Zeetha remembers Passholdt not by its name, but by the fact that they make "those fried cream things" . It seems that "fried cream things" are known in our world, particularly as a Venetian recipe[1]; but they were listed in a book of French cooking in the 1700s[2], are well known in San Francisco[3] and even have a Chinese cousin[4].

The common points in all the recipes involve cooking milk with a thickening agent, whether it be eggs, flour, cornstarch, gelatin or a combination of these[5]. Occasionally, they are flavoured by adding lemon rind, cinnamon, vanilla or rum to the custard before cooking. Once the custard has set up by chilling and has been sliced, it is dredged in flour (or ground almonds), egg and breadcrumbs, fried until golden, then served sprinkled with sugar. For a more spectacular presentation, they are served flambéed.

Here's the ingredients for one version of the recipe from a celebrity Italian chef:

  • Olive oil, for frying and oiling the work surface
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, more for dredging
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • Powdered sugar, for garnish

Chef Batali's instructions are listed on his network's website.

In fact, the recipe for "Passholdt Fried Crème 'Things'"[6] is given in Agatha H and the Clockwork Princess, at the beginning of Chapter 5, and is indeed similar to the ones listed on this page.


  1. Crema Fritta Alla Veneta
  2. Le Cuisinier Gascon. A Amsterdam. 1740, p. 137-138
  3. "Fried cream is a dessert with a long tradition in San Francisco."
  4. Fried cream cake
  5. A particularly thick form of crème anglaise
  6. The last word in the recipe title is spelled "Tings" in the book, but since this food is never referred to this way in the text, it is almost certainly a typo.

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