Thursday, November 5, 2015

Harleian MS 279 (~1430) - Bruet of Almaynne in lente - Rice Porridge with Dates

Bruet of Almaynne in Lent 
Talk about comfort food! Bruet of Almaynne in Lente definitely needs to be served more often; creamy, sweet and delicious.  It can be put together in just a few minutes, however, I caution that it does thicken as it cools so instead of the "running" dish that the recipe called for, by the time I went to eat this; it had thickened to the consistency of a loose pudding. This recipe has been added to my "must be served at a feast" in the future list.

The term 'bruet" refers to a broth that has been thickened in some way; in this case, rice flour was added to the dish to thicken the broth slightly.

During times of Lent the eating of meat products was prohibited this included fowl, eggs, milk, cheese and butter. Fish was allowed.  Individuals could seek a special dispensation from observing the strict diet during lent, if they were elderly, pregnant, young or sick.

Individuals would partake of one meal a day, usually served after Vespers (midafternoon). The cook was expected to continue to create elaborate meals despite the prohibition on meat and dairy products.  This recipe is an example of the ingenuity of the time.

.lxviij. Bruet of Almaynne in lente.—Take fyne þikke Mylke of Almaundys; take datys, an mynce hem smal þer-on; take Sugre y-nowe, & straw þer-on, & a lytil flowre of Rys; sylt, & serue forth whyte, & loke þat it be rennyng.

Dan Myers offers this interpretation for the recipe above at his site Medieval Cookery.  If you have not visited his site. I urge you to do so!

lxviij - Bruet of Almaynne in lente. Take fyne thikke Mylke of Almaundys; take datys, an mynce hem smal ther-on; take Sugre y-nowe, and straw ther-on, and a lytilflowre of Rys; sylt, (Note: ? sprinkle.) and serue forth whyte, and loke that it be rennyng.
68. Broth of Almond in lente. --Take fine thick milk of almonds; take dates, and mynce them small thereon; take sugar enough, and strew there on, and a little flour of ryce; sprinkle and serve forth white, and look that it be running.

Interpreted Recipe:              Serves 2 as main, 3-4 as side

1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp. rice flour
2 tbsp. sugar
2-3 chopped dates

You can make your own rice flour by placing a minimum of 1/4 cup of rice into your blender and blending.  I prefer to make my own then to purchase flour that has already been made.  Be aware that homemade rice flour still retains quite a bit of texture and this does have an effect on any item that you use it with.  Rice flour can be substituted on a 1:1 ratio with wheat flour.

I added the almond milk, rice flour, sugar and 1 chipped date to a saucepan and heated it to boiling. I cooked the mixture for approximately 20 minutes in order to cook the rice completely.  If I were to serve this at the feast, it would be at this point that I would strain the mixture so that I could offer a smooth and silky soup.

I added a chopped date to decorate the dish, and liberally sprinkled additional sugar on top.

To Serve 8 as a Side Dish  (Original recipe multiplied by 2 and rounded to nearest cooking fraction)

2 cup almond milk
2 tbsp. rice flour
1/4 cup sugar (or to taste)
2-3 chopped dates
#medievalfood  #scafeast  #scacook  #historicfood #harleianMS279 #lent