Junket was the most common festive sweet dish from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century. It was served on holidays, at feasts and fairs, so universally that they were often called ‘junket-days’ and people spoke of going ‘a-junketing’. The name comes from the word ‘junci’ or wild rushes, on which the curds were laid to drain, and on which, when drained sufficiently, they were served. Markham refers to a junket as a ‘wet sucket’: in fact, it is simply ‘curds and whey’.
Warm the milk to blood heat only, and stir in the rennet, cinnamon, brandy and sugar. Turn into a wide flat bowl or into individual dishes, and sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Leave to stand until cold and set, but not in the refrigerator.
Many people dislike junket, but eaten with clotted or thick cream, it is good, if rather insipid.
©1975 The Estate of Elizabeth Ayrton