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Macaroons with Cream

Learn about this recipe from our historic foodways staff, then try it at home

This recipe is a little tricky. The title leads you to believe the “sweet biscuit type” macaroons are to be served with a cream sauce. However, in reality this author uses macaroni instead. Macaroni was very expensive during the 18th century because the Italians were the only people with the machinery to make the “foreign paste.”

18th Century

These are to be had at any confectioner’s shop in London, and the newer they are the better; boil in water only till very tender, to half a pint of cream put half a spoonful of flour, some sugar and nutmeg, with a morsel of salt, stir it over the fire till it is thickish, cool it, and put in the yolks of three eggs, and a morsel of oiled new butter, stir it well together, and put in your macaroons, put a nice little rim of puff paste round your dish, pour in your ingredients, and put it to bake little sugar over it, and serve to the table. This is not what we call macaroons of the sweet biscuit sort, but a foreign paste, the same as vermicelli, but made very large in comparison to that.

– Verral, Verral’s Complete System of Cookery, p.119

21st Century


  • 4 oz. ziti
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup cream (you may substitute skim milk or low fat cream)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. butter (¼ stick)
  • Puff pastry for 9” pie plate


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Boil pasta in water for 8 to 10 minutes until tender. Rinse and drain.
  3. In a saucepan, combine cream, flour 1 Tbsp. sugar, and nutmeg. Stir over medium heat until mixture thickens.
  4. Remove from heat and add butter, stirring butter in until it is melted and blended. Let cool.
  5. Whip egg yolks and add to the mixture. Beat until smooth and well blended.
  6. Add rinsed pasta to sauce mixture. Stir well and pour into puff pastry.
  7. Bake in 375°F oven for 20 minutes. Top should be golden and custard fairly firm.
  8. Remove from oven and sprinkle 1 Tbsp. sugar over the top. Serve.

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