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Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - .Liiij. Rapeye. - Date and Apple Pudding

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) -  .Liiij. Rapeye. - Date and Apple Pudding


This is the third of the "rapeye" recipes located in 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 Thomas Austin and it is my favorite.  The first recipe I interpreted, Rapeye of Fleysshe, created a kind of sauce or pork, broth, eggs and honey.  It was not pleasant to look at, but the taste more than made up for that.  The second recipe for rapeye, I interpreted made a sauce or candy of figs and raisins, studded with pine nuts and currants.  This is the third (and the favorite) recipe, the end results of which is a pudding of dates, apples and almond milk.  Even my taste testers who insisted they did not like dates enjoyed this.

The word "Rapeye" means sauce and it has been theorized that the origins of the word is old French word "rapé" which could mean to grate, or rasp according to Randle Cotgrave's "A French and English Dictionary" published in 1673. The sauce was traditionally served with roasted meats or fish, than later encased in dough.

.Liiij. Rapeye.—Take almaundys, an draw a gode mylke þer-of, and take Datys an mynce hem smal, an put þer-on y-now; take Raw Appelys, an pare hem and stampe hem, an drawe hem vppe with wyne, or with draf of Almaundys, or boþe; þan caste pouder of Gyngere, Canel, Maces, Clowes, & caste þer-on Sugre y-now; þan take a quantyte of flowre of Rys, an þrowe þer-on, & make it chargeaunt, an coloure it wyth Safroun, an with Saunderys, an serue forth; an strawe Canel a-boue.

Daniel Myers offers this interpreteation on his website Medieval Cookery:

Liiij - Rapeye. Take almaundys, an draw a gode mylke ther-of, and take Datys an mynce hem smal, an put ther-on y-now; take Raw Appelys, an pare hem and stampe hem, an drawe hem vppe with wyne, or with draf of Almaundys, or bothe; than caste pouder of Gyngere, Canel, Maces, Clowes, and caste ther-on Sugre y-now; than take a quantyte of flowre of Rys, an throwe ther-on, and make it chargeaunt, an coloure it wyth Safroun, an with Saunderys, an serue forth; an strawe Canel a-boue.

54. Rapeye - Take almonds, and draw a good milk there-of, and take dates and mince them small, and put there-on enough; take raw apples, and pare them and grind them, and draw them up with wine, or with draft of almonds, or both; than caste powder of ginger, cinnamon, maces, cloves and caste there-on sugar enough; then take a quantity of flour of rice; and throw there-on, and make it thick, and color it with saffron, and with sandalwood, and serve forth; and strew cinnamon above.

Interpreted Recipe                                                                               Serves 1 as main, 2 as side

1 cup almond milk
8 dates minced
2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped small
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. each cinnamon, mace and cloves
1-2 tbsp. or to taste sugar
2-3 tbsp. rice flour
Pinch of saffron and sandalwood
Garnish with cinnamon

I simmered the dates and apples in the almond milk until the apples started to break apart.  I used a potato masher to further mash the apples because I wanted a little more texture in the final product.  Return the sauce to the pot and add the spices and sugar.  When the mixture begins to boil, add your rice flour and turn down the heat.  You can add the saffron and sandalwood if you wish to at this time. When the rice flour has cooked, garnish with cinnamon and serve.

I allowed this to cool to room temperature and it was delicious! I hope to make it again and cool it overnight and see if it improves with age. I imagine it could also be made in a slow cooker.  This would make a good breakfast dish at a camping event, and I would not hesitate to serve it at a lunch tavern or even at a feast.

Similar Recipes

Forme of Cury (England, 1390)

Rape. XX.IIII. III. Take half fyges and half raisouns pike hem and waisshe hem in water skalde hem in wyne. bray hem in a morter, and drawe hem thurgh a straynour. cast hem in a pot and þerwiþ powdour of peper and ooþer good powdours. alay it up with flour of Rys. and colour it with saundres. salt it. & messe it forth.


Liber cure cocorum [Sloane MS 1986] (England, 1430)

For to make a rape. Take raysyns of corauns þerto, And wyte wynne þou take also. Sethe þenne oþer raysyns grete In rede wyne, and boyle a lytul with hete. Do opon a broche, rost hom bydene A lytel, and take hom fayre and clene And bray hom in a morter smalle, A crust of brede þou bray with alle. Put alle in þe pot with grythe, Þo raysyns of corauns, þo swete wyne with, A lytul vengur, and pouder take þo Of clowes, maces and quibibis to. Boyle alle to geder, and serve hit þenne, And sett hit forthe before goode men.

A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)

To mak rape, tak raissins of corans and other raissins and sethe them with wyne and boile them a litille then rost them on a spit and tak it of and bray it in a mortair with crustes of bred and put them in a possuet put ther to raissins swet wyne venygar poudur of peppur clowes maces pynesquibibes and boile them and serue them.

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