Ornamental Separator

Orange Creams

Watch our historic foodways staff cook this recipe, then try it at home

This refreshing dessert is not as thick as a modern pudding, and can be sipped or eaten with a spoon. For a lighter alternative without the egg yolks, try a clear lemon cream, made with the juice of two lemons, a cup of sugar, 4 egg whites and a cup of water, heated until thick.

18th Century

Take and pare the rind of a Seville orange very fine, and squeeze the juice of four oranges; put them into a stew —pan, with half a pint of water, and half a pound of fine sugar, beat the whites of five eggs and mix into it, and set them on a slow fire; stir it one way till it grows thick and white, strain it through a gauze, and stir it till cold; then beat the yolks of five eggs very fine, and put into your pan with the cream; stir it over a gentle fire till it is ready to boil; then put in your glasses.

— Glasse, Hannah, “The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy”

21st Century


  • 4 oranges
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated


  1. Carefully pare the rind of one orange, insuring no white is used since it is bitter.
  2. Add the juice of the oranges, water, sugar, and rind into a saucepan.
  3. In a bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy and add them to the juice, water and sugar.
  4. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  5. Strain through a fine sieve, and return mixture to a clean pan.
  6. In a bowl, beat egg yolks until light yellow. Temper with some of the hot mixture and return to the pan. Cook until thickened.
  7. Cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  8. Spoon into cups or glasses. Cream will be thickened as is a light custard.

Learn More


Historic Foodways