Foodways at Ashland

Ashland exists as a legacy to Henry Clay, and five generations of his descendants have lived on the estate. One of those descendants was Henry Clay’s great-granddaughter Nannette McDowell Bullock. Nannette plays a significant role in the history of Ashland; in 1926 she created the Henry Clay Memorial Foundation. The Foundation continues to operate Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate today.

Many of Nannette’s recipe books (or receipts as they were called) are part of the Ashland collection. Along with printed recipes, these cookbooks contain many handwritten recipes from Nannette. One such recipe is for blancmange (French for “white food”), a sweet dessert made from gelatin, milk, and cream. Although not very much like the Jell-O we eat today, blancmange is a sweet jelly treat with a very long history!

"Blanc Mange Without Eggs"

Half a box of Cox’s gelatine dissolved in cold water boil a pint of new milk and stir in the gelatine till it is all dissolved. Sweeten to your taste. Flavor and sweeten your cream and whip and when the gelatine congeals stir it in. Feb 1st, 1883

After the blancmange was prepared, it was poured into a mold.

Tin blancmange mold from the Ashland collection.

The mold was then refrigerated for 6-8 hours. The blancmange was removed from the mold when it was ready to serve.

Try making this recipe and let us know how it turns out!

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