Home   News   Article

A truly classical creamy dessert for any table

By David Porter

Contribute to support quality local journalism

Haddo House’s resident food historian Joyce Elliot has a passion for the past and is often found leafing through antique, well-thumbed and handed-down recipe books.

This has helped her to discover ideal ways of bringing old recipes to life for special menus at Haddo’s functions and in Haddo’s Courtyard Café.

She has kindly agreed to share several of the recipes with our readers in a series of articles, entitled From Joyce’s Cookery Journal, more of which can be found weekly at Haddo House’s Facebook page.

These offer a selection of recipes, tips and fascinating foodie facts.

This week’s recipe comes to us from down the centuries and it is still as flavoursome and luxurious now as it was when it was created.

This recipe has been adapted from a recipe book written by Eliza Smith in 1727 called ‘The Compleat Housewife’ - Syllabub.

Syllabub has been known in England at least since John Heywood’s Thersytes of about 1537: “You and I Muste walke to him and eate a solybubbe.”

Hannah Glasse, in the 18th century, published the recipe for whipt syllabubs in The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy.

The recipe included in its ingredients: “a quart of thick cream, and half a pint of sack, the juice of two Seville oranges or lemons, grate in the peel of two lemons, half a pound of double refined sugar.”


280ml/½ pint double cream

140ml/¼ pint white wine

2 tablespoons sweet sherry

1 Lemon – juice and zest

100g/4oz Icing sugar


In a bowl whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks, add the sugar and whisk again until the mixture is stiff.

Beat in the sherry, wine, lemon zest and juice.

Whisk until all the ingredients are mixed and stiff.

Fill wine glasses with the Syllabub.

Serve with shortbread.

Joyce’s tips:

This recipe will taste better after a day or two, when the flavours will have blended.

You can substitute the alcohol for a cordial of your choice, elderflower works really well.

You can top with fruit of your choice.

This website is powered by the generosity of readers like you.
Please donate what you can afford to help us keep our communities informed.


In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More