This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
Nothing in the domestic history of the potato is more curious than the slow degrees by which cooks came to treat the tuber as a savory and not as a sweet dish - as an accompaniment to the strongest meats instead of a kind of confectionery. Houghton, writing in 1681, speaks of the potato as a pleasant food which may be eaten boiled or roasted with butter and sugar. That he means our common potato is plain, because in the same paragraph he alludes to another and longer kind, the sweet potato, or "bat-tata." Eleven years before Houghton's "Collections" appeared, however, Mistress Hannah Wolley had dedicated to the "Truly Virtuous Mrs. Grace Buzby, daughter of the late Sir Henry Cary, Knight Banneret, and wife of Mr. Robert Buzby, Gentleman and Woollendraper in London," her " Queenlike Closet or Rich Cabinet stored with all manner of Rare Receipts in Preserving, Candying, and Cookery." The worthy Hannah has a solitary reference to the"Solanum Tuberosum": it is a recipe for making a potato-pie. You are to have your pie-dish and crust ready and "lay in butter," and then "your potatoes boiled very tender," with whole spice and marrow, dates, and the yolks of hard eggs, blanched almonds, pistachio nuts, " candied peels of citron, orange and lemon." Then the crust of the potato-pie is to be closed, and, when baked, the dish is to be served with wine, butter and sugar.
Writing nearly eighty years afterwards, Mrs. Hannah Glasse, in her " Art of Cookery," prescribes among the ingredients of a potato pudding, eggs, sugar, butter, nutmeg, currants, half a pint of sack, and a pint of cream.
This is very simple; steamed potato mashed up, a little flour and butter worked in, with sugar, currants, sultanas, and chopped peel. Form it into a rather soft dough. Roll it out to the size of a dinner-plate, and about an inch and a half or two inches thick. Place it on a greased baking sheet, mark it across with the back of the knife into eight or sixteen divisions; wash the surface over with egg, bake, slip it on to a plate, dust over with pulverised sugar, and serve hot.
Steamed potatoes mashed, mixed with butter, sugar, eggs, nutmeg and sherry, baked like a custard in a pie plate lined with paste, no top crust, fine sugar over when done. (See Siveet Potatoes).