Yep, that’s right, parmesan. As in the Italian cheese.
I used the receipt from Frederick Nutt’s book,
The Complete Confectioner: Or, the Whole Art
of Confectionary Made Easy (1789). Nutt was
a professional confectioner in London, England,
who had previously apprenticed with the Italian
confectioner, Domenico Negri. There are 32
receipts for ice cream in Nutt’s book, ranging
from the typical peach and raspberry to odd
flavors like brown bread and ginger. According
to Jeri Quinzio’s book, Of Sugar and Snow,
A History of Ice Cream Making, however, it’s
likely that Nutt stole, er, “borrowed” his
parmesan receipt from a predecessor,
French chef Joseph Gilliers.
Incidentally, Gilliers, Nutt, and others would
often put their parmesan ice cream in molds
shaped like slices of cheese:
They would then use burnt sugar to simulate
Here is Nutt’s (er, Gilliers?!) receipt:
No. 150. Parmasan [sic] Cheese Ice Cream.
Take six eggs, half a pint of syrup,*
and a pint of cream; put them into
a stewpan and boil them until it begins
to thicken; then rasp three ounces
of Parmasan cheese, mix and pass
them through a sieve, and freeze it.
The end result was quite tasty! HUZZAH!
A perfect blend of savory and sweet, it earned
rave reviews from all who tried it. It was so much
fun. I can’t wait to try another “uncommon” flavor!
Below are the instructions I used to make
the syrup* required in the above receipt,
courtesy of British food historian Ivan Day:
To make a stock syrup for Nutt’s ice cream recipes.
1000 mls of water and 1 kg of sugar.
Bring the water to the boil
and remove from the heat.
Add the sugar and stir until
dissolved. When cool store
in a large jar and keep it in
a cold place until required.