Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management by Sarah A. Chrisman – ISBN: 1634502426

  • Full Title: Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management: The 1861 Classic with Advice on Cooking, Cleaning, Childrearing, Entertaining, and More
  • Autor: Sarah A. Chrisman
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; abridged edition edition
  • Publication Date: November 3, 2015
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1634502426
  • ISBN-13: 978-1634502429
  • Download File Format | Size: epub | 3,93 Mb
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Originally published as twenty-four newspaper columns from 1859 to 1861, Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management is many things, but it is first and foremost a guide to managing a household during the nineteenth century.

Beeton wrote, “As with the commander of an army, or the leader of any enterprise, so is it with the mistress of a house.” Running an extravagant household was a monumental task and a responsibility not to be taken lightly. It meant supervising every employee, from the butler to the laundry-maid to the footman and the wet nurse. It meant managing the safety, happiness, comfort, and well-being of the family.

In addition to offering advice on a wide range of domestic topics, this abridged edition of Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management contains hundreds of original recipes. A compendium of practical information about everything from animal husbandry to child care, this Victorian classic is both fascinating and still useful.

Sarah A. Chrisman, author of Victorian Secrets and This Victorian Life provides the foreword, reflecting on how she uses Mrs. Beeton’s advice on a daily basis.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Isabella Beeton was born Isabella Mary Mayson (1836–1865). After marrying a London publisher, she wrote domestic columns and translated French texts. Her first work was published when she was twenty-two. She died at the age of twenty-five of an infection she contracted during the birth of her fourth child.

Sarah A. Chrisman is the author of Victorian Secrets and This Victorian Life, as well as the editor of True Ladies & Proper Gentlemen. Alongside her husband, Gabriel, she gives presentations on nineteenth-century fashion and culture. She resides in Port Townsend, Washington.



troduction to pulses

What are pulses?

Why eat pulses?



Chickpeas & peas

Pulse flours

How to cook pulses


Perfectly prepared

Breakfast & brunch

Curried mung bean avocado toast

Lentil cream cheese tartines

Roasted tomato & chickpea frittata

Coconut, date & moth bean granola

Peanut & red lentil granola bars

Cinnamon raisin breakfast quinoa

Chickpea & root vegetable hash

Yellow lentil berry smoothie

Black bean breakfast tostadas

Spicy mung bean scramble

English breakfast egg-in-the-hole

Asparagus & green lentils with poached egg

Red lentil shakshuka

Mascarpone-stuffed french toast

Yellow lentil egg muffins

Black bean cocoa smoothie

Spiced apple & mung bean muffins

Yellow lentil waffles with five spice berry sauce

Moth bean green smoothie

Lemon poppy seed pancakes

Bean & quinoa breakfast bowls

Tropical smoothie bowl

Snacks & spreads

Mung bean guacamole

Yellow lentil devilled eggs

Adzuki bean summer rolls with peanut sauce

Lemony spinach hummus

Beluga lentil & olive tapenade

Black-eyed bean hummus

Chickpea fries

Spicy carrot hummus

White bean butter with radishes

Spiralized beetroot & onion bhajis with cucumber sauce

Haricot bean & artichoke pan bagnat

Sumac roasted chickpeas

Chickpea energy bites

Quinoa & moth bean dolmades

Masala chickpea nachos

Garlic onion chickpea flour crackers

Red lentil caponata

Red pepper & white bean dip

Green split pea & vegetable dumplings

Soups & stews

Tomatillo soup with haricot beans & corn

Hoppin’ John soup

Butter bean bisque

Gumbo z’herbes

Tomato & split pea bisque

Lemon & herb split pea soup

Kabocha squash & yellow lentil soup

Mung bean & miso noodle soup

Green minestrone with rocket pesto

Caribbean black bean & lentil soup

Yellow lentil mulligatawny

Spicy red lentil soup

Pigeon pea & pumpkin chilli

Chickpea & haricot bean bisque

Pigeon pea, quinoa & kale soup

Southwest haricot soup


Mung bean green gazpacho

Creamy spinach & mung bean soup

Pinto bean peanut stew

Salads & sides

Three bean salad stuffed avocados

Black lentil & kale salad with miso tahini dressing

Roasted tenderstem broccoli & green lentil salad

Roasted carrots & chickpeas with vadouvan yogurt

Lentil & cauliflower tabbouleh

Mung bean gado gado

Green goddess mason jar salad

Veggie noodle & lentil salad

Radicchio & bean salad

Larb cabbage cups with sprouts & tofu

Roasted tomatoes & white beans with basil vinaigrette

Tomato lentil salad with grilled halloumi

Moth beans & grilled romaine with red pepper vinaigrette

Sweet potato & beluga lentil salad dressed with honey & lemon

Chickpea & cherry salad

Potato salad with dijon & lentils

Black-eyed bean fattoush

Chickpea & kale caesar salad

Butter bean panzanella

Burgers, tacos & sandwiches

Mung bean burgers with red curry aioli

Red lentil & sweet potato croquettes

Indian potato & chickpea patties

Black-eyed bean sliders with pico de gallo

Pigeon pea patties with guava sauce

Black-eyed bean & collard green tacos

Spiralized beetroot & kidney bean patties

Rainbow lentil meatballs with arrabiatta sauce

Yellow lentil & quinoa cakes

Bean flautas with avocado crema

Harissa red lentil meatballs

Lentil pâté banh mi

Pinto bean & spiralized sweet potato quesadilla

Spiced lentil tacos with grilled pineapple salsa

Crispy avocado & chickpea tacos

Scarlet runner burgers with avocado salad

Greek white bean tacos

Courgette & butter bean fritters

Baked falafel with pickled red onions & sambal oelek

Braised dishes & curries

Chickpea tikka masala in lettuce cups

Green curry lentils & broccoli

Tomato braised white beans with green olive polenta

Red kidney bean curry

Dal bolognese

Dal makhani

White bean coconut curry

Cajun braised black-eyed beans

Braised leeks & puy lentils

Braised butter & haricot beans with chermoula

Moroccan squash & pigeon pea tagine

Indian spiced spinach & lentils

Pigeon pea vindaloo

Curried squash & mung bean dopiaza

Braised white beans with spinach & pomegranate

Sweet & sour cabbage with brown lentils

Braised chickpeas with preserved lemon

Lentil & tomato braised green beans

Frijoles borrachos

Baked dishes & casseroles

Curried black lentil stuffed onions

Moth bean stuffed sweet potatoes with brie & pomegranate

Asian adzuki baked beans

Greek stuffed tomatoes

Green split pea stuffed cabbage

Lentil & quinoa stuffed poblanos

Chickpea flour socca with herb & green olive salad

Red lentil lasagne

Baked feta in tomato lentil sauce

Baked lentil spaghetti squash with walnuts & goat’s cheese

Three bean paella

Butter bean enchiladas

Mexican tamale skillet pie

Pigeon pea samosa bake

Black-eyed bean c
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rse, the equally obstinate Catalans grabbed hold of my heart early and often. Ferran and Albert Adrià making it their personal mission to show me how good, how insanely good, ham could be. How stuff that came in a can could be divine. Showed me—as they showed the world—the glorious extremes of human creativity. It’s not that I loved the South of Spain any less. It’s just that I came late to the party.

Spain, for me, is a country of grown-ups. When I’m asked where I’d like to die—specifically at what table—I always picture myself in Spain, sagging to the ground with a blissful expression on my face at Etxebarri, an austere yet revelational restaurant in the mountains near San Sebastián where most dishes have only three ingredients: the principal protein (a single perfect prawn, a spoonful of fish eggs, a slab of exceptional beef), olive oil, and salt.

It’s fitting that you choose Spain to follow Rice, Noodle, Fish . There are, I’ve long believed, similarities between the two countries and their approaches to food: the embrace of single ingredients done as well as possible, the love of tradition, the mania for great seafood. The “poteo,” that uniquely awesome bar crawl, bouncing from place to place, scooping delicious, delicious things into your mouth between glasses of wine: wild mushrooms, little plates of slow-braised cheek, slices of acorn-scented, fat-rippled ham, ridiculously tiny sea cucumbers, squid and octopus seared on the plancha . . . grilled turbot . . . slow-cooked tripe with hunks of chorizo. . . . Going out to eat dinner at midnight. Think about Spain and the mind reels.

You could hardly pick a better place to eat, to write about, to die.



Dear Tony,

Like you, my love for Spain was born in the north. It struck first in Barcelona—eighteen years old and goose-bumped by everything that passed before my eyes. Later, I fell in with the Basques, learned the art of pilpil and pintxos crawls at the hands of Luis and Visi Irizar. Finally, I found a more permanent solution to my courtship with this country: I fell hard for a Catalan girl and somehow convinced her to marry me.

I’ve called Barcelona home since 2010, and I’ve used the years since to roam the peninsula like an Iberian pig in search of fallen acorns. I’ve eaten baby goat with the horsemen of Andalusia, crushed sea urchin in the cider houses of Asturias, scraped socarrat from paella pans with the abuelas of Alicante. My appetite for this country knows no one taste or territory.

Make no mistake, this ain’t Japan. I can’t hide behind my gaijin status here. I married into this country and claim to understand its cuisine. At the very least, I’ve consumed enough calories over the years that I’d be a knucklehead not to have learned something along the way.

The book I’m thinking about is a more personal, intimate book than Japan. To write it any other way would be to ignore the role my family and friends have played in shaping my understanding of this country and its people. Here, I am part insider, part outsider—a position not without its possible perils, but maybe it gives me something to say.

These are well-traveled grounds I traverse. The titans of the Wandering Scribes’ Club—Dumas, Orwell, Papa—have been peddling their opinions on Spain for centuries. More than the foreign contingent, though, the Spaniards claim a long tradition of heavyweight epicures who wield their pens as voraciously as their forks. Néstor Luján, Simone Ortega, José Carlos Capel—men and women with big thoughts about food and huge footprints in the kitchens across Spain. All of this is to say that I would be wise not to fuck this up.

Luckily I’ve had a lot of really smart people along the way to guide me to the good stuff. Rice masters. Fish whisperers. The brothers Adrià. My in-laws. Your buddy José Andrés has been my most trusted consigliere on all matters of the stomach. He cracked open in me a wide and wonderful curiosity for Spain many years ago, which I’ve been probing ever since.

More than specific restaurants or dishes, it’s the people and the stories behind the food that I want to build this book around. A pack of sisters who brave the elements to scrape gooseneck barnacles from the cracks and crevices of the Galician coast. A band of fishermen off the coast of Cádiz who maintain the world’s oldest fish hunt. And in the sunbaked mountains near Granada, in the cave community of Fuente Nueva, my wife’s eighty-seven-year-old great uncle, Chacho Federo, the last of a dying breed of Andalusian shepherds.

I’ve been pocketing these stories for years, saving them in the dank bodega of my mind like a bottle of ’74 Vega Sicilia, waiting for the right moment to decant and drink. Now’s the time.

Un abrazo ,



Might I respond to your last with a resounding “Fuck You!”

You got me beat. By a mile. No
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lood of a man. Quantities of blood were not given. Can you imagine contestants of MasterChef piercing a vein for a meat dish? They wouldn’t do it. Maybe they should.

Agrippa wasn’t just about blood. He professed: ‘If anyone eats passion flower he shall die of laughing.’ Ha!

Before you meet your merry passion-flowered end, I thank you for finding the (valuable) time to read this slim but well-fed miscellany of morsels about food.

Its content is inspired by the modern-day kitchen and the items that we take for granted as conveniences: oven, fridge, freezer, kettle, wine rack, even a fork. These accepted luxuries – and many more – provide the foundation of the chapters. The kitchen as we know it will not exist for much longer. Everything – fridge, cutlery, kettle, you name it – will be hidden from view within the next decade or so. The Magpie’s quest is pleasure; his purpose is to celebrate what is on sight today and perhaps tomorrow.

Speaking of kitchens, my career has taken me into scores of professional ones, not to cook but to interview great chefs and accomplished cooks on a variety of subjects. As part of the delightful process of compiling, collating and writing The Kitchen Magpie

I have drawn upon thousands of hours of interviews, revisiting tapes, digital recordings and wine-stained shorthand notes. Food, and every part of it, is best when shared. On that basis, I was driven to share what amounts to a feast of culinary knowledge, the food memories and the thoughts of Britain’s best-loved characters in gastronomy.

For this book, I also asked a number of gastronomic idols and icons to answer one single question: what is the food of love? It is a question with no boundaries or limitations, and the responses, which are sprinkled throughout the chapters, are insightful and often surprising. These chefs and cooks, you see, opted not for so-called aphrodisiacs, but for the simplicity of comfort food such as baked beans, roasted pigeon, and a ripe peach picked from the tree.

We can all play this game. My own food of love is ham and eggs, which my mother made when I was a child. One thick, sweet slice of honey-roasted ham beneath a fried egg and there you have it: the contrast of runny, yellow yolk and firm, pink meat; the mix on the palate of hot egg and cold ham. Give me that humble dish for breakfast and my wife’s shepherd’s pie for lunch and the day is heading towards perfect.

Within these highly appetising but inedible pages you will also come across old recipes that have been forgotten. They have been gathering dust upon kitchen bookshelves and deserve to be remembered. I hope you agree. These recipes offer a swift, reassuring connection to all of our ancestors. You will read them, feel hungry, and will want to devour them straight from the page.

Though please do not eat this book yet.


Before embarking on the preparation of dishes, essential information for cooks regarding possible injuries and ill-health.

On burning or scalding the skin

Charles Francatelli, chef to Queen Victoria, suggests ‘thoroughly bruising a potato and a raw onion into a pulp, by scraping or beating them with a rolling pin; mix this pulp with a good tablespoonful of salad oil, and apply it to the naked burn or scald; secure it on the part with a linen bandage.’

(Downside: this is terribly time consuming and painfully fiddly if the burn is on your hand.)

On curing a headache (and jet lag and wrinkles)

Don’t reach for the aspirin: have a dozen cherries instead, especially if your headache is in British cherry season (between June and July). Cherries contain anthocyanins, which are also potent antioxidants to fight cancer. Sour cherries such as Morello contain significant amounts of melatonin, a hormone produced in the brain that slows the ageing process and fights insomnia and jet lag. It’s also being studied as a potential treatment for cancer, depression and other diseases and disorders.

On bee and wasp stings

Do not bother searching for a dock leaf to rub on the sting. The search could take hours, or days. Instead, rub the sting with vinegar. This will soothe, stop swelling and reduce pain. Poppy leaves are also said to do the trick.

On cuts to the hand

Scream. Then hold your hand(s) under cold running water for a couple of minutes. Then hold hand(s) above the head to reduce bleeding. Don’t lose your temper with those who laugh at you for looking funny. This bit sounds odd, but it is better to be cut with a sharp knife than a blunt one, so keep your knives sharp. Sharpen a knife at 45 degrees with even pressure from tip to heel.

Knife tip

Always carry a knife pointing towards the floor. Unless lots of people are lying on the floor.

On curing a cold (Isabella Beeton, 1861)

‘Put a large cupful of linseed,
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ensil, such as a spatula or knife. Adjustable measuring cups are optional, but they also come in handy, particularly when dealing with messy ingredients such as Crisco and peanut butter. These adjustable, all-in-one measuring devices allow for accurate measurements and convenient cleanup—simply discard unused ingredients when you’re finished.

Pastry blenders are handheld, curved, wire devices that help incorporate butter into dry ingredients, combining them to create a light, flaky-textured dough by cutting the butter into the flour. The ideal pastry blender is sturdy, has a comfortable grip, sharp blades, is easy-to-use, and doesn’t clog. Stainless steel varieties are a favorite because they’re dishwasher safe.

Pastry brushes are most frequently used to put the final finish of heavy cream or an egg wash on your crust to ensure an even golden brown color and sheen. Ideally, you want a brush that’s not too stiff and that lends itself to a thorough and uniform coating process. Nylon brushes are often on the stiff side. Natural bristle brushes, on the other hand, are nice and pliable and make for smooth spreading. I prefer silicone brushes—they’re dishwasher safe and lack the bristles that could come off while brushing and attach themselves to your pastry.

Pie plates used in these recipes are generally the standard 9-inch variety, with the exception of some recipes in the Savory Pies chapter, which call for a 10-inch deep-dish plate. Pie plates can be found anywhere from the equipment aisle of your local grocery store to specialty cookware stores and come in a number of different materials, ranging from aluminum to steel, glass, and ceramic. In the shop, we use disposable aluminum pie plates so customers can take them home; when baking at home, I use Pyrex glass pie plates. I like glass bottoms because they allow me to examine the bottom crust and ensure it’s cooked through all the way. Ceramic pie plates are more difficult to bake with because they can create an uneven finish on the bottom crust and make it difficult to determine whether the bottom crust has fully baked. A commercial-grade, metal-based pie plate will distribute heat more evenly and quickly, making for more efficient and uniform baking results. I prefer a darker finish because it reflects less of the oven heat and helps cook the pie more quickly and evenly. Also, these thicker, higher-quality pie plates tend to be more resistant to scratches and rust and will stand the test of time.

Pie weights are necessary when you’re making a pie that requires a pre- or partially baked shell. In these instances it’s crucial to place something on top of the crust that will allow the crust to keep its form and to stop air bubbles from forming during the early baking process. Pie weights are small balls that come in both metal and ceramic form (I prefer ceramic because they’re more hygienic than metal pie weights). As an alternative, you can also use dried beans to hold down the crust—just be aware that beans will begin to crack and break down after several uses.

Rolling pins should have two primary qualities: They should have enough weight that they will roll out dough easily and they should be stick resistant (in other words, they won’t take the dough along with them). I prefer rolling pins with handles because they provide more control and require less effort. Rolling rods—or French rolling pins—don’t have handles, requiring you to place your palms directly on the rod to apply forward motion and making for a more difficult rolling process. As with pie plates, you can find rolling pins made of a variety of materials, including wood, marble, steel, and glass. I prefer marble rolling pins because they pack a lot of heft, which makes rolling easier, and, on top of that, the coolness of the marble prevents the dough from warming too much. The cooler the dough remains, the less it will break down, which ultimately optimizes the flakiness of the crust.

The Extras

Baking sheets placed directly under pie plates during the baking process will catch any spillage and make the pie easier to take in and out of the oven. Any type of baking sheet will do, but I prefer nonstick varieties, simply because they’re easier to clean.

Coarse hand graters are used to zest citrus fruits. I prefer the Microplane Premium Classic Zester/Grater ( because its long, narrow shape is comfortable to hold, the grater creates a very fine zest, and the tool itself is easily cleaned.

Food processors are used in a handful of the recipes in this book—most notably the various pumpkin pie recipes. I favor Cuisinart brand food processors because I have found them to be the most durable and efficient.

Handheld juicers come in handy if you choose recipes that require a lot of juicing (such as Lemon Meringue Pie; Twisted Citrus Blackberry Pie; and Sweet
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are, first, to ensure that this form of food preservation never dies and, second, that Americans come to understand both the historical importance of the craft of salumi as well as the pleasures of eating it.

Salumi is easy to do on a general level: throw some salt on some meat and let it dry, slice thin, and eat. To do it with excellence, however, takes an elusive combination of terroir, passion, and luck.

This book is about salumi, the Italian technique of dry curing and preserving meat, but it is also a continuation of our exploration of meat curing and sausage making in general. And although it’s about curing different cuts of meat from different animals, primarily we embarked on this project to deepen our understanding of the hog, the culinary miracle upon which so much of the world has survived, and to deepen our knowledge of this ancient craft of salting and drying meat, once practiced as a matter of survival, today practiced for the unparalleled pleasures it provides, a reminder of our deep past, and a reflection of our humanity.

The Big Eight: Simplifying the

Confusing Terminology of Salumi

1. Guanciale • jowl

2. Coppa • neck/shoulder/loin

3. Spalla • shoulder

4. Lardo • back fat

5. Lonza • loin

5a. • tenderloin

6. Pancetta • belly

7. Prosciutto • ham, back leg

8. Salami • products made from ground or cut pieces of pork

The Big Eight, ready to be salted. This is hog breakdown Italian-style, specifically for salumi (see the illustration on page 32 for the traditional American hog breakdown).

Walk into a salumeria almost anywhere in Italy and you will be confronted by a panorama of cured and cooked meats and sausages. Our first stop on a recent trip was Mosca, a high-end salumeria and specialty store in the city of Biella in the Piedmont region. We could choose from its long and glorious case any of the following sausages, most of which are dried: salame crudo filzetta, piccoli storti dolcissimi, asinelli, bocconcini pura coscia, cacciatorino Napoli piccante, il grissino suino, salame mantovano tipico, salame rustico, salame da cuocere, salame d’ la duja, and salame cotto di vitello fassone alla monferrina, to name a few. And this before we noticed the ham section, the loin section, and the section offering no fewer than a dozen preparations of fatback and belly.

The variety is dizzying. It’s like walking into a pork version of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

Travel south into Tuscany, and a salumeria of the same caliber will have the same products, but the names will differ, as they do next door in Umbria or way down south in Calabria. There are, in fact, dozens of dialects spoken throughout Italy—some Italians don’t even speak Italian, just a dialect. Salumi terminology is subject to this same fragmentation. Trying to understand Italian salumi is like trying to understand Italian in a room full of dialect speakers.

Before we set out to explore Italian salumi, we would walk into a salumeria and gaze at the innumerable Italian names for the dried sausages with little clue as to what distinguished one from another beyond “hot” or “sweet” or “rustic.” Further exploration only increased our confusion. For years, we’ve known soppressata as a large dry-cured salame made with any number of seasonings. One source said there were seven hundred or more published recipes for it. But walk into Sergio Falaschi’s fine Tuscan salumeria and point to the enormous cylinder of dark cooked meat, three feet long and seven or eight inches in diameter, hanging in front of the shelves of dry-curing pork loin, and you will be told that it is soppressata. And the slices in the deli case show a cross section of chunks of meat, tongue, and jowl skin, cooked until tender, compressed into shape with a cloth casing and held fast by lots of gelatin—what I had always known as headcheese. Sergio’s wife, Andrea, will nod and say, “Si, soppressata.” We saw it called coppa di testa in another region. Two regions over, in Le Marche, soppressata is very high in fat and spreadable; in the south, it is a sliceable salame.

In the aforementioned Mosca in Biella, beside the salami, you will see traditional coppa, a neck-shoulder muscle that, with a high ratio of lean meat to fat, is particularly suited to dry curing. Walk into a salumeria in Umbria, in central Italy, and you will see that same muscle, with its characteristic cross sections of fat, called capocollo. Head farther south, and you will find that it’s referred to as filetto.

Bring this up with Emanuelle Sbraletta at his Enotecha Salumeria in the ancient city of Bevagna, in Umbria, and he will admit it is confusing even for Italians.

To confirm, I said, “In the north, oppa, in Tuscany, and here in Umbria, capocollo?”

“No,” he said. “In Tuscany, yes; here, no.”

Again confused, I said, “But there is capocoll
, sell, and drink homogenized milk, where the fat globules have been made small and uniform. To homogenize milk, the milk is forced between two plates with a very small gap between them. The fat globules have no choice but to break apart in order to squeeze through the microscopic passage. Once on the other side, proteins in the milk help re-create the membrane on these new, tinier fat globules. The fat globules are now too small to rise to the top of the milk, making homogenized milk and cream perfect for making ice cream.

That said, some farmstead milks are sold without being homogenized, and they are delicious. If you want to make ice cream out of one of these non-homogenized milks, more power to you. The flavor will be great! You can sort of hack a homogenizer at home by warming your milk above 100°F and spinning it in a blender for a couple minutes on high speed. You won’t achieve the same results as a homogenizer, and you’ll have to accept the possibility that there will be a little bit of buttered texture in your finished product. But that’s a small price to pay for making ice cream with high-quality milk.

Whether you use homogenized dairy or not, your next step in keeping your fat globules small is to prevent them from coalescing. To do this, you emulsify the ice cream base. An emulsifier binds to both water and fat, disallowing the fat from joining with other fat globules. Custard ice cream bases are often considered the smoothest, and this is a direct result of the emulsifying properties of egg yolks. For eggless ice cream bases, the proteins in the dairy can assist in emulsifying the base if you cook them a little longer, and additional emulsifying agents can also be employed. You can read more about emulsifiers on this page .


The protein in ice cream comes from the milk as well. It’s not as substantial as the ice, or as glamorous as the flavorful, multitasking butterfat. But the small amount of protein in ice cream is crucial for texture and for binding the other structural components.

How Protein Works

Milk contains two different proteins: casein and whey. I know it’s hard to envision casein and whey—all I can come up with is a gym rat’s after-workout-drink powder. Instead, imagine another protein-filled fluid, an egg, and we can talk generally about how proteins behave. Imagine yourself adding heat to that egg, cooking it. As the transparent, fluid egg white becomes solid and opaque, and the bright yellow yolk hardens into the texture of fudge, you are seeing the proteins coagulate and become solid. This happens because heat causes the proteins to change their nature, or “denature.” Technically, a protein is a long, coiled chain of amino acids. Imagine taking a long piece of yarn and wadding it up tightly. That’s roughly what an individual protein looks like. When you apply heat, this scrunched-up amino acid chain unfurls into a long strand, and when these loosey-goosey strands touch each other, they connect, creating cross-links. If enough of the proteins connect to each other, they form a web that slows the flow of water. If cooked long enough, the cross-linked protein strands will stop the flow of water all together, turning the liquid egg solid.

Now, the proteins in milk behave just like the proteins in eggs. You might think, “Hey, I’ve cooked milk and it’s never turned into a hard-boiled egg.” That’s partly because there’s a lot more protein in an egg than there is in an equal amount of milk. Because of this, milk must be cooked much longer to evaporate water and de-nature enough proteins to cross-link and form a solid. But if you’ve ever had milk jam—dulce de leche—you’ve experienced the thick, semi-solid texture created by milk proteins that have denatured and bonded together.

Making Proteins Work for Your Ice Cream

While the cross-linked proteins disrupt the flow of water, solidifying eggs or “gelling” milk, something much more important is happening with dairy proteins. To understand what’s going on, you need to know that these uncoiled protein strands aren’t smooth threads. They have all sorts of little molecular branches on them, like a centipede’s hands (or are they feet?). Many of the branches will only hold the hands of other proteins, forming those cross-links. However, other branches are hydrophilic and absolutely love to hold hands with water molecules, while others are hydrophobic and hate water, grabbing on to anything else they can find. The more the proteins unfurl, the more hands they have waving around looking for a loving embrace with water in the milk. The more water that binds to the proteins in your dairy, the less “free-roaming” water there is to pool together and create a large ice crystal.

To apply this concept, you’ll notice that some of the recipes in this book require you to hold the ice cream base at a very low simmer for 2 minutes. By doing this, you are denaturing more and more of the proteins, thereby cap


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