Another thing you can credit Thomas Jefferson with — being the first known American to record an ice cream recipe. It’s one of 10 surviving recipes written by the founding father.
According to Monticello.org, ice cream began appearing “in French cookbooks starting in the late 17th century, and in English-language cookbooks in the early 18th century.” And there “are accounts of ice cream being served in the American colonies as early as 1744.” Jefferson likely tasted his fair share of the dessert while living in France (1784–1789), and it would continue to be served at Monticello upon his return. By the first decade of the 19th century, ice cream would become increasingly found in cookbooks published throughout the U.S.
You can see the entire recipe for Jefferson’s vanilla ice cream recipe here, and a read transcript below.
2. bottles of good cream.
6. yolks of eggs.
1/2 lb. sugar
mix the yolks & sugar
put the cream on a fire in a casserole, first putting in a stick of Vanilla.
when near boiling take it off & pour it gently into the mixture of eggs & sugar.
stir it well.
put it on the fire again stirring it thoroughly with a spoon to prevent it’s sticking to the casserole.
when near boiling take it off and strain it thro’ a towel.
put it in the Sabottiere
then set it in ice an hour before it is to be served. put into the ice a handful of salt.
put salt on the coverlid of the Sabotiere & cover the whole with ice.
leave it still half a quarter of an hour.
then turn the Sabottiere in the ice 10 minutes
open it to loosen with a spatula the ice from the inner sides of the Sabotiere.
shut it & replace it in the ice
open it from time to time to detach the ice from the sides
when well taken (prise) stir it well with the Spatula.
put it in moulds, justling it well down on the knee.
then put the mould into the same bucket of ice.
leave it there to the moment of serving it.
to withdraw it, immerse the mould in warm water, turning it well till it will come out & turn it into a plate