Curds and Whey Recipe

Little Miss Muffet IllustrationLittle Miss Muffet Sat on a Tuffet Eating Her Curds and Whey
(PD Source: The Little Mother Goose, 1912)

Use the old fashioned Curds and Whey recipe below to make the dessert that Little Miss Muffet is famous for. C'mon, you know you want to try it!

Old Fashioned Curds and Whey Recipe

Miss Leslie's Seventy-Five Receipts (1827)

Homemade Curds and WheyHomemade Curds and Whey with Its Greenish Tinge
(Source: ©Don Bell)

Take a small piece of rennet about two inches square. Wash it very clean in cold water, to get all the salt off, and wipe it dry. Put it into a teacup, and pour on it just enough of lukewarm water to cover it. Let it set all night, or for several hours.

Then, take out the rennet, and stir the water which it was soaked into a quart of warm milk, which should be in a broad dish.

Set the milk in a warm place, till it becomes a firm curd. As soon as the curd is completely made, set it in a cool place, or on ice (if in summer) for two or three hours before you want to use it.

Eat it with wine, sugar, and nutmeg.

When perfectly well made, it always looks greenish. The whey, drained from the curd, is an excellent drink for invalids.

How to Make Curds and Whey

©2016 by Don Bell

Miss Muffet and the Spider

Do you remember Little Miss Muffet?

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey,
Along came a spider who sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away!

Most of us as children have heard this famous nursery rhyme, but did you ever wonder what Little Miss Muffet's curds and whey actually tasted like?

And what on earth is a tuffet?

Well, now you can try this old fashioned recipe for yourself.

A modern-day rennet tablet may be substituted for "a small piece of rennet" in the old recipe, or you can try the following method instead:

1 quart (4 cups) whole milk (raw, organic, if possible)
6 teaspoons white vinegar

(Add an extra teaspoon or two of vinegar, if you find it's needed to curdle the milk.)

Slowly bring milk to the boil in saucepan, while stirring continuously to prevent scorching.  Once the milk boils, turn off heat and add vinegar while gently stirring. Milk should begin to curdle  and become curds and whey.

Flavor with the traditional sugar and nutmeg to your taste. Adding a little wine to the old fashioned curds and whey recipe is optional.

Enjoy trying this historical dessert that dates from medieval times.

And if you're wondering, a tuffet is simply a small hassock or footstool completely covered in fabric.

Oh!  And watch out for the spider!

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