Category Archives: Maria Eliza Rundell

Rice Paste for Sweets

This is a vintage cookbook trial, error and rescue mission. After deciding to make rhubarb tart, I wondered if there was a suitable pastry recipe in the same book. I saw one which included rice flour, of which I’ve had a bag lying around for ages, being only a sporadic shortbread maker.   I’ve already had a successful attempts at plain and enriched shortcrusts, tart paste and cream crust, and was optimistic about trying a new method:

Rice paste for sweets

A New System of Domestic Cookery by Mrs Rundell (first published 1806, reprinted by Persephone Books 2009)

Boil a quarter of a pound of ground rice in the smallest amount of water; strain from it all moisture as well as you can; beat it in the mortar with half an ounce of butter, and one egg well beaten, and it will make an excellent paste for tarts, &c.
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Rhubarb tart

This recipe is from A New System of Domestic Cookery by Mrs Rundell, first published in 1806. A reprint was issued by Persephone books in 2009  and has an excellent introduction by Janet Morgan, but the short version is that Maria Eliza was born  in 1745 in Shropshire and died in 1828. She was a middle-aged woman who wrote the book initially for her children, refusing payment,  all the recipes having been tested countless times (i.e. the polar opposite of young,  childfree, business woman Isabella Beeton). As usual, the Telegraph food section loves her.

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