We cooked the ‘Artichoke Pye’ from Adam’s Luxury and Eve’s Cookery (1744), which seemed to have a weird but promising blend of ingredients.
Our first obstacle involved finding a meatless substitute for the ‘marrow of three bones’. Neither of us had tried bone marrow before, but we read that it has a buttery, nutty flavour. We sautéd mushrooms, onions, and walnuts with tahini, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, and dijon mustard and blended to form a grey paste, before coating the artichokes with what we guessed to be three bone’s worth.
The recipe called to season the artichokes with ‘sweet spice’ (we mixed sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom and ginger) and to sprinkle on grapes, dates, mace, and lemon zest. We also poured on some melted butter, and arranged some egg yolks over the top, adding a dash of colour to the pale mush of the artichoke hearts.
It was not the most appealing dish to look at, but its aroma was nice and sweet — almost Christmassy. After thirty minutes, the dish was soaked in red wine and served.The result was an unusual mixture of savoury and sweet, the dry, nutty artichokes contrasting with the wine and fruits. 4/10.
Elizabeth David was a British cookery writer, who transformed the nation’s eating habits during the mid-twentieth century. As part of her research into the social history of food, David collected cookery books and left her private collection of historical material (234 volumes) to the Warburg Institute Library. The digital collection on the Warburg Digital Library, when complete, will include approximately 150 of these: those which we cannot digitize for copyright reasons can be found in the Library under Banqueting classmark (DCH 250-DCH 540).