Jaune Mange jelly is the yellow sister to the ancient delicacy called Blanc Mange which means ‘white food’. It is one of the most international early dishes of European cuisine. From the Middle Ages onwards the name of this dish in its various forms – blanc mange, blanc manger, blamange, manjar branco, biancomangiare – can be found in most European cookery books.
It is believed by many food historians that the earliest recipe for blancmange dates back to the twelfth century. Two recipes for blancmange also feature in the earliest English cookery text, The Forme of Cury from C1390. By 1395, two recipes for blancmange can be found in the Viandier manuscripts, the first French cookbook: one is a dish for the sick, the other is a multicoloured dish, which is at odds with the name’s literal meaning.
This recipe uses seville orange juice, while others recommend lemon and lemon peel for flavour and colour. Later recipes by J.H. Walsh in The British Cookery Book (1864) instruct the cook to use sherry or ‘raisin-wine’. Because the eggs give this jaune mange a set already, you don’t need to use as much gelatine as you would for a blancmange.`
Boil one ounce of isinglass three quarters of a pint of water, till melted, strain it; add the juice of two Seville oranges, a quarter of a pint of white wine, the yolks of four eggs, beaten and strained, sugar to the taste; stir it over a gentle fire till it just boils up; when cold put it into a mould or moulds; if there should be any sediment, take care not to pour it in.
Charlotte Mason, The Lady’s Assistant, 1773
Makes enough for a fancy 400 ml (14 fl oz) mould
What do you need
- 220 ml (7. fl oz) white wine
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 4 gelatine leaves
- juice of 2 seville oranges (or plain oranges, it will just be more sweet but not too sweet, don’t worry)
In a small saucepan, bring the wine and sugar to a simmer. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Soak the gelatine leaves in the orange juice until soft.
Begin whisking the warm wine mixture into the egg yolks, followed by the soaked gelatine and juice.
Allow to cool but not set, then pour into a mould that you have rinsed and not wiped dry and allow to set for 6 hours or overnight. The smaller the mould, the shorter the setting time.
To unmould, wet one of your hands and use it to loosen the jelly. Allow the jelly to slide out onto a wet plate (if the plate is wet, you can easily move the jelly around if necessary).
From my book ‘Pride and Pudding – the history of British puddings, savoury and sweet’ (Murdoch Books)
Happy new year!