Early Cheesecakes

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Although cheesecakes were recorded in England as early as 1265, when “cheese for tarts” was listed in the account books of the countess of Leicester, the earliest cheesecake recipe in England appeared in 1390 in Forme of Cury, the first English cookery book. It was a pastry shell baked with a filling of cheese, egg yolks, ginger, saffron, sugar, and salt. Medieval luxury fare was characterized by the use of expensive spices, sugar, and imported dried fruits, ingredients that became status symbols for the self-indulgent elite. Thus, cheesecakes were regarded as luxury foods.