Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - .lviij. Let lory - Larded Milk

.lviij. Let lory - Larded Milk

Let Lory is a fun and delicious recipe from  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. Milk and eggs are cooked until they form curds that are then drained, and served with sweetened custard.  The first time I made this dish I didn't use a double boiler to heat my milk and burned it.  This recipe is an example of custard that has been cooked until it forms curds. The instructions to heat the milk until it boils ensure that it curds and doesn't form a smooth pudding. While these kinds of custards appear to be quite popular during the 15th Century, they seem to have fallen out of favor in the 16th Century and disappear completely by the 17th Century. 

What we know is that some of the earliest documentable recipes for custards can be found in  De Re Coquinaria. The dish is called "Tyropatinam", and consists of milk, eggs and honey cooked together over a gentle heat.

Similar dishes that I have previusly interpreted include xxix - Milke Rosty.lvj. Charlette, and  lvij - Charlet a-forcyd ryally, which have enjoyed a wide variety of opinions from the taste testers and myself.  Fortunately, the taste testers enjoyed this treat, and I have been asked to make it again. It has gone on my list of "good things to serve at a feast or for a luncheon."

.lviij. Let lory.—Take Mylke, an sette it ouer þe fyre; take Salt & Safroun, an caste þer-to; take Eyroun, þe ȝolke an þe Whyte y-strainyd a lyte,*. [lyte = little.]& caste it þer-to; whan þe Mylke his skaldyng hote, caste þe stuf þer-to, an þenne stere yt tyll it crodde; and ȝif þou wolt haue it a-forsyd with lyȝt coste, Take Mylke, & make it skaldyng hote, & caste þer-to Raw ȝolkes of Eyroun, Sugre, pouder Gyngere, Clowes, Maces, an let not fully boyle; & so hote, dresse it forth, an ley it on þe crodde; & ȝif þou wolt a-forse it in maner of charlet, do it in fastyng dayis, & serue it forth.

lviij - Let lory. Take Mylke, an sette it ouer the fyre; take Salt and Safroun, an caste ther-to; take Eyroun, the 3olke an the Whyte y-strainyd a lyte, (Note: lyte = little.)and caste it ther-to; whan the Mylke his skaldyng hote, caste the stuf ther-to, an thenne stere yt tyll it crodde; and 3if thou wolt haue it a-forsyd with ly3t coste, Take Mylke, and make it skaldyng hote, and caste ther-to Raw 3olkes of Eyroun, Sugre, pouder Gyngere, Clowes, Maces, an let not fully boyle; and so hote, dresse it forth, an ley it on the crodde; and 3if thou wolt a-forse it in maner of charlet, do it in fastyng dayis, and serue it forth.

58. Let Lory - Take milk and set it over the fire; then take salt and saffron, and caste there-to; take eggs, the yolk and the white strained a little, and caste it there-to; when the milk is scalding hot, caste the stuff there-to, and then stir it till it curd; and if you will have it reinforced for little cost, Take milk, and make it scalding hot, and caste there-to raw yolks of egg, sugar, powder ginger, cloves, mace, and let not full boil; and so hot, dress it forth, and ley it on the curd; and if you will reinforce it in manner of charlet, do it in fasting days, and serve it forth.

Interpreted Recipe                                                                              Serves 1 as main, 2 or more as side

3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
Pinch of saffron

Bring milk, salt and saffron to a boil in a 2 quart saucepan. Add the beaten eggs and stir, curds will begin to form after a few minutes. As an alternative, you can add a half tsp. of vinegar or wine to the mix which will make it curd up faster. Remove from heat when curds have formed and allow to cool completely. Place several layers of cheesecloth in a strainer and place strainer over a large bowl. Spoon the cheese mixture into the cheesecloth and allow to drain. Lift the cheesecloth bag without spilling the contents and squeeze gently until all whey has been removed.

Egg Sauce

1/4 cup milk
2 tsp. sugar
2 beaten egg yolks
1/4 tsp ginger (or to taste)
1/8 tsp. each clove and mace

Heat milk and spices to a simmer and remove from the heat, temper the beaten eggs with a bit of the milk and then add the eggs to the milk. Return to heat and simmer gently until the sauce reaches the desired thickness. Before serving spoon over the curds, and serve warm.

Similar Recipes

Le Viandier de Taillevent (France, ca. 1380 - James Prescott, trans.)

Larded milk. Take some [cow's] milk, boil it on the fire, lift it down from the fire, put it on a few coals, and thread in beaten egg yolks. If you wish it for a meat day, take lardons, cut them into two or three bits, and throw them into the milk to boil. If you wish it for a fish day, do not add lardons, but throw in some wine and verjuice to curdle it before you lift it down. Remove it from the fire, put it in a white cloth, let it drain, wrap it in 2 or 3 layers of the cloth, and press it until it is as firm as beef liver. Put it on a table, slice it into strips the size of a full palm or three fingers, button them with whole cloves, fry them until they are browned, set them out, and throw some sugar on top.

Forme of Cury (England, 1390)
Letelorye. XX.IIII. I. Take Ayrenn and wryng hem thurgh a styunour and do þerto cowe mylke with butter and safroun and salt and seeþ it wel. leshe it. and loke þat it be stondyng. and serue it forth.

Le Menagier de Paris (France, 1393 - Janet Hinson, trans.)

LARDY MILK. Take milk of cows or ewes and put to boil in the fire, and throw in bits of bacon and some saffron: and have eggs, that is both white and yolk, well-beaten and throw in all at once, without stirring, and make it all boil together, and then take it off the fire and leave it to turn; or without eggs, use verjuice to turn it. And when it is cool, tie it up stoutly in a piece of cloth or net and give it whatever shape you wish, flat or long, and weighted with a large rock let it cool on a side-board all night, and the next day release it and fry it alone without added grease, or with grease if you wish; and it is placed on plates or in bowls like slices of bacon and stuck with cloves and pignon nuts. And if you want to make it green, use turnsole.

Lede lardes. Take eyren and swete mylke of a cow, Swyng hom togedur, as I byd now. Take larde of fresshe porke with alle, Sethe hit and schere hit on peses smalle. Cast þer in and boyle hit, þenne Styr hit wele, as I þe kenne, Tyl hit be gedered on crud harde. Leche hit, and rost hit afterwarde Apone a gredel, þen serve þou may Hit forthe, with spit, as I þe say.

A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)

To mak ledlardes of one coloure tak eggs and cow mylk and swinge them to gedur then sethe it and hew it in small peces and boile it and stirre it till be ron upon a herd curde then lesshe it and rost it upon a gredirn and serue it