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The Art of Confectionary

September 29, 2009

Have you ever wanted to boil sugar “to the Degree called Smooth”? Do you urgently need to draw a jelly from pippins? Have you, like me, always been curious about the preparation of cochineal? Do you wish to know the difference between preserving gooseberries green and preserving them white?

The Art of Confectionary, published 1761, has all the answers and much more. I’m tempted to try some of the recipes, if only I could decipher them. Take the following, for example, a recipe for “The Feathered Sugar”:

The Feathered Sugar,

Is a higher Degree of boiling Sugar, which is to be proved by dipping the Scummer when it hath boiled somewhat longer; shake it first over the Pan, then giving it a sudden Flurt behind you; if it be enough, the Sugar will fly off like Feathers.

What is the Scummer? What does “it” refer to? And, most importantly, what is a Flurt?

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