Ann Reardon

The 200 year old cheesecake recipe

how to cook that baked cheesecake

I really enjoyed stepping back in time to make this 200 year old cheesecake recipe. It really made me appreciate all the mod cons that we have in the kitchen and the vast array of ingredients we can buy at the shops. To make a cheesecake in the 1800’s you had to start by making cheese. What I would today call a quick dessert back then took all day to make.

200 year old cheesecake recipe:

0.5 pint or 285mL (9.64 fluid ounces) of cream
2.5 quarts or 2365mL (79.97 fluid ounces) of milk
rennet or 18 junket tablets dissolved in 1/2 cup of water
0.25 pound (0.11 kilograms) ground almonds
0.25 pound (0.11 kilograms) macaroons
yolks of 4 eggs
ground nutmeg
rose water
0.25 pound (0.11 kilograms) fine sugar
0.625 pound (0.28 kilograms) of butter

Place the cream and milk into a pan and heat until it reaches body temperature. Dissolve the junket tablets in 1/2 cup of water and add to the milk and cream. Stir it about and leave to one side.
Using a mortar and peter (or food processor) grind together the almonds, sugar and macarons. Add the eggs yolks, nutmeg and rosewater and process until smooth.
Once your milk mixture has thickened pour into a cheesecloth and hang to allow all the whey to drip out. You should get a consistency similar to ricotta cheese. Add this to the food processor and blend. (or grind in a mortar and pestle).

1800's food
1 pound (0.45 kilograms) ground almonds
1 pound (0.45 kilograms) of sugar
rose water
7 egg whites
In a mortar and pestle grind together the almonds and sugar (or use a food processor). Whip the egg whites to soft peaks and fold it all together. Drop spoonfuls onto tray lined with baking paper. Bake until golden.

200 year old macaron recipe

Puff pastry
1 pound (0.45 kilograms) fine flour
cold water
1 pound (0.45 kilograms) of butter
“Take a pou8nd of fine flour, wet it with cold water, roll it out and put into it by degrees a pound of fresh butter, and shake little flour on each oct as you roll it.” See the video for more detailed instructions on how to make the puff pastry.

Line your dish with the pastry and trim to size. Pour in the filling and bake at 180C (356 degrees Fahrenheit) until set (it can still have a slight wobble in the very middle)

baked cheesecake ann reardon

Top with fresh berries and a sprinkle of icing sugar.
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My Cookbook

ann reardon crazy sweet creations cookbook
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All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

23 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 5

    I loved the video! I am going to recreate this 😉 What was the approximate yield of the cheese? (If that’s still known – I know I’m late – I’d skip the cheesemaking)

  2. Hello, Ann Reardon!

    From the time that I’ve watched your 200 year old cheesecake recipe, i was so amazed that such recipe still exists and made me come to a realization on the evolution of food, especially on desserts. I’m still on the point of re-creating this recipe, yet i was having queries on the part of the cheese-making.

    My question is that, what type of milk did you use for the cheese-making part? Because here in our place (at the Philippines), most of the milk i see in nearby groceries are labeled ultra-pasteurized. Can it affect the yield of the cheese to be produced?

    • Hi Carl, In Australia we call ultra pasteurised milk – UHT milk. You can use it for some cheese making but it doesn’t work as well, it has lower output and the curds don’t hang togther well. You would be better obtaining fresh milk rather than using UHT.

  3. Hello, I want to bake this cake for a group of people ( around of 40-50) how much ingredients I have to buy? How can I know you seen this question?

    • Hi Yael, THis recipe serves around 6 people.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. A definite trip back to yesteryear and certainly looking forward to giving it a try.

    • Thanks Donna.

  5. Does it say how much rennet to use in this?

    • Hi Ainsley, the original recipe does not give a quantity for rennet. Ann has used easily available junket tablets as an alternative. If you have access to commercial rennet or rennet tablets then the quantity would generally be less than the junket tabs given above as junket tabs contain a smaller proportion of rennet. Follow the directions on the rennet pack as a guide.

  6. Rating: 4

    Fascinating recipe and process. Can you provide the name/author of this book? It would be cool to find a copy. Or you could even get a museum/university/etc. to scan a copy of the book so that everyone can enjoy it.

  7. Rating: 4.5

    I found this amazing that you have a cook book this old. I would love to buy one. May you please share the title of the book.
    Thank you

  8. Rating: 5

    Hi ann. I love watching ur videos. You do intricate details and i love your work with chocolate. You should check out cedric grolet on instagram, his deserts are amazing. Would love to see u recreate something from his collection.

  9. I am just reading The History of Cake and am delighted to watch this video. Not only have you followed each step, you have dedicated yourself to doing it almost exactly the way they would have done it. Bravo! I once had to do egg whites without a beater, just a fork, and it took ages, like in your video. Did you know that 200 years ago sugar was bought as a sugar loaf and had to be broken down? Because this took so long, sweets were really special and nothing for the ordinary (wo)men. Today one can buy these sugar loafs for a burnt punch.
    Anyway, loved your video and you dedication!

    • THat is really interesting Corinna. Thanks for commenting.

    • Thanks for sharing that Corinna! I’m very interested in that book History of Cake, can you name the author?

  10. Hi Ann,

    Could you show us the book cover? =)

  11. hi ann
    can you please make something club penguin theme because it is closing down and I love that game so much

    • no

  12. Rating: 4.5

    Dear Ann Reardon,
    I must say that today is quite a day. I am learning to be a baker, it is my dream and I love doing it. Anyway, today I learned how to make puff pastries by myself in the bakery, of course with the machines but I must say I love the coincidence that you also showed us today how to make it by hand.
    Have a nice day

    • That’s fabulous Nadine!

  13. Looks amazing! What was the taste? The cheese looks a bit grainy, but after all it is homemade!

    • Hi Ivelina, the texture would probably be smoother if we used more modern methods but it is was the traditional method that we were experimenting with. Ann tells you what it tasted like towards the end of the video. Check it out.

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