Friday, 28 March 2014


I’ve mentioned it on here before that I’m doing my MA English dissertation on a (really good) food writer called Michael Bateman, whose archive of work is in my uni’s special collections. I keep coming across gems that I want to update, and this recipe was part of an official letter from the Sharrow Bay Hotel to Bateman, along with a recipe for shortbread. First off I liked the title of the recipe, and then the simplicity. I’ve tweaked it a bit, using grapefruit instead of orange just to give it an extra tang. I’d like to end the intro with a little quote about syllabub I also found in the collection, one from Elizabeth David. She said ‘We find that the syllabub can replace the synthetic ice cream which replaced the trifle which replaced the syllabub in the first place’. It’s time to reclaim the syllabub again.

The zest and juice of 1 grapefruit and 1 lemon
300ml double cream
80g icing sugar
A good slosh of dry sherry

Using a fine grater, zest the grapefruit and lemon into a small bowl then squeeze in the juice. Pour the cream into a large bowl and begin to whisk (I’d recommend an electric one, on slow) and, when just starting to thicken, add the icing sugar. Whilst whisking, slowly pour in the zests and juices and keep the whisk running until you start to get ripples in the cream. Add the sherry, and then do one last good whisk until the cream has stiffened and the ripples sit neatly. Don’t go too far though or the cream may separate.

I served the syllabub piped into 8 mini teacups, but you can choose whatever you like to serve them. They’d go well with shortbread. 

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