Saturday, October 15, 2016

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - .Cxxxiiij. Apple Moyle - Apple Soft

.Cxxxiiij. Apple Moyle - Apple Soft 
Apples belong to the Rosaceae family along with pears, quince, loquat, medlars and yes, roses. It is believed that there has been over 10,000 different apple cultivars that have been developed, many of which are now lost. There are at least 100 different varieties of apples that are grown commercially, but of those, only ten make up 90% of the production in the United States. I find this distressingly sad.

As mentioned in my previous post on .lxxix. Apple Muse it is generally believed that domesticated apples has their origins in Central Asia. Apples are documented as early as 6500 B.C. in Jericho and the Jordan Valley. Theophrastes records in 323 B.C the process of budding, grafting and general tree care of six different varieties of apples that were known at the time.

There are many legends regarding this fruit, the most well-known is that of Adam and Eve wherein Eve tempts Adam to eat of the "forbidden fruit". Apples are well known then, as a fruit synonymous with temptation, a reputation that is apparently well earned.

Hercules is tasked with stealing the golden apples from the Tree of Life as one of his Twelve Labors. Atalanta, was tricked by Hippomenes, losing a footrace and securing a husband, because she stopped to pick up Golden Apples given to Hippomenes by Aphrodite.

Eris, the Greek goddess of discord threw a golden apple into the wedding party of Thetis and Peleus. The apple was inscribed with the word "kallisti", meaning the fairest. Three Goddesses coveted the apple, Hera, Athena and Aphrodite and the task of appointing which of the Goddesses was indeed the fairest fell upon Paris of Troy. It was Aphrodite who promised Paris of Troy the love of the most beautiful woman, Helen of Sparta, if he would appoint her the keeper of the apple. He did, and it was this apple that was indirectly responsible for causing the Trojan War. 

Apples were not always associated with lust, love, temptation or sin. In fact, in Norse mythology it is the Goddess Idun who is the guardian of the golden apples that preserved the eternal youth of the Aesir. It is the apple that gave Avalon its name in the legends of King Arthur. The Welsh word for apple is Afal. In the legends of Arthur, apples are associated with very powerful forces of creation, birth, death and rebirth.

Lastly, the ancient Celts believed that apples were to be treasured. Apple blossoms were used as symbols of fertility and would be placed in bedrooms. They were also symbolic of goodwill, integrity and purity and love. There is a myth told of Conle, who received an apple that fed him for a year.

Today's adventure from the "Two fifteenth-century cookery-books : Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430), & Harl. MS. 4016 (ab. 1450), with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1439, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS. 55 by Thomas Austin" was a dish called Apple Moyle, which, from the written instructions could be interpreted in multiple ways.

The interpretatino that I chose was to make a pudding of apples and almond milk, thickened with rice flour similar to Cxxv - Vyolette.  How you interpret it depends on how you wish to interpret the first few words "Nym Rys, an bray hem wyl, & temper hem with Almaunde mylke..."

.Cxxxiiij. Apple Moyle.
—Nym Rys, an bray hem wyl, & temper hem with Almaunde mylke, & boyle it; & take Applys, & pare hem, an smal screde hem in mossellys; þrow on sugre y-now, & coloure it with Safroun, & caste þer-to gode pouder, & serue forth.

Cxxxiiij - Apple Moyle. Nym Rys, an bray hem wyl, and temper hem with Almaunde mylke, and boyle it; and take Applys, and pare hem, an smal screde hem in mossellys; throw on sugre y-now, and coloure it with Safroun, and caste ther-to gode pouder, and serue forth [correction; sic = f].

134 - Apple Soft - Take rice, and pound them well, and temper them with almond milk, and boil it, and take apples, and pare them, and small shred them in morsels; throw on sugar enough, and color it with saffron, and caste there-to good powder, an serve forth

Interpreted Recipe                                                               Serves 1 as a main, 2 as a side

1/4 cup rice flour
1 cup almond milk
1 small apple, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
2 tbsp. sugar
pinch of saffron
1/4 tsp. powder douce
** Pinch of Salt

Bring almond milk, rice flour, saffron, sugar and apples to a simmer and cook until the apples are tender and the mixture has thickened. Sprinkle with powder douce and serve.

I added salt to this mixture and I believe it made quite a bit of difference.  I liked this, but I have liked almost every dish I have made using the base of rice flour and almond milk and cooking it down to the thickness of a breakfast cereal.  This made a sweet porridge that I would not hesitate to serve as a breakfast dish at any event or for a camp breakfast. It couldn't be simpler to make, the most difficult part of this dish was making sure it did not thicken too much or burn. The taste testers and I had a bit of a spoon war to eat the last of this from the dish. 

Similar Recipes

Ein Buch von guter spise (Germany, ca. 1345 - Alia Atlas, trans.)

69. Ein apfelmus (An apple puree). Wilt du machen ein apfelmus. so nim schöne epfele und schele sie. und snide sie in ein kalt wazzer. und süde sie in einem hafen. und menge sie mit wine und mit smaltze und ze slahe eyer mit wiz und mit al. und tu daz dor zu. und daz ist gar ein gut fülle. und versaltz niht.

How you want to make an apple puree. So take fine apples and skin them. And cut them in a cold water. And boil them in a pot. And mix them with wine and with fat and also beat eggs with white and with all. And do that thereto. And that is a very good filling. And do not oversalt.

Forme of Cury (England, 1390)

Appulmoy. XX.III. XIX. Take Apples and seeþ hem in water, drawe hem thurgh a straynour. take almaunde mylke & hony and flour of Rys, safroun and powdour fort and salt. and seeþ it stondyng.