Ann Reardon

200 year old banquet

What would it have been like to go to a fancy dinner 200 years ago? Luckily this old cookbook tells us what should be served for grand and splendid entertainment and even has a drawing of how to lay out the table.
I have recreated all of the dishes on the table and it is nothing like what we’d serve today. There are no salads, no vegetables, no rice or pasta dishes, just lots of meat and desserts. If you’re looking to make your own 200 year recipes I’d recommend trying the raspberry puffs and almond cakes as they were the crowd pleasers.

First Course:
first course

Second Course:
second course 1800s cooking

Below are all the dishes from the second course.


blanc mange 200 year old cookbook blanc mange I used the second recipe for blanc mange, it is interesting to note that there is no sugar in the recipe so it is not sweet at all. As with all the recipes on this page I used gelatine instead of the steps for using isinglass or calves foot jelly. For more information on those methods click on the links provided.

Fruit in Jelly

fruit in jelly 1800s cooking fruit in jelly 200 year old recipe


200 year old marmalade recipe 200 year old marmalade recipe
Tastes lovely but very similar to marmalade now, so you may wish to save yourself some time and buy marmalade. I am also unsure as to what they ate it with on the table, perhaps one of the meats?


moonshine old fashioned recipe 200 year old cookbook. To make this with gelatine skip the steps of boiling calves feet and adding egg whites to clarify the jelly. Instead make half a quart of sweet clear jelly using water, gelatine (see packet for the amount needed to set this volume of water) and sugar to taste. Then follow the rest of the directions as in the recipe. The chocolate jelly goes under the shapes and fills them so I suggest that once it is set, before you remove the shapes, use a straw to get it out of the moon and stars.
It tastes like a chocolatey jelly. The presentation was more creative than I was expecting for 200 years ago.

Almond Cakes

almond cakes 200 year old recipe almond cake old fashioned recipe gluten free
This worked well as a gluten free “cake”. It is more of a soft slice rather than a cake texture and if you change the rose water and orange flower water for other flavourings you could change to taste to your liking.

Dish of Snow

apple snow 200 year old recipe Victorian era cooking By the next day this had settled out into clear apple juice on the base and frothy apple flavoured foam on top.

Floating Island

floating island 200 year old cookbook floating island old recipe Quite an acceptable dish to todays palette when made wiht 3 different types of jams layered with bread cut thin. There was a bit much cream, you could probably halve the amount.

Pear Compote

compote of pears 200 year old recipe old recipes compote of pears This recipe is still used today and you can see why, it looks classy and tastes great.


custards 200 year old baked custard I definitely put too much orange flower water in this one. If making it again I would leave the rose and orange flower water out, the mace flavour was great on its own.

Raspberry Puffs

raspberry puffs old recipe 19C (66.2 degrees Fahrenheit) recipes lemon puffs There was no recipe for raspberry puffs in the book so I used the lemon puff recipe but swapped in raspberries for the lemons. These were time consuming to pipe in tiny drops but tasted great.

Roast Chickens

roast chickens

Roast Ducks

roast ducks 200 year old banquet 19C (66.2 degrees Fahrenheit) chickens

Lamb Ribs

roast lamb reardon
lamb roast

Collard Pork

boiled pork
old recipes collard pig

Crawfish in Savoury Jelly

crawfish in jelly crayfish 1800s cooking
19C (66.2 degrees Fahrenheit) recipes savoury jelly

Snipes in Savoury Jelly

snipes in savoury jelly old recipe
Victorian era recipes chicken in jelly
I was unable to source snipes so substituted for quail.

Potted Char

potted salmon recipe
Char was substituted with salmon.

Marbled Veal

marbles veal 200 year old cookbook
marbled veal victorian dinner party
This was the least liked dish and ended up being fed to our dog, who thought it was delicious.

My Cookbook

ann reardon crazy sweet creations cookbook
Stores that sell my book listed by country:
All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

8 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 5

    Can you please name the cookbook and it’s author? I love historical cooking. Mostly 18th century thanks to Townsend’s, but I’m curious to see what else there is out there for 19th century cookery.

    • “Housekeeper’s Instructor” or “Universal Family Cook” by William Augustus Henderson.

      In case anyone is wondering, the 200-year-old cookbook that Ann Reardon uses is named above. I am unsure if she ever names the book herself, but the PDF version can be found online.

  2. Rating: 2.5

    The concept of savoury jelly reminds me of that debunking video with vinegar and salt jelly. Sounds disgusting, but I’ll keep an open mind. I’ll make it and see.

  3. Rating: 4

    We just made the lemon puffs. My daughter is going to take them to our county fair. They were tricky to bake properly but were delicious when we got it right! Thanks for the recipe and video!

    • They look nice! I’d like to make this too. May I ask, what time and temperature did you bake them for?

  4. Rating: 3

    That was very interesting. There were a couple of them that made me think that I would like to give it a go.

  5. Rating: 2.5

    What is the name and author of the 200-year-old cookbook you used?

    • “Housekeeper’s Instructor” or “Universal Family Cook” by William Augustus Henderson.

      In case anyone is wondering, the 200-year-old cookbook that Ann Reardon uses is named above. I am unsure if she ever names the book herself, but the PDF version can be found online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>