foliumnondefluet: (Default)
Here's my latest version of "tart in ymbre day" based on the 14th century "the forme of cury".
The result is a cheese-onion pie. If I don't write it down I'll have to reinvent it all over next time ^_^;

For a (fairly large) pie shell:

  • 250 gr flour
  • 1 egg
  • 50 gr butter
  • about 1 dl milk

Let the ingredients get to room temperature. Use some of the butter (not the whole 50 gr) to grease the baking tin. Throw on some flour and shake it around until the inside of the tin is evenly covered, then shake out the excess.

Mix the flour, the butter and the egg while adding the milk in small amounts until you get a firm, springy, non-sticky dough. Usually this will require less milk than the 1 dl. Throw some flour on a clean tabletop to prevent sticking and roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is flat and round (like the earth used to be), of even pie-crust thickness, and at least the size of your baking tin. Cover the tin with dough. Wrap any excess dough and freeze it for future use, if you like.

For the filling:

  • 6 large onions, sliced to rings and fried until tender, left to cool.
  • 1/2 cup raisins, either soaked overnight, or added to the onions when they are almost done, together with some liquid (water is fine. I've even used apple juice).
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bag of swiss cheese fondue mix (400 gr) I also threw in some leftover parmesan but that is optional. You can of course make your own mix of grated cheese, but I find the fondue mix bags hugely convenient.
  • ginger
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • sage (fresh or dried)

Mix the cheese, eggs, onions and raisins with the spices, fill the pie shell with it.

Bake in an oven. I used fan-assist at 150°C for 30-40 minutes (check after 30 minutes)


To make instead "champignons en paste" from "Menagier de Paris", for the filling, use instead:

  • about 500 gr small unopened fresh mushrooms (champignons de Paris), cleaned and parboiled or fried. I suspect canned ones will release too much liquid, but I never tried it.
  • 400 gr cheese as before
  • ginger
  • pepper

put mushrooms in pie shell, sprinkle cheese ans spices on top.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until done. I have a glass pie baking form which I find very convenient to verify that the bottom of the pie is baked through.

Both of these pies are best served still hot, or reheated.

I just realize I apparently can't even write a simple recipe without turning it into a lecture/interactive adventure story ^_^;

here are some remarks on my latest attempt, and a picture.

Read more... )
foliumnondefluet: (Default)
This is a recipe for meatballs in white wine sauce, from an unnamed manuscript in the university library of Gent (Ms. 15), estimated to have been written between 1490 and 1525. It's a recipe I have tried to reconstruct a few times, primarily because the name is so hilarious: "cloetkens van vleys" translates as balls of meat, but today "cloetkens" refers only to balls in the anatomical sense :)

Transcription of the original:

Omme te maicken cloetkens van vleys

Men sal nemen verckensvleijs, die hammen van verckensvleijs, ende siedense in scoen water al morwe ende dan dat vleijs mitten vette al cleijn gewreven in een mortier, daer in gedaen vier of vijf doeyeren van rauwen eyeren, caneel, ghenebaer ende luttel naghelpoer, dat meest galigaen ende soffraen, dit samen gemenget ende aen cloetkens gemaict als doeijeren van eyeren ende suker daer in gedaen ende dan genomen witte wijn ende wittebroot, die korsten af gedaen ende in die wijn geleijt, op dat vier geseth dat broot vucken mach, daer in gedaen genebaer, caneel, soffraen, galigaen ende suijcker, dit tsamen doergeslegen dattet the pas dick is ende opgesoden ende die cloetkens daer in gedaen ende mede op gesoden ende soe werm gedient, vijf of zes in een pateel.

Translation (as appeared in Tournaments Illuminated)

To make balls of meat

Take pork, hams of pig and boil them in clean water until they are done, and the meat with the fat ground in a mortar, and add four or five egg yolks, cinnamon, ginger and clove powder, the most galingale and saffron, mixed together and made into balls like egg yolks and sugar put into it, and then take white wine and white bread, the crusts taken off and put in the wine, on the fire so that the bread can soak, put in ginger, cinnamon, saffron, galingale and sugar, put it through a sieve so that it is thick enough, let it come to boil, put the meatballs in and let them boil, and serve it warm, five or six on a plate.

My notes:

The big difference with "ordinary" meatballs is that these are made from ground boiled ham rather than ground raw meat, and mixed with "fat" and egg yolks. The number of egg yolks given is rather meaningless since no meat quantity is specified. I have used regular ground raw meat instead of fat, and added finely chopped cooked ham or fried bacon, which gives an interesting texture to the balls. I never added more than one whole egg. I've also usually added an amount of breadcrumbs to the meat mixture to improve consistency. For spices I add ginger, cinnamon, clove and sugar. I haven't found a source yet for galingale, and I'm not terribly fond of saffron.

The recipe requires the balls to be cooked in the wine sauce, but I feel that requires a larger quantity of sauce than you are likely to eat, and will probably make for a rather greasy sauce, particularly if the balls are ground raw pork. I've fried them, but that does strange things to the sugar, so in my last trials I just arrange the balls on a plate and nuke them until done (that way they release a lot of their fat, which I pour off and keep for other uses - the juices can go into pork-flavoured ramen, the fat I throw away or mix with seeds to turn into birdfood)

For the sauce, I use about 1/2 bottle of cheap white wine, add about 2 slices of bread (without crusts), 2 tablespoons of sugar, and more ginger and cinnamon, let it all soak, mix it, then heat gently and throw in the balls. The bread is an interesting thickening agent, but it burns easily, so keep stirring. I have also used brown bread instead of white, which has no negative effect beyond making the sauce look like something the dog puked up. If you have guests or care about presentation, go for white bread, and perhaps consider adding the saffron...

The balls should not be too large to be eaten with a spoon. You will want to use a spoon for the yummy sauce :) I think the whole is best served with bread.
foliumnondefluet: (Default)
Having found a quantity of ground almonds in my kitchen cupboard, I decided to look for some different marzipan recipes, if possible historical ones.

Marzipan has been around since about when we thought banging rocks together was great fun, so it is not surprising that quite a few variations exist. It has long been appreciated as material for edible decorations, which means taste was not necessarily the only design criterion. Basically it is a mix of ground blanched almonds and powdered sugar. Most recipes recommend one part almonds to one part sugar, but it seems the fraction can slide a lot in both directions.

Expensive gourmet marzipans contain at least 50% almonds, whereas cheap stuff is often cut with mashed potatoes, or potato flour.

For decorative purposes, the almonds should be ground as fine as possible, and then ground some more. This is not as important if you just want to eat it ^^

For the actual preparation, in modern recipes I have found 3 major variations.

Variation one uses egg white:

Take one egg white per pound of marzipan, equal parts almonds and sugar. Knead well together, then refrigerate.

Variation 2 uses heat:

Knead together equal parts almonds and sugar with a little water added (about 1 tablespoon per pound), continue this kneading (by hand) in a pan over very low heat until the mixture becomes firm.

Variation 3 uses more heat:

Dissolve the sugar in water over low heat (about 3 parts sugar for 1 part water), add 4 parts almonds and stir until it no longer sticks to the pan. Remove from heat and knead until smooth.

I have used 1 and 2 in the past, but never tried 3.

For decoration, the mixture can be softened by adding some water or made firmer by adding sugar. The more sugar, the harder the end result will get. Finished sculptures are often dried in a warm oven (not too hot as it burns easily) to stiffen them.

Food coloring can be added to the mix or brushed on after drying. Remember that the food coloring considers your fingers to be food... Marzipan also takes icing with chocolate or a sugar-and-water mixture well.

Some recipes add almond extract or lemon juice or salt. Some use 1.5 parts sugar for 1 part almonds.

Historical recipes:

Some are very similar to variation 2 but use rose water instead of plain water. Every historic marzipan recipe I've seen so far involves rose water somehow.

The following is interesting in that it uses twice as much almonds as sugar. This is a recipe for a marzipan-covered wafer, so only the first part deals with the marzipan as such.

To Make a Marchpane

Take two pound of almonds blanched and beaten in a stone mortar, till they begin to come to a fine paste, then take a pound of sifted sugar put it in the mortar with the almonds, and make it into a perfect paste, putting to it now and then in the beating of it a spoonfull of rose-water to keep it from oyling; when you have beaten it to a puff-paste, drive it out as big as a charger, and set an edge about it as you do a quodling tart, and the bottom of wafers under it, thus bake it in an oven or baking-pan; when you see it white, and hard, and dry, take it out, and ice it with rosewater and suger, being made as thick as butter for fritters, so spread it on with a wing feather, and put it into the oven again; when you see it rise high, then take it out and garnish it with some pretty conceits made of the same stuff.

Pleyn Delit offers a redaction of a "Saracen" marzipan recipe that seems to be a complicated version of variant 3, but using 1 part almonds, one part sugar and 1 part honey (so only 1/3 almonds!) It has the requisite 2 tablespoons of rose water but adds 2 tablespoons of sesame oil (I almost wrote this as Sasami oil). The honey and oil are mixed over heat (a double boiler), and the sugar-almond-rosewater mixture is slowly stirred in, then kneaded (off the heat).


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