When you hear the words Victorian summer, what comes to mind? Do you envision puffed frilly blouses, parasols and lightly colored linen fabric? Wicker furniture, high button shoes and men with well-trimmed mustaches? Croquet mallets, dainty tea cups and high wheeling bicycles? All of these things would have been a part of Samantha’s 1904 world. A Victorian lawn party would have been a wonderful place to spend a summer afternoon and lemon ice would’ve been the perfect way to cool down from invigorating lawn games! Using Samantha’s Pleasant Company Cook Book, let’s travel back to 1904 and enjoy this summer treat!
For this recipe you will need: 4 lemons, 1 orange, 4 cups of water, 1 1/2 cups of sugar and mint leaves (optional). The complete recipe is at the bottom of the page.
I started by washing my lemons well, because I wanted to use the rind for a garnish. Cut the lemons and orange into halves. Squeeze the juice from the halves and set aside. I used a citrus squeezer to get every drop. If garnishing with lemon peel, cut strips before discarding the rind. In a pan, mix water and sugar well. Heat on medium until boiling and cook for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally.
After boiling the sugar-water mixture, pour into a large bowl. Add the orange and lemon juice through a strainer into the sugar mixture. Combine and let cool completely.
Once cooled, place in a freezer container and cover. I used an empty gallon ice cream container because it had a lid. Freeze for several hours or until ready to serve. Scrape the ice and form the shavings into scoops.
Garnish with lemon peel and mint leaves (optional). Now it’s time to cool off and enjoy the summer with Victorian flare!
Felix Leigh wrote a children’s book in 1883. This is a poem from that book.
The Penny-Ice Man
In summer when the sun is high, And children’s lips are parched and dry, An ice is just the thing to try.
So this young man who comes, ‘tis plain,
From Saffron Hill, or Leather Lane, A store of pence with quickly gain.
“A lemon ice for me,” says Fred;
Cries Sue, “No, have a cream instead.”
“A raspberry!” shouts Newsboy Ned.
“What fun! Although we’re now in June,
It feels” – says Ned – “this afternoon, Like eating winter with a spoon!”
Felix Leigh – London Town 1883
Lemon Ice ~ Pleasant Company
(This recipe has been adapted from Samantha’s Cook Book)
- 4 lemons
- 1 orange
- 4 cups of water
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- Lemon peel for garnish (optional)
- mint leaves for garnish (optional)
*This recipe requires adult supervision, the sugar-water will be boiling hot!
- Cut the lemons and orange in half.
- Squeeze the juice out of the orange and lemon halves by turning them back and forth on a juicer or squeeze them in a press. (If garnishing with lemon, peel strips from the rind before discarding)
- Place the water and sugar in a saucepan. Mix them well. Heat the mixture on a medium heat until it boils, for 10 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
- Pour the juice through a strainer into the bowl and stir well. Let it cool.
- Pour the mixture into a freeze-able container and cover. Place the lemon ice into the freezer for several hours until it is hard.
- Using a large spoon, scrape the shavings off the top and shape into scoop-size servings.
- Garnish with lemon peel and mint. (Optional)