Victorian Recipes – Avis Crocomb’s Queen Drop Biscuits

Original Text

‘1/2lb of butter beet to a cream, 1/2lb of sugar, 4 eggs ½ lb of currents ¾ of a lb of flour a few drops of almond flavour drop them on paper ‘.


½ lb butter

½ lb sugar

3 eggs

¾ lb flour

½ lb currants

a few drops of almond extract

Cream the butter and add the sugar. Mix well, before adding the sifted flour and eggs. Mix until light and fluffy and tip in the currents and almond extract. Using your hands or a tablespoon, drop equal quantities of the mixture onto a greased baking sheet. Don’t put them too close together as the mixture will settle and expand outwards – you will end up with a cross between a cookie and a cake. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 10 minutes or until firm to the touch and cool on a rack. This mixture haves about 24 biscuits. Happy baking!

Source – English Heritage


Victorian Recipes – Avis Crocombe’s Ginger Beer (c.1881)

Original Text

1 ¼ lump sugar 3 ½ oz ginger well pounded. The peel of 1 lemon cut very thin. Put them into a pitcher then add eleven pints of boiling water. Stir the whole then cover it up – when cooled till only milk warm put 2 spoonful of yeast on a piece of toast hot from the fire add the juice of the lemon – let it work for 12 hours. Strain into a muslin and bottle it – it will be fit to drink in 4 days.


10 oz white sugar

scant ½ oz ground ginger

peel and juice of ½ a lemon

5 ½ pts boiling water

small slice of bread

1 tsp of fresh yeast (or dried yeast, make into a paste)


Put the sugar, ginger and lemon peel into a large, heat proof container (you can use a bucket). Pour on the boiling water and stir well. Leave until lukewarm, and then toast the bread. Spread it with the yeast and pop it into the ginger mix along with the lemon juice. Stir briefly and leave overnight. Strain several times through muslin and bottle. Leave for 4 days before drinking.

The entry in Mrs Crocombe’s book notes that this recipe was copied from ‘The Field’ newspaper, courtesy of Lady Braybrook (her employer) – a tantalizing glimpse at employer-employee relations at this time.

Source – English Heritage

Victorian Recipes – Mrs Beetons Apple Crumble

butter for greasing
675g / 1 ½ lb cooking apples
100g / 4 oz granulated sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
150 g / 5 oz plain flower
75 g / 3 oz caster sugar
1.25 ml / ¼ tsp ground ginger
Grease a 1-litre / 1 ¾-pint pie dish. set the oven at 180*c  / 350*F / gas 4. peel and core the apples. slice into a saucepan and add the granulated sugar and lemon rind. stir in 50 ml / 2 fl oz water, cover the pan and cook until the apples are soft. spoon the apple mixture into the prepared dish and set aside.
Put the flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter or margarine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. add the caster sugar and ginger and stir well. sprinkle the mixture over the apples and press down lightly bake for 30-40 minutes until the crumble topping is golden brown.
Serves 6
source – The Best Of Mrs Beetons