Mrs. Josiphine Vaughn
This recipe is virtually a word-for-word copy of the recipe published in The Buckeye Cookbook (1883, pp. 182-183), allowing for copying errors, such as a transposed word here or there and slightly different punctuation. The only real difference is the final sentence suggesting serving with whipped cream, which does not appear in the Buckeye version. Calf's foot jelly was widely used as a dessert in the nineteenth-century Midwest until it was replaced with commercial Jello.
Cut the calf's feet across the first joint and through the hoof. Place in a large sauce pan, cover with cold water, and bring quickly to the boiling point; when the water boils, remove them and wash them thoroughly in cold water. When perfectly clean put into a porcelain-lined saucepan, add cold water in the proportion of 3 pts. To 2 calf's feet, and put the saucepan over the fire. When the water boils, lower the heat and simmer very slowly for 5 hours.
Strain the liquor through a fine sieve or a coarse towel, and let it stand over night to set. When cool remove the fat that has risen to the top; dip a towel in boiling water and wash the surface, which will be quite firm.
Now place the firm liquor in a porcelain-lined pan and melt it over low heat. Add the juice of 2 of the lemons and the rinds of 3 cut into strips, the sugar, the cloves, and the cinnamon. Put the whites of the eggs and the shells (which first have been blanched in boiling water) into a bowl, beat them slightly, and pour them into a saucepan, continuing to use the egg beater until the whole boils, when the pan should be drawn aside where it will simmer gently for 10 minutes. Skim off all scum as it rises.
While the liquid is simmering, prepare a piece of flannel by pouring through it a little warm water; when the jelly has simmered 10 minutes, pour it through this bag into a bowl, and repeat the process of straining until it is perfectly clean. Then add the sherry (or brandy, or sherry and brandy in equal proportions). Stir well, pour into molds, and place upon ice or in a cool place until the jelly sets and becomes quite firm enough to turn out and serve. It may be topped with sweetened whipped cream.