Sunday, May 17, 2015

Gilded Fried Bread in Butter or Rendered Fat

Page 253 recipe # 232 (Scappi)

Served at KWDS this was a vegetarian substitution and fried in butter

Get twenty beaten egg yolks, six ounces of finely grated bread, three-quarters of an ounce of cinnamon, three ounces of sugar, three ounces of rosewater and a little saffron, and mix all that together with very finely beaten herbs. get crustless fresh bread slices the thickness of a knife blade, dredge the slices in that mixture, fry them in butter or rendered fat and serve them hot with sugar and cinnamon over them and splashed with rosewater.

4 eggs
1 Tbsp Rosewater
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Mixed herbs
1/3 c bread crumbs
4 slices of bread
Butter for frying
Cinnamon sugar mix

Beat the eggs with a fod
Add the rosewater, sugar, herbs, and bread crumbs
Beat until well mixed
Heat a pan with butter
Dredge each slice individually, spreading it on if necessary 
Fry in the butter until golden brown on both sides
Serve sprinkled with cinnamon sugar

Serves 4 people 1 slice each

This was a good quick recipe.

I see some fine tuning that can be done with it as the redaction has no cinnamon other than the sprinkle of cinnamon sugar at the end. The rosewater could be upped to keep the mixture from getting too thick to dredge in. I was able to dredge the first 2 1/2 pieces and then needed to spread the mixture for the last 1 1/2.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Tea Time / Kaffeezeit

Each day there was a time when something light was put out. Usually some salami, cheese and something sweet. The sweets were well received. We were unable to accomplish one as figs were completely unfindable so we doubled up on the Elizabethan Gingerbread, which delighted many.

Elizabethan Gingerbread (Delightes of Ladies by Sir Hugh Platt)

This recipes from all accounts has stumped many. When it is good it is very very good, when it is bad it is horrid! I have never had any trouble with the following recipe even when upscaling it.

4 cups Honey
450 gm breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp Ginger
1 tsp White pepper

Boil the honey, skim if necessary (modern honey from the store usually does not need skimming)

In a bowl mix the breadcrumbs ( the super dry crumbled ones not torn pieces of bread) with the spices. Make sure that they are fully incorporated an there are no spice lumps.

Pour the honey into the breadcrumbs and mix until the breadcrumbs soak up all the honey.

To form it place it in a buttered form or pour onto waxed paper or parchment paper and spread it with buttered hands.

You can decorate the gingerbread with saunders (red sandalwood) or colored powdered sugar.

Waffres ( from two fifteenth century cookery books)

12 Eggs
3 cups flour
1/3 c sugar
1 Tbsp Ginger
1 1/2 cups Cheese
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat your waffle iron
Beat together all ingredients
Pour batter into the waffle iron as directed by the manufacturer
cook until done

Elizabethan Biscuit Bread (Elinor Fettiplace)

These too were a big hit.

450 gm Flour
450 gm Sugar
8 eggs
8 egg yolks *
14 gm Coriander seeds (whole)
28 gm Anise Seeds (whole)

Preheat over to 170c

Mix all ingredients into a smooth batter *
Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper and drop batter into cookies
Bake 8-10 minutes until the edges are golden brown

* Add yolks if you want lighter cookies

These can be done on a buttered griddle similar to pancakes as well as be poured into a shallow sheet cake type pan and then cut. If you do them in a sheet, cut them and the place them on the sheet again and toast for another 10 min  like biscotti.

Peascods in Lent (The Good Housewifes Jewel)

This did not get made as i could not find figs!

900 gm Figs (dry)
100 gm Dates
100 gm Raisins, sultanas or currants
1 cup Water
1 cup Red wine

Mix wine and water in a large bowl
Add figs, dates and raisins.
Soak overnight
In the morning bring the mixture to a boil for 5-10 min
When the mixture has cooled puree it

Prepare paste (you will need at least a double paste)
Roll out the paste in 2 portions of equal size and thickness
Place one paste on a parchment lined cookie sheet
Spread the mixture on top of the past
Top with the second paste and seal

Bake in the oven 20 - 30 minutes until golden brown
Cut and serve warm or cold

These can be made into small portions as well.

The original instructions were to cut the paste into circles, fill them and then fry them. These are tasty but not practical to serve a large crowd this way. Also when fried they need to be served hot.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Such an ugly name for such a delightful dish. Over the course of KWDS I made 2 different types of compost and despite the name of the dish it seemed to go over very well.

The first which I have spoken about before here in my blog is a recipe from Liber de Coquina. The first time I made this recipe it was met with some very mixed reviews. It seemed that people either loved it or hated it, at KWDS people loved it!

1 kg Pears (make sure they are hard pears and not soft, soft pears do NOT work at all)
4 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp anise seeds
20 gm sultanas or raisins or currants
3/4 cup white wine vinegar

Peel, seed and cube the pears into bite sized pieces
Place pears in a pot just covered with water , as soon as the pot comes to a boil remove the pears from the heat
Drain the pears
Lightly crush the coriander and anise together
While the pears are still warm mix the spices with the pears, add the raisins and vinegar
When cool place in the refrigerator for 12 hrs to a few days for the flavors to mingle
Serve cold

The second compost recipe is one I found in a couple of places but ultimately comes from The Boke or Kervynge.

250 gm Carrots
250 gm Parsnips
300 gm Turnips
400 gm White cabbage
485 gm Hard pears
250 ml Muscatel (sweet white wine)
1 c white wine vinegar
1/4 c honey
1 tsp sweet powder
1/2 tsp Anise seed
1/2 tsp Fennel seed
2 tsp Mustard seed
1/4 tsp Cinnamon (ground)
1/4 tsp Cardamom (ground)
1/4 tsp Black pepper

Prepare the vegetables and pears by peeling and chopping them into bite sized pieces (Not the cabbage yet)
Place in a large pot and boil until they are softened (about 5 min or so)
Core and chop the cabbage
Remove the pot from the heat and place the cabbage on top
Let it sit for 5 min
Lightly salt the vegetables and cool
Meanwhile crush the mix with honey, wine and other spices, heat to incorporate honey
When vegetables are cool place them in a non reactive (not metal) container
Pour the spiced honey/wine mixture and the vinegar over the vegetable and stir
Store in a cool place for 12+ hours.

This is one that gets better the longer it sits, just stir it every few hours.

*The sweet powder recipe I used is based off of a Poudre Douce recipe in Liber de Coquina with the ratios of:
1/4 tsp Clove (ground)
1 tsp Bay leaf (ground)
1 tsp Cinnamon (ground)
1 tsp Ginger (ground)

I used normal bay but the recipe calls for Indian Bay leaf.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Pie fillings

I should mention that if I even want to make more than 1 dish in a day with a pie crust I am to be slapped! With that said, I will put all my pie filling recipes here that were used. I will include the filling for the pasties as well. I will begin with my basic pie dough recipe I use and end with the special dough that should be used for the egg pies.

Basic pie dough, makes 2 crusts.
2/3 cup butter ( soft is OK but it is better firmer)
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
6-7 Tbsp cold water (I mean cold!)

Place the flour in a bowl, add salt and stir.
Blend in the butter with a fork, pastry cutter or even your hands until the mixture is coarse.
Add water 1 Tbsp at a time and blend. You want a soft but not sticky consistency.
The amount of water used will depend on humidity of the kitchen as well as the flour.
Roll out the dough and place in your pie tin, curl up the edges to make the crust. I like to press mine with a fork after.

* when making a single crust use
     1/3 cup Butter
     1 1/4 cup Flour
     Pinch of salt
     3-4 Tbsp cold water


A pie of coleworts (Good Housewife's Jewel)

1 pie crust

24 cups of Kale fresh and dry (can also use spinach, cabbage or other coleworts)
3 Tbsp butter
3 Eggs
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ginger

Wilt the kale (if using cabbage salt it and pound it to reduce it and break it up)
Mix with spices, butter and eggs. You can add more spices to taste.

Bake at 170c for approximately 30 min. The crust should be firm and golden.

Mushroom Pie (Le Me'nagier de Paris)

1 pie crust

1 kg mushrooms
6Tbsp Olive oil + oil for sauteing
1 1/2 c cheese (use a blend for best results, we used Gouda, Parmesan and Emmentaler)
3/4 tsp Salt
3/4 tsp Pepper
3/4 tsp Ginger

Saute the mushrooms in a bit of olive oil or butter, drain.
Transfer mushrooms to a bowl and mix with oil, cheese and spices.
Pour into the pie crust and bake at 170c for 35 - 40 min. Until pastry is firm and golden brown.

Tart de Bry (The Forme of Cury)

1 pie crust

6 egg yolks
500 gm Brie (room temp)
1 Tbsp ginger
3 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp water
1/16 tsp salt

Break up the brie into a bowl.
Sprinkle ginger, sugar and salt on top.
Add the yolks and water.
Mash together with either a fork or your hands to break the brie up well.
Place in the paste and bake at 175c for approximately 50 min or until the cheese is set.

For the pasties: (Hand pies are mentioned in several sources and depicted in several manuscripts, thes particular recipes have no source)

Prepare the pie crust and roll to 3mm (1/8 in) thick and cut into 3 inch rounds. You will get approximately 18 from the recipe.

Beef filling:
500 gm Ground Beef
1/3 cup Currants (or Raisins)
6 Dates pitted and finely chopped
1 Tbsp (heaping) of fresh grated Ginger
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 Tbsp brown sugar (or sugar in the raw)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Pepper (freshly ground)

Turkey or chicken filling:
500 gm ground Turkey
1 Tbsp Fresh green herbs
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp Dill
1/4 tsp Sage
1/8 tsp Salt
Pinch of Pepper

Pork filling:
500 gm ground Pork
1 Tbsp fresh green herbs
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp Dill
1/8 tsp Salt
Pinch of pepper

All filling should be made ahead by at least 6 hrs

Have oil on hand for your hands and measuring cup.
Using a 1/4 cup measure (oiled), fill with filling.
Pop out of measure and divide in half
Place 1/2 on a 3 in round, fold over and seal with water and a fork around the edge.
Place on parchment lined baking sheet, brush tops with 1 beaten egg with 1 Tbsp water.
Bake at 175c for 15-20 min until golden brown.

Note: before brushing with egg they can be placed single layer on trays in the freezer, when they are frozen they can be placed in ziploc bags and kept. No need to thaw before baking just add 5-10 min baking time.

Tart of Eggs (the Good Housewife's Jewel)

12 Eggs
2 Egg whites (will be leftover from the special crust)
3 Tbsp Rosewater
2 Tbsp Sugar

Special pie crust:
1 1/4 c Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1/3  cup Butter
2 Egg yolks
2 Tbsp Rosewater

The instructions for making the crust are the same as for the regular crust except you add the yolks in with the liquid. If the paste is too dry add tsp of water at a time to get right consistency.

Fill the pie crust and bake at 180c for 25-25 min or until the paste and filling are set and a light golden brown.