect amount of sweetness. I like it. However, it is so thick that I haven’t managed to actually drink any of the wine through the syllabub, and since you’re probably not supposed to eat this like an ice cream cone, I resort to using a spoon. I definitely prefer my wine sans any creamy topping, but whipped syllabub turns out to be amazing with berries!