Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - Rede Rose - Rose Custard

Cxxvj. Rede Rose 
There are a number of dishes 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, which make a pudding, or custard flavored with edible flowers. I interpreted the recipe for Rede Rose, which creates a lovely rose flavored custard, that would be wonderful for a vigil, or luncheon or served at the end of a meal. I have also included similar recipes found in the manuscript for Cviij - Prymerose, Cxxvij - Prymerose and .Cxxviij. Flowrys of hawþorn which I have not interpreted, partly because, they say "to create this dish in the same manner as vyolette", and partly because I do not currently have access to primroses or hawthorn flowers. 

For more information on the kinds of flowers that were eaten, and thus, a way to add considerable variation to this simple dish, please visit Agnes deLanvallei's "Medieval Herbs We Grow Chiefly as Flowers". It is an excellent resource.

Cxxvj. Rede Rose.—Take þe same, saue a-lye it with þe ȝolkys of eyroun, & forþer-more as vyolet.

126. Red Rose - Take the same, save mix it with the yolks of eggs, and furthermore as violet.

Interpreted Recipe

1 cup almond milk
1/3 cup or more rose petals
3 egg yolks
1-2 tbsp. sugar

I cheated quite a bit with this recipe. I placed the almond milk, egg yolks, rose petals and sugar into the blender and pulsed for a few seconds, just enough to break up the petals. I then poured the mixture into a double a double boiler and cooked until it became thick. I garnished this with a red rose before serving.

Three taste testers and I fought with spoons for this custard, velvety, sweet and just a hint of roses. I wish the picture would have done it more justice. The bits of rose petal floating in the custard were beautiful. It couldn't have been simpler to make, requiring only a watchful eye on the custard once it started to thicken. This would be very lovely as a dessert dish at an event, or, if not thickened completely, as a boiled cream to be poured over berries and served. Definitely on the "must serve" at feast list.

Similar Recipes:

MS Royal 12.C.xii (England/France, 1340 - D. Myers, trans.)

Rosee. Almond milk, rose petals that it will taste all of roses, cinnamon, rice flour or amidon; coarse meat; powder of cinnamon, sugar; the color of roses; rose petals planted thereon.

Forme of Cury (England, 1390)

Rosee. XX.II. XII. Take thyk mylke as to fore welled. cast þerto sugur a gode porcioun pynes. Dates ymynced. canel. & powdour gynger and seeþ it, and alye it withflores of white Rosis, and flour of rys, cole it, salt it & messe it forth. If þou wilt in stede of Almaunde mylke, take swete cremes of kyne.

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

Rose. Take flour of ryse, as whyte as sylke, And hit welle, with almond mylke. Boyle hit tyl hit be chargyd, þenne Take braune of capone or elle of henne. Loke þou grynd hit wondur smalle, And sithen þou charge hit with alle. Coloure with alkenet, sawnder, or ellys with blode, Fors hit with clowes or macys gode. Seson hit withsugur grete plenté, Þis is a rose, as kokes telle me.

Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books (England, 1430)

.Cviij. Prymerose.—Take oþer half-pound of Flowre of Rys, .iij. pound of Almaundys, half an vnce of hony & Safroune, & take þe flowre of þe Prymerose, & grynd hem, and temper hem vppe with Mylke of þe Almaundys, & do pouder Gyngere þer-on: boyle it, & plante þin skluce*. [viscous compound? ] with Rosys, & serue forth

Cxxvij - Prymerose. Ry3th as vyolette.

.Cxxviij. Flowrys of hawþorn.—In þe same maner as vyolet.

A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)

To mak prymerolle in pasthe tak blanched almondes and flour of prymerose grind it and temper it with swet wyne and good brothe drawinge into the thik mylk put it into a pot with sugur salt and saffron that it haue colour lik prymerolle and boile it that it be stondinge and alay it with flour of rise and serue it as a standinge potage and strawe ther on flour of prymerolle aboue and ye may diaper it with rape rialle in dressinge of some other sewe.