Baronial 12th Night 1/5/2019

Baronial 12th Night 

Stanley, the guest of honor, created by Mary Dahlberg

Soteltie – a Boar’s head with sweet meats and fine pies (here be the bean and the pea) & Trayne Roast (mock entrails)

On Table
Bryndons-a sweet and fruity sauce - Harl. MS 279, 1430
Mortrews of Chicken & Pork and Fish - an early form of pate Harl. MS 279, 1430
Compost -pickled vegetables, olives and capers Forme of Curye, 1390
Let Lardes – hard custard flavored with herbs cooked in bacon grease Harl. MS 4016, 1450

First Course

Rastons Harl. MS 279, 1430
Blawnche perrye with peas – creamed leeks and onions with peas Harl. MS 279, 1430  (milk subbed for almond milk)
Beef-y-stewed –stewed beef Harl. MS 279, 1430
Brawn with Mustard- pork with mustard The good husvvifes ievvell, 1587
Garbage - stewed chicken offal (hearts, gizzards, livers, feet, neck) Harl. MS 279, 1430 

Second Course

Capon Farced – chicken stuffed with a mixture of sausage, onions and grapes, roasted Harl. MS 279, 1430
Pickle for the Mallard – onion jam Harl. MS 279, 1430
Guissell- bread dumplings Harl. MS 4016, 1450
Roasted Chestnuts, Turnips and Sage Le Menagier de Paris, 1393

Third Course

Cheese & Nuts
Spiced apples and pears Chiquart's 'On Cookery’, 1420
Creme Bastarde Harl. MS 279 1430
A white leach A Closet for Ladies and Gentlewomen 1602
Jellied Ypocras

Issue de Table

Gingerbread Harl. MS 279, 1430
Marchpane A Book of Cookrye, 1591
Marzipan (coriander flavored) A Daily Exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen, 1621
Candied Fruit Peels Le Menagier de Paris, 1393
Candied Fruit (quince, plums and pears) English Housewife, 1615
Fruit Paste - Plum Paste & Fig, Walnut and Candied Ginger (a rift of Rapeye--I claim cooks perogative) The treasurie of commodius conceits 1573
Comfits of Anise and Coriander The queen-like closet 1670
Manus Christi - A Closet for Ladies and Gentlevvomen, 1602
Kissing Comfits -  Kissing Comfits, Delightfull daily exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen, 1621

Note: I have linked my blog posts (and inspirations) above.  Read below for the adaptations to previously posted interpretations. Thank you!

Soteltie– a Boar’s head with sweet meats and fine pies (here be the bean and the pea) & Trayne Roast (mock entrails)

For Pyes of Mutton or Beefe.

Shred your meat and Suet togither fine, season it with cloves, mace, Pepper, and same Saffron, great Raisins, Corance and prunes, and so put it into your Pyes. ~ A Book of Cookrye Very necessary for all such as delight therin printed by Edward Allde, London 1591

How to Render Suet

I was fortunate enough to find suet at a local grocer. This was an extra step I took to add authenticity to the mince pies, but it is not a step you need to take. Suet, lard and vegetable suet are interchangeable. However, if you get the opportunity, you *should* try to make your own rendered suet, aka tallow. Why did I render it? To be quite honest, real suet is the fat around the kidneys, I had a sneaky suspicion that what I might have purchased as "suet" was not. Additionally, raw suet contains things we may not necessarily want to eat; skin, vein, blood and/or connective tissue...ick!

The process is super easy if you have a crock pot. Trim off any visible bits of meat or skin. Place your suet in the freezer. Once hardened cut your suet into blocks and process to a coarse grind. Place your ground suet into a food processor, turn on low and leave overnight. The next day you will find that the suet has rendered completely, leaving behind what is referred to as 'cracklings' which you can eat if you wish. Strain your fat (I used a coffee filter in a strainer), and allow to cool.

What you end up is tallow. THIS is what I used in the mince pies.

For Pyes of Mutton or Beefe. 

Shred your meat and Suet togither fine, season it with cloves, mace, Pepper, and same Saffron, great Raisins, Corance and prunes, and so put it into your Pyes.

For Pies of Mutton or Beef

Shred your meat and suet together fine, season it with clove, mace, pepper and some saffron, great raisins, currants and prunes, and so put it into your pies.


1 1/2 to 2 pounds of ground beef or veal (I used 80/20)
1/2 cup shredded suet
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground mace
1/2 tsp black pepper
a pinch of saffron
1/3 cup each raisins, currants and prunes chopped

I used store bought pie pastry. I got approximately 15 2" pastry shells from a 9" dough

Mix together all ingredients and cook slowly until the filling is cooked completely. When you are ready to serve, add your filling to your dough and cook in a 400 degree oven until the dough has turned brown (about 15 minutes).  Serve. 

Trayne Roste-Harleian MS 4016 ~1450 

Trayne roste. [supplied by ed.] *. [Douce MS.] ¶ Take Dates and figges, and kutte hem in a peny brede; And þen̄ take grete reysons and blanched almondes, and prik hem thorgh with a nedel into a threde of a mannys lengtℏ, and one of one frute and a-noþer of a-noþer frute; and þen̄ bynde the threde with the frute A-bought a rownde spete, endelonge þe spete, in maner of an hasselet; And then̄ take a quarte of wyne or Ale, and fyne floure,*. [D. MS.; sugur, Harl. ] And make batur thereof, and cast thereto pouder ginger, sugur, & saffron̄,*. [Douce MS. ] pouder of Clowes, salt; And make þe batur not fully rennyng, and noþer stonding, but in þe mene, that hit may cleue, and than rost the*. ["than rost the": D. MS.; that rost, Harl. ] treyne abougℏt the fire in þe spete; And þen̄ cast the batur on̄ the treyne as he turnetℏ abought [supplied by ed.] the fire, so longe til þe frute be hidde in the batur; as þou castest þe batur there-on, hold a vesseƚƚ vndere-nethe, for*. [against, to stop. ] spilling of þe batur/ And whan hit is y-rosted weƚƚ, hit wol seme a hasselet; And then̄ take hit vppe fro þe spit al hole, And kut hit in faire peces of a Span̄ lengtℏ, And serue [supplied by ed.] *. [Douce MS. ] of hit a pece or two in a dissℏ al hote.

Trayne Roste [Supplied by ed.]( [Douce MS.] Take dates and figs, and cut them in a penny bread; and then take great raisins and blaunched almonds, and prick them through with a needle into a thread of a man's length, and one of fruit and a nother of another fruit; and then bind the thread with the fruit about a round spit, along the spit, in manner of an hasselet; and then take a quarte of wine or ale, and fine flour, and make batter thereof, and caste thereto powder ginger, sugar and saffron, powder of cloves, salt; and make the batter not fully running and not standing, but in the mean (middle) that it may cleve, and then rost the treyne abought the fire in the spit; and then cast the batter on the treyne as he turns about the fire, so long till the fruit be hidden in the batter; as you cast the batter thereon hold a vessel underneath for spilling of the batter, and when it is roasted well, hit will seem a hasselet; and then take it up from the spit al whole, and cut it in fair pieces of a span length, and serve of it a piece or two in a dish all hot.

Trayne Roste

4 pieces heavy string 18" long
1/4 cup sliced almonds, soaked in warm water
18 dried figs, halved
6 oz dates, halved
1/2 cup raisins
4 ounces apricots cut in halves
4 ounces of prunes cut in halves
1 1/2 cups oil
7 oz beer (I used seltzer water)
1 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 ground ginger
dash of salt

Using a sharp needle, thread the dried fruits and nuts onto the strings. Alternate the fruits and nuts to achieve an uneven appearance. Set aside. Beat together beer, flour, salt and spices. Dip the strings of fruit and nuts in the batter to coat. Fry in oil over high heat one at a time. Fry until golden and drain.~ Renfrow, Cindy; Take a Thousand Eggs or More

On Table 

Bryndons-a sweet and fruity sauce - Harl. MS 279, 1430 

.xlix. Bryndons.—Take Wyn, & putte in a potte, an clarifiyd hony, an Saunderys, pepir, Safroun, Clowes, Maces, & Quybibys, & mynced Datys, Pynys and Roysonys of Corauns, & a lytil Vynegre, [leaf 13.] & sethe it on þe fyre; an sethe fygys in Wyne, & grynde hem, & draw hem þorw a straynoure, & caste þer-to, an lete hem boyle alle to-gederys; þan take fayre flowre, Safroun, Sugre, & Fayre Water, ande make þer-of cakys, and let hem be þinne Inow; þan kytte hem y lyke lechyngys,*. [long thin strips. ] an caste hem in fayre Oyle, and fry hem a lytil whyle; þanne take hem owt of þe panne, an caste in-to a vesselle with þe Syrippe, & so serue hem forth, þe bryndonys an þe Sirippe, in a dysshe; & let þe Sirippe be rennyng, & not to styf.

xlix - Bryndons. Take Wyn, and putte in a potte, an clarifiyd hony, an Saunderys, pepir, Safroun, Clowes, Maces, and Quybibys, and mynced Datys, Pynys and Roysonys of Corauns, and a lytil Vynegre, and sethe it on the fyre; an sethe fygys in Wyne, and grynde hem, and draw hem thorw a straynoure, and caste ther-to, an lete hem boyle alle to-gederys; than take fayre flowre, Safroun, Sugre, and Fayre Water, ande make ther-of cakys, and let hem be thinne Inow; than kytte hem y lyke, (Note: long thin strips) an caste hem in fayre Oyle, and fry hem a lytil whyle; thanne take hem owt of the panne, an caste in-to a vesselle with the Syrippe, and so serue hem forth, the bryndonys an the Sirippe, in a dysshe; and let the Sirippe be rennyng, and not to styf

44. Bryndons - Take wine and put in a pot, and clarified honey, and saunders, pepper, saffron, cloves, mace and cubebs, and minced dates, pine nuts and currants, and a little vinegar, and seethe it on the fire; and seethe figs in wine, and grind them, and draw them through a strainer, and caste there-to, and let them boil all together; then take fair flour, saffron, sugar and fair water and make there of cakes, and let them be thin enough; then cut them like strips and cast them in fair oil, and fry them a little while, then take them out of the pan, and cast into a vessel with the syrup and so serve them forth, the bryndons and the syrup, in a dish; and let the syrup be running and not to stiff.


2 cups red wine (I substituted grape and pomegranate juice for the wine 50/50 mix)
1/2 cup figs (about 4-5 mission figs)
1/4 cup honey (this is a guess on my part..I just put a very large dollop in)
1 tsp. sandalwood (opt)
1/4 tsp. each pepper, long pepper, cubebs and grains of paradise**
pinch of saffron
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. mace
2-3 minced dates
1 tbsp. pine nuts
2-3 tablespoons currants
2-3 tablespoons raisins
2-3 tbsp. red wine vinegar or to taste

Put wine and figs into a pot and bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer and cook till figs are tender.  Place figs and wine into a blender, give thanks to the kitchen gods, and grind.  Return figs and wine to the pot and add remaining ingredients. Cook until remaining fruit is soft and syrup has thickened.

** Don't have cubebs or grains of paradise? Use the following as a substitute:

2 tbsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. clove
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
opt. 1/4 tsp cardamom

Mix together spices and then use what you need. For the recipe above that would be 1/4 tsp. each for the cubebs and the grains of paradise. Store what you don't need.

I have a confession to make-- to make the noodles, I cut won ton wrappers in half and fried in the same oil I cooked the Trayne Roste in. However, if you want to make the noodles here is the recipe:

Noodles Recipe

1 cup flour
1/4cup warm water
pinch of saffron
1/4 tsp. sugar and salt

Place saffron in warmed water and allow to cool. Once cooled mix all ingredients together until a dough is formed.  Add more water if dough is too dry. Let sit approximately ten minutes before rolling dough out and cutting into strips.  Fry in oil. 

Mortrews of Pork & Chicken and Mortrews of Fish - an early form of pate Harl. MS 279, 1430

I did make a few changes from the original post (Mortrews of Chicken & Pork and Fish).  In deference to modern tastes I added additional spicing to both of the Mortrews, and smoked the fish for the Mortrews of fish. Lastly I subbed broth for the ale in the Mortrews of pork and chicken,   and whole milk for the almond milk in the Mortrews of Fish.

.xliiij. Mortrewys de Fleyssh.—Take Porke, an seþe it wyl; þanne take it vppe and pulle a-way þe Swerde,*. [Rind, skin. ] an pyke owt þe bonys, an hakke it and grynd it smal; þenne take þe sylf brothe, & temper it with ale; þen take fayre gratyd brede, & do þer-to, an seþe it, an coloure it with Saffroun, & lye it with ȝolkys of eyroun, & make it euen Salt, & caste pouder Gyngere, a-bouyn on þe dysshe.

xliiij - Mortrewys de Fleyssh. Take Porke, an sethe it wyl; thanne take it vppe and pulle a-way the Swerde, (Note: Rind, skin) an pyke owt the bonys, an hakke it and grynd it smal; thenne take the sylf brothe, and temper it with ale; then take fayre gratyd brede, and do ther-to, an sethe it, an coloure it with Saffroun, and lye it with 3olkys of eyroun, and make it euen Salt, and caste pouder Gyngere, a-bouyn on the dysshe.

44. Mortrews of Flesh - Take pork, and cook it well; then take it up and pull away the skin, and pick out the bones and hack it and grind it small; then take the self broth (the same broth you cooked it in, and temper it with ale; then take fair grated bread, and do thereto, and cook it, and color it with saffron, and mix it with yolks of eggs, and make it even salt, and caste powder ginger, above on the dish.

Mortrews of Pork and Chicken

2 ½ pounds pork shoulder
1 pound bone in, skin on chicken (I used chicken leg quarters)
½ pound bacon ends and pieces
Pinch of Saffron
1 tbsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. ground mustard
¾ tsp. ground pepper
½ tsp. fine spices
1/3 cup broth
1 egg beaten
1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
Opt. ½ tsp. fresh thyme

Dried Cherries to decorate

Boil chicken, pork and bacon together with just enough broth to cover until tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool overnight. Remove meat from the broth and set broth aside to reserve for later. Clean the meat being sure to pick off skin, bones, fat and gristle. Place meat into a blender and grind coarsely, adding broth if needed.

Please note: the boiled bacon is not that appetizing when cold, so feel free to remove it as well-- I did! 

After meat has been ground add spices and place into a pot. Beat eggs and pour over bread crumbs, add enough broth to make bread wet and blend the egg and bread mixture until it becomes a smooth past. Add bread mixture to the meat, and cook, stirring constantly until it thickens into custard like consistency. Put into molds and serve. Optional, decorate with thyme and dried cherries.

How to Brine Fish

1 quart water
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tbsp. sugar or brown sugar

Mix together water, salt and sugar.  You can add additional flavorings or spices if you choose at this point.  Add meat making sure that the meat is covered completely with the brine.  Soak for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight. For every pound of meat, you will need 1 quart of brine. 

How to Smoke Fish

Smoked fish is delicious and I wanted to smoke the fish in the Mortrews of Fish because while delicious, the dish is a bit bland.  I used cherry wood to smoke the fish, but you could also use alder, apple or any sweet, mild wood. There are two methods to smoke food; cold smoking and hot smoking.

Cold smoking is done at temperatures below 130 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours to several days. This adds smoke flavoring to your food but does not cook it. Also note--this does put your food into the "danger zone" for food safety and can create an environment for harmful bacteria (botulism and listeria) to rapidly grow.  I cannot stress enough how careful you must be when cold smoking. I recognize that many people do it successfully (I do), but I would not use this method for an event.

Interesting fact-- Botulus (from which we derive botulism) is the Latin word for...sausage...hmmmsss

This is why I chose to hot smoke the fish for the event.  Hot smoking not only imparts flavor it cooks and dries the food as well, which is why it is important to *brine* your food before smoking.  Even after brining my poor fish was more like fish jerky then the delicate flakes I wanted.  BUT--easily worked with by  soaking overnight in stock, and being mixed 50/50 with unsmoked fish.  I digress.

Fattier fish are better for smoking, whole fish or skin on fish before skinless, boneless fillets.  Remember this. You will want to brine your fish at a minimum of 15 minutes per pound before smoking.  Also, you might want to soak some of the wood that you are using for smoking and heat the smoker a bit with it before adding your fish. I used an electric smoker and fell in love.  It is now on my wish list, but any smoker will work (even your oven if you are in a pinch).  Some sights recommend heating the fish at approximately 150 degrees for two hours and then turning the temperature up to 200 degrees to complete the process.  I went full in at 200 degrees and the cod had PLENTY of flavor.

.xliij. Mortrewes of Fysshe.—Take Gornard or Congere, a-fore þe navel wyth þe grece (for be-hynde þe navel he is hery*. [Hairy. ] of bonys), or Codlyng, þe lyuer an þe Spaune, an sethe it y-now in fayre Water, and pyke owt þe bonys, and grynde þe fysshe in a Morter, an temper it vp wyth Almaunde Mylke, an caste þer-to gratyd brede; þan take yt vp, an put it on a fayre potte, an let boyle; þan caste þer-to Sugre and Salt, an serue it forth as other Mortrewys. And loke þat þow caste Gyngere y-now a-boue.

xliij - Mortrewes of Fysshe. Take Gornard or Congere, a-fore the navel wyth the grece (for be-hynde the navel he is hery (Note: Hairy) of bonys), or Codlyng, the lyuer an the Spaune, an sethe it y-now in fayre Water, and pyke owt the bonys, and grynde the fysshe in a Morter, an temper it vp wyth Almaunde Mylke, an caste ther-to gratyd brede; than take yt vp, an put it on a fayre potte, an let boyle; than caste ther-to Sugre and Salt, an serue it forth as other Mortrewys. And loke that thow caste Gyngere y-now a-boue.

43 - Mortrews of Fish - Take gurnard, or conger (eel), before the navel with the grease (for behind the navel he is hairy of bones), or codling (an inferior for of cod), the liver and the eggs, and cook it enough in fair water, and pick out the bones, and grind the fish in a mortar, and temper it up with almond milk, and cast there-to grated bread; then take it up and put it on a fair pot, and let boil; then cast thereto sugar and salt, and serve it fort as other motrews. And look that you caste ginger enough above.

Motrews of Fish

2-3 pounds smoked fish (I used cod)
1 1/2 cups whole milk (can sub creme fraiche or sour cream)
2 cups fish stock (can sub chicken or pork broth)
1/2 to 1 cup bread crumbs
1 ½ tbsp. salt
3/4 tbsp. sugar
Opt. Garnish with vinegar and boiled shrimps, 1 tbsp. tarragon, 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. ground pepper

Once again I used frozen cod (almost all fish we get are frozen or prohibitively expensive if fresh).  I brined the fish I was smoking overnight, then dried it off and put it in the smoker for approximately an hour and a half to two hours.  The thinner parts of the fish were, as stated previously, like fish jerky.  I soaked the fish in broth overnight.  The next day I boiled the remainder of the fish and coarsely ground the two together. Returned to the pot, added the bread crumbs, salt, sugar, tarragon, lemon juice and ground pepper and the milk and cooked till thickened. 

When serving I garnished with boiled shrimps. 
Compost -pickled vegetables, olives and capers Forme of Curye, 1390

Compost is a delicious medley of sweet, sour and mustardy pickled vegetables. This recipe comes courtesy of Daniel Myers from his excellent website Medieval Cookery.  If you have not visited this website I strongly encourage you to do so!

Compost (The Forme of Cury, c. 1390) Take rote of parsel. pasternak of rasenns. scrape hem waisthe hem clene. take rapes & caboches ypared and icorne. take an erthen panne with clene water & set it on the fire. cast all þise þerinne. whan þey buth boiled cast þerto peeres & parboile hem wel. take þise thynges up & lat it kele on a fair cloth, do þerto salt whan it is colde in a vessel take vineger & powdour & safroun & do þerto. & lat alle þise thinges lye þerin al nyzt oþer al day, take wyne greke and hony clarified togider lumbarde mustard & raisouns corance al hool. & grynde powdour of canel powdour douce. & aneys hole. & fenell seed. take alle þise thynges & cast togyder in a pot of erthe. and take þerof whan þou wilt & serue forth. -Recipe Courtesy of Daniel Myers


3 parsley roots
3 parsnips
3 carrots
10 radishes
2 turnips
1 small cabbage
1 pear
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup vinegar
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pinch saffron, ground
1 cup greek wine (sweet Marsala) <--I used white wine
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp. mustard <--I used a sweet and spicy mustard purchased at the local farmers market
1/2 cup currants (zante raisins)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. Powder Douce
1 tsp. anise seed
1 tsp. fennel seed

Peel vegetables and chop them into bite-sized pieces. Parboil them until just tender, adding pears about halfway through cooking time. Remove from water, place on towel, sprinkle with salt, and allow to cool. Then put vegetables in large bowl and add pepper, saffron, and vinegar. Refrigerate for several hours. Then put wine and honey into a saucepan, bring to a boil, and then simmer for several minutes, removing any scum that forms on the surface. Let cool and add currants and remaining spices. Mix well and pour over vegetables. Serve cold.

Let Lardes – hard custard flavored with herbs cooked in bacon grease Harl. MS 4016, 1450

Letlardes. - Take mylke scalding hote; And take eyren̄, the yolkes and the white, and drawe hem thorgh a streynour, and caste to þe mylke; And þen̄ drawe þe iuce of herbes, whicℏ that þou wiƚƚ, so þat þey ben̄ goode, and drawe hem thorgh a streynour. And whan̄ the mylke bigynnetℏ to crudde, caste þe Iuce thereto, if þou wilt haue it grene; And if þou wilt haue it rede, take Saundres, and cast to þe mylke whan̄ it croddeth, and leue þe herbes; And if þou wilt haue hit yelowe, take Saffron̄, and caste to þe mylke whan̄ hit cruddetℏ, and leve þe Saundres; And if þou wilt haue it of al þes colours, take a potte with mylke & Iuse of herbes, and anoþer potte witℏ mylke and saffron̄; And anoþer [folio 18b.] potte with mylke and saundres, and put hem al in a lynnen̄ cloþe, and presse hem al togidur; And if þou wilt haue it of one colour, take but one clotℏ,*. [Douce MS. of these. ] and streyne it in a clotℏ in þe same maner, and bete on̄ þe clothe witℏ a ladeƚƚ or a Skymour, to make sad or*. [Douce MS. and.] flatte; and leche it faire with a knyfe, and fry the leches in a pan̄ witℏ a lituƚƚ fressℏ grece; And take a lituƚƚ, and put hit in a dissℏ, and serue it forth.

.xxix. Milke Rostys.—Take swete Mylke, an do it in a panne; take Eyroun with alle þe whyte, & swenge hem, & caste þer-to; colour it with Safroun, & boyle it so þat it wexe þikke; þan draw it þorw a straynoure, & nym that leuyth,*. [Take what remains. ] & presse it: & whan it is cold, larde it, & schere on schevres,*. [Shivers; thin strips. ] & roste it on a Gredelle, & serue forth [supplied by ed.] .

Let Lardes

2 cups whole milk
3 eggs beaten
bacon fat or lard or butter
opt: saffron (to color yellow), fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, parsley etc.)

Heat milk to scalding in a double broiler, or directly on the stove being careful not to burn. Add  your coloring agents or herbs at this point.  I added saffron.  Beat the eggs and add them all at once to the hot milk. Stir and heat until mixture begins to boil, reduce heat and continue to stir until all of the curd has separated from the whey (liquid will appear watery).  Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool. 

Line a large strainer with cheesecloth (I use muslin)  and strain the curds overnight if possible, otherwise till dripping has stopped.  Press on your curds to try to make them as dry as possible.  Weight your curds, overnight if possible, if not for several hours. Slice into 1/4" slices.

Heat the bacon fat (butter or lard) in a frying pan and fry the slices until browned on both sides. Serve hot.  

Note: I served these at room temperature and they were delicious.  In deference to modern taste I sprinkled with a little bit of salt.

First Course

Rastons Harl. MS 279, 1430 

.xxv. Rastons.—Take fayre Flowre, & þe whyte of Eyroun, & þe ȝolke, a lytel; þan take Warme Berme, & putte al þes to-gederys, & bete hem to-gederys with þin hond tyl it be schort & þikke y-now, & caste Sugre y-now þer-to, & þenne lat reste a whyle; þan kaste in a fayre place in þe oven, & late bake y-now; & þen with a knyf cutte yt round a-boue in maner of a crowne, & kepe þe cruste þat þou kyttyst; & þan pyke al þe cromys withynne to-gederys, an pike hem smal with þin knyf, & saue þe sydys & al þe cruste hole with-owte; & þan caste þer-in clarifiyd Boter, & Mille*. [melle A. (mix). ] þe cromeȝ & þe botere to-gedereȝ, & keuere it a-ȝen with þe cruste, þat þou kyttest a-way; þan putte it in þe ovyn aȝen a lytil tyme; & þan take it out, & serue it fortℏ.

25. Rastons- take fair flour, and the white of eggs, and the yolk, a little; then take Warm Barm, and put all these together, and beat them thereto, and then let rest a while: then caste in a fair place in the oven, and let bake enough: and then with a knife cut it round above in the manner of a crown, and keep the crust that thou cut; & then pick all the crumbs within together, and pick them small with thine knife, and save the sides and all the crust whole without; and then cast therein clarified butter and mix the crumbs and butter together, and cover it again with the crust, that thou cuttest away; then put in the oven again a little time; and then take it out and serve it forth.


1 cup lukewarm milk
1 cup lukewarm water
1 egg beaten
1 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. Yeast (not quick acting)
Bread Flour

This recipe creates a great loaf of bread that can be frozen.  I replaced the ale called for in the original recipe with milk and water. I also chose to use unbleached bread flour instead of a mixture of white/wheat I had used previously.  I had originally meant to freeze the dough and cook the bread on site day of.  Research indicated that in order to freeze dough you needed to increase the amount of yeast to compensate for the yeast that would die during the freezing process, so I also increased the amount of yeast.  Also, due to a bought of "foggy head syndrome" I forgot to add the salt to the tweaked recipe, ergo, no salt. If you prefer sweeter bread, no salt is needed, however, if you prefer your bread not so sweet, be sure to add salt to the dough.

I wish I had gotten pictures of this bread--it was beautiful.  The recipe above creates two round loaves of soft crusted bread with a good crumb. 

Heat milk and water to just above body temperature. While your water and milk are heating mix yeast and sugar with 1 cup flour.  Beat egg.  Add the warmed water and milk to the  flour and yeast and then add beaten egg.  Cover and set aside at least 20 minutes.  When you return the sponge should be frothy and bubbly.  

Slowly add in flour until a soft dough is formed.  Shape the dough into rounds and place on your baking sheet.  I usually use a little bit of oil to stick parchment paper to the pan, and then dust with a handful of flour so the bread does not stick.  Cover the loaves and allow to sit until doubled in size.  Spray the loaves with cooking spray if you want a browner crust, otherwise, place into a 400 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes.  Or until crust is golden and bread sounds hollow when thumped. 

At this point you can freeze the loaf or serve. If you wish to serve according to the instructions, cut off the top of the loaf and scoop out the crumb, like you would if you were creating a bread bowl. Mince the crumb of the bread, mix with clarified butter, replace the top and set the loaf back into the oven for several minutes before serving.  

.xlv.--For to make Blawnche Perrye.—Take þe Whyte of the lekys, an seþe hem in a potte, an presse hem vp, & hacke hem smal on a bord. An nym gode Almaunde Mylke, an a lytil of Rys, an do alle þes to-gederys, an seþe an stere it wyl, an do þer-to Sugre or hony, an dresse it yn; þanne take powderd Elys, an seþe hem in fayre Water, and broyle hem, an kytte hem in long pecys. And ley .ij. or .iij. in a dysshe, and putte þin*. [Thine.] perrey in a-noþer dysshe, [leaf 12 bk.] an serue þe to dysshys to-gederys as Venysoun with Furmenty.

45 For to Make Blawnche Perrye - take the white of the leeks, and cook them in a pot, and press them up, and hack them small on a board. And take good almond milk, and a little of rice, and do all these together, and cook and stir it well, and do there-to sugar or honey, and dress it in; then take salted eels, and cook them in fair water, and broil them, and cut them in long pieces. And lay two or three in a dish, and put your perrey in another dish, and serve the two dishes together as venison with furmenty.

This is a delicious dish, and very pretty to look at.  I added peas to the creamed leeks and rice, and substituted whole milk for the almond milk. This was very well received by the feasters. It was super easy to make too (I made it in the oven). 

To Clean Leeks

Leeks are a very dirty vegetable so make sure that you clean them well. Nothing ruins a good dish like sandy food :-( To properly clean leeks, remove the roots and the dark green tops (I save these for stock). Slice your leeks in half lengthwise, and place in a bowl filled with water and allow to soak. You might notice grit in the bottom of the bowl, this comes from the sandy soil that the leeks are grown in. I have also gone ahead and cut my leeks into the shape I am going to use (half moons, or full circles or even "match sticks") and soaked them. Drain the water, rinse the leeks and use. Leeks are similar to onions. 

Blawnche perrye with peas – creamed leeks and onions with peas Harl. MS 279, 1430 (milk subbed for almond milk)

2 Leeks cleaned and cut into slices
1 cup milk
1 cup cooked rice (I used 1 bag of pre-cooked frozen rice per table)
1 tbsp. honey

Opt: 1/2 cups peas

Place your cleaned leeks into a pot and bring them to a boil. Cook them until they become tender and then drain.  Place your rice, leeks, peas and honey into an oven proofed dish and heat at 350 degree's "fluffing" the rice every few minutes until the milk has absorbed and the rice becomes creamy.  This usually takes about 20 to 25 minutes. 

.vj. Beef y-Stywyd.—Take fayre beef of þe rybbys of þe fore quarterys, an smyte in fayre pecys, an wasche þe beef in-to a fayre potte; þan take þe water þat þe beef was soþin yn, an strayne it þorw a straynowr, an sethe þe same water and beef in a potte, an let hem boyle to-gederys; þan take canel, clowes, maces, graynys of parise, quibibes, and oynons y-mynced, perceli, an sawge, an caste þer-to, an let hem boyle to-gederys; an þan take a lof of brede, an stepe it with brothe an venegre, an þan draw it þorw a straynoure, and let it be stylle; an whan it is nere y-now, caste þe lycour þer-to, but nowt to moche, an þan let boyle onys, an cast safroun þer-to a quantyte; þan take salt an venegre, and cast þer-to, an loke þat it be poynaunt y-now, & serue forth.

6. Beef Stewed - Take fair beef of the ribs of the fore quarters, and chop (smite) in fair pieces, and wash the beef into a fair pot; then take the water that the beef was washed (sothin) in, and strain it through a strainer, and set the same water and beef in a pot, and let them boil together; then take cinnamon, cloves, mace, grains of paradise, cubebs, and onions minced, parsley and sage, and cast thereto and let them boil together; and then take a loaf of bread, and steep it with broth and vinegar, and then draw it through a strainer, and let it be still; and when it is near enough, cast the liquor thereto, but not too much, and then let boil once, and cast saffron thereto a quantity; then take salt and vinegar and cast thereto, and look that it be sharp (sour) enough, and serve forth.

To Make Stock

Making your own stocks are very cost effective for feasts, so save your bones and your scraps of veggies! Just toss them in a ziplock bag in the freezer until you have enough to make a good stock.  Make your stock and can or freeze until needed.

There are two separate ways to make stock.  The first is on the stove top/slow cooker and the second is in your oven. I made the chicken and pork stock on the stove top and the beef stock in the oven. For any stock you will need: bones (preferably some with meat) if you are making a meat based stock, vegetables, aromatics, water and time--lots and lots of time.

A good stock will -always- start with cold water. During the initial boiling of the stock--skim, skim, skim.  You want to remove any and all impurities that come to the surface.  After the initial boiling, lower your temperature to a simmer and *never, ever!* stir the stock. Your stock should be clear and richly colored.  A really good meat stock will convert to a gelatin when cold.  This happens because the collagin in the bones dissolves which can only happen during a very long simmering process.  If you are in a hurry,  you can make a good broth, but you cannot make a good stock. A good stock has a deep, well developed flavor that is imparted through the aromatics and vegetables. I prefer to roast my bones before making any meat stock which adds an additional flavor component.  If you are making a vegetable stock be sure to include mushrooms, tomatoes (if not cooking period), nori etc.--do not skip this.  These vegetables create "umami", a savory or meaty flavor to your stock which is very much needed in vegetable stock.

To make the beef stock for the beef y-stewed I coated approximately 4 pounds of bones with a little bit of oil, salt and pepper and roasted in a 400 degree oven until they were brown.  I used rib bones that I found on sale, along with a handful of marrow bones in addition to bones I had saved up.

My basic veggie blend for any stock includes a couple of carrots, celery and onions.  I also use parsley, rosemary, thyme, bay and black pepper to the stock.  If I have it, I add garlic.  Wash your vegetables, roughly chop and make a bed of them for your roasted bones.  A good rule of thumb to remember is that for every pound of bones you will need approximately 2 quarts of water.  When making stock, be sure that the bones are covered by at least an inch.  Add your aromatics, bring to a boil, skim off the scum and then lower the heat and simmer.  Simmer times vary but I prefer about five hours for most stocks.  Use your best judgment. If you are going to cook your stock in the oven, turn the heat down to about 275 degrees and let simmer over night.

Once you have finished cooking your stock, strain it at least once to make sure that you are removing all the bits.  I do this by lining a wire strainer with a piece of muslin and pouring the stock through it.  Allow your stock to cool overnight.  Once my stock has cooled I remove the fat, reheat and strain it once again just to make sure that it is very clear.

.vj. Beef y-Stywyd.—Take fayre beef of þe rybbys of þe fore quarterys, an smyte in fayre pecys, an wasche þe beef in-to a fayre potte; þan take þe water þat þe beef was soþin yn, an strayne it þorw a straynowr, an sethe þe same water and beef in a potte, an let hem boyle to-gederys; þan take canel, clowes, maces, graynys of parise, quibibes, and oynons y-mynced, perceli, an sawge, an caste þer-to, an let hem boyle to-gederys; an þan take a lof of brede, an stepe it with brothe an venegre, an þan draw it þorw a straynoure, and let it be stylle; an whan it is nere y-now, caste þe lycour þer-to, but nowt to moche, an þan let boyle onys, an cast safroun þer-to a quantyte; þan take salt an venegre, and cast þer-to, an loke þat it be poynaunt y-now, & serue forth.

6. Beef Stewed - Take fair beef of the ribs of the fore quarters, and chop (smite) in fair pieces, and wash the beef into a fair pot; then take the water that the beef was washed (sothin) in, and strain it through a strainer, and set the same water and beef in a pot, and let them boil together; then take cinnamon, cloves, mace, grains of paradise, cubebs, and onions minced, parsley and sage, and cast thereto and let them boil together; and then take a loaf of bread, and steep it with broth and vinegar, and then draw it through a strainer, and let it be still; and when it is near enough, cast the liquor thereto, but not too much, and then let boil once, and cast saffron thereto a quantity; then take salt and vinegar and cast thereto, and look that it be sharp (sour) enough, and serve forth.

Beef-y-stewed –stewed beef Harl. MS 279, 1430

2 pounds stew beef
6 cups stock (you can sub plain water, water w/beef bouillon cubes, or broth)
1/2 tsp. each cinnamon and mace
1/4 tsp. each clove, cubebs and grains of paradise
1 bag pearl onions, or, one medium onion sliced
1 tbsp. parsley
1/2 tbsp. dried sage
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
pinch of saffron
1 tsp. salt or to taste
1/4 tsp. pepper or poudre forte
1/2 to 1 cup breadcrumbs depending on preference

Place onions in a pot and bring to a boil, let them cook approximately five minutes or until they start to become transparent and then drain.  Place remainder of ingredients with the exception of the bread crumbs into your pot along with your onions and cook until the beef is tender, approximately an hour. Spoon out about 2 cups of broth, add them to your bread crumbs (I have a confession to make, I honestly have no idea how much broth I added to the bread crumbs, I wanted to make it juicy enough--so 2 cups is a guess), place in the food processor and pulse or grind until you make a slurry. Return this mixture back to your stew and cook until mixture has thickened.

As an alternative and in deference to modern tastes, you could flour and season your beef ahead of time and cook in oil before stewing.

Brawn with Mustard- pork with mustard The good husvvifes ievvell, 1587

To sowce a Pigge. TAke white Wine and a litle sweete broth, and halfe a score Nutmegs cut in quarters, then take Rosemarie, Baies,Time, and sweete margerum, and let them boyle altogether, skum them verie cleane, and when they be boyled, put them into an earthen pan, and the syrop also, and when yee serue them, a quarter in a dish, and the Bayes, and nutmegs on the top.

To Souse (pickle) a Pig. - Take white wine and a little sweet broth, and half a score nutmegs cut in quarters, then take rosemary, bay, thyme and sweet marjoram, and let them boil together, and skim them verie clean, and when they are boiled, put them into an earthen pan, and the syrup also, and when you serve them, a quarter in a dish, and the bay and nutmeg on the top. 

Interesting note:  A score is 20, so the recipe above called for ten quartered nutmegs! 

To Pickle Pork

2 cups water
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tbsp. sugar

I combined a couple of different recipes to create the pork dish that I served.  Because I knew I wasn't going to use the wine I prepared a brine to pickle the pork before cooking it.  I created a very basic brine by heating all of the ingredients below, adding about a cup full of ice to quickly cool it and then putting it and the pork which I had sliced into pieces into ziplock bags and placing them in the fridge for about 24 hours.  This created a very light pickle on the pork. I have also done this in the past using a combination of the spices called for David Friedman's "Lord's Salt" recipe (it's delicious).

Brawn with Mustard

1 ½ to 2 pounds pork (I used shoulder roast with bone in)
2 cups dry white wine (I subbed chicken stock and ginger ale)
Fresh Rosemary, thyme and marjoram (ok, another confession--I used a 3/4 ounce package of thyme, rosemary and parsley mix, putting the parsley in the beef, and the rosemary and thyme in the pork and then added about 2 tsp. dried marjoram)
4 fresh bay leaves
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 ½ tsp. salt

Rinse the pork very well after you have brined it.  Place the pork in the pot with the remainder of the ingredients.  You may even wish to forego the salt because the pork should be plenty salty already, and cook until tender.  I froze this and then thawed and warmed it the day of the event, and serve it with my favorite mustard (slightly out of period).

To Make Mustard of Dijon  The Accomplisht Cook, Robert May

The seed being cleansed, stamp it in a mortar, with vinegar and honey, then take eight ounces of seed, two ounces of cinnamon, two of hone, and vinegar as much will serve, good mustard not too think, and keep it close covered in little oyster barrels.

To Make Mustard

1 cup mustard seeds
1 ½ cups mustard powder
¼ cup cinnamon
¼ cup honey
½ cup vinegar
1 ½ cups water

Grind the mustard seeds for a few seconds in a spice or coffee grinder, or by hand if you wish using a mortar and pestle just enough to crack. Pour the seeds, mustard powder, honey and cinnamon into a bowl and then add cold vinegar and water. Wait at least 12 hours before using. 

What I have learned with this particular mustard is that you really need to make it long before you plan to serve it. The longer it sits, the better it gets, so this is one of the first things I made for the event after I made the sugar candies. It sat for about two weeks prior to the event in my fridge with a post-it note advising anyone who thought about using it they would be in trouble.  To be honest, I've made it once and have since purchased stone ground mustard and a whole grain mustard and mixed them together, adding the honey and the cinnamon to them.

Garbage - stewed chicken offal (hearts, gizzards, livers, feet, neck) Harl. MS 279, 1430 

Fryer chickens went on sale ($.68/pound) right after Thanksgiving.  I purchased 16 of them and much to my surprise on the day I was butterflying them I discovered that they came complete with neck, gizzards, liver and heart.  Joy! A "found dish" within the already purchased ingredients that I could offer at the event for those brave enough to try it. I did purchase (on sale) an additional package of livers, gizzards and hearts, and chicken feet.

I have to chuckle because at this particular event, the diner's got to enjoy mortis (mortrews), entrails (trayne roast), compost (pickled vegetables) and garbage (offal) all while being entertained with a boar's head. I'm not sure if anyone else realized it or if I have just let the cat out of the bag, but 12th night had a bit of an accidental darker theme going on :-D

xvij - Garbage. Take fayre garbagys of chykonys, as the hed, the fete, the lyuerys, an the gysowrys; washe hem clene, an caste hem in a fayre potte, an caste ther-to freysshe brothe of Beef or ellys of moton, an let it boyle; an a-lye it wyth brede, an ley on Pepir an Safroun, Maces, Clowys, an a lytil verious an salt, an serue forth in the maner as a Sewe.

17 - Garbage - Take fair garbage of chickens, as the head, the feet, the liver, and the gizzard; wash them clean, and caste them in a fair pot, and caste there-to fresh broth of beef or else of mutton, and let it boil; and mix it with bread, and lay on pepper and saffron, mace, cloves, and a little verjuice and salt, and serve forth in the manner as a stew

Garbage - stewed chicken offal (hearts, gizzards, livers, feet, neck) Harl. MS 279, 1430 

1 1/2-2 pounds of chicken offal
1 c. beef broth
2 tbsp. bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. pepper (I used my pepper mix which is made from black pepper, cubebs, long peppers and grains of paradise)
pinch of saffron
1 tsp. mace
1/4 tsp. clove
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt

Clean your offal; this means rinsing away blood, cutting gizzards in half and removing anything you find inside of them (it's part of the digestive system and you -don't- want to eat that!), trim away the lining of the gizzard, trimming fat, green parts and membranes from the livers, remove connective tissue from hearts, wash the feet, peel if you want (I didn't), clip the toes if you want (I didn't).  Make sure that you clean and sanitize your work surface after. Offal is delicious but it does carry a higher risk of contamination. 

Place all ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until tender.  I have to confess that I treated the garbage like I treat a stock and simmered this for about six hours after which I served.  What I discovered is the livers mostly disappear, they cook away to almost nothing, flavoring the broth.  

Those who tried it loved it, and someone took home the left overs.  If rumor is true, chicken feet were a much sought after commodity.

Second Course

I had originally planned to serve the chickens stuffed with the farce.  The time to cook the chickens was problematic, and the last time I served chickens stuffed with a meat stuffing, the stuffing tinted the meat closest to it a light pink and despite the fact that the chickens were *falling apart* the diner's complained that because of the tint (I used veal and pork in the stuffing) the meat was not cooked. Not wanting a repeat of that experience I elected instead to spatchcock (butterfly) the chickens which would cook them evenly, and halve the cooking time.  I also elected to turn the stuffing into "sausage balls" that was served as a side to the chickens. 

How to Spatchcock (butterfly) Chickens

Word of advice--buy a cheap pair of kitchen shears if you are going to be doing this to a large number (16) of chickens.  My shears needed to be resharpened when I had completed this process.  I found it easier to remove the backbone from the chicken while they were still semi frozen, then when they were thawed.  I would not attempt this while frozen. 

The tailbone of the chicken is also referred to as the parson's nose, and now I can't stop referring to it as that.  Turn the chicken so that it is breast side down.  Using your shears cut the chicken along each side of the parson's nose which removes the backbone from the bird.  

Turn the chicken back over onto its breast and put the frustration of trying to cut through some of the thicker bones into flattening it by placing your hands into the middle of the bird and pushing down until she gives up fighting and lies down complacently flat for you.  Ignore any odd noises you might hear. 

You can also take the extra step of cutting out the breast bone, but I didn't do this. I think that chicken cooked on the bone is more flavorful and moister then chicken not on the bone.   

Original Recipe: XXXV. Capoun or gos farced. — Take Percely, & Swynys grece, or Sewet of a schepe, & parboyle hem to-gederys til J^ey ben tendyr; J^an take harde plkys of Eyroun, & choppe for-w/tA ; caste ])er-to Pouder Pepir, Gyngere, Canel, Safroun, & Salt, & grapis in tyme of jere, & clowys y-nowe ; & for defawte of grapis, Oynons, fyrst wil y-boylid, & afterward alle to-choppyd, & so stufFe hym & roste hym, & serue hym forth. And jif ]70 lust, take a litil Porke y-sode, & al to-choppe hit smal a-mong )7«to|ier ; for it wol be J^e better, & namely ^ for ]>e Capoun.

Translated: 35. Capon or Goose stuffed. Take parsley & swines grease, or suet of a sheep, and parboil them together till they are tender; then take hard yolks of eggs, and chop forthwith; cast thereto powdered pepper, ginger, cinnamon, saffron & salt & grapes in time of year, and cloves enough; & for default of grapes, onions, first well boiled & afterward all chopped, & so stuff him & roast him, & serve him forth. And if thee like, take a little pork seethed, & all chop it small among that other; for it will be the better, & especially for the capon.

Capon Farced – chicken stuffed with a mixture of sausage, onions and grapes, roasted Harl. MS 279, 1430

For the chicken

1 chicken
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. pepper

For the stuffing

2 small onions minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
¼ cup water
½ cup chicken broth
2 tbs. bacon fat, lard or suet
1 pound mild spice sausage (I used sage)
1 hardboiled egg
1/2 cup seedless grapes
½ tsp. cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp. cloves

To Roast Chicken

Pat your chicken dry and lightly coat it with butter or oil. I prefer European butter because it results in a crispier skin. Mix together salt, ginger and pepper, and sprinkle over the chicken, being sure to coat inside and outside of your bird.  If you are stuffing your bird, add the stuffing, and cook your chicken at 350 degrees for about an hour and a half. 

If you are serving the sausage as meatballs on the side, and have spatchcocked your chicken, cook your chicken at 400 degrees until the chicken is browned (about 45 minutes) and has an internal temperature of 165 degree's measured in the thickest part of the thigh. 

For the stuffing balls:

Put parsley, water, broth, fat and onions in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook for five minutes. Remove the pot from heat, drain and allow to cool. Meanwhile, finely chop the hardboiled eggs and grapes. Add onions, grapes, parsley, cloves, cinnamon, salt and pepper to the sausage and form into balls.  I use a tablespoon to shape the sausage balls. 

To cook your stuffing, bring a pot of water to boil, and place the balls into it.  They will float when they are done.  Drain. At this point you can freeze them (they freeze well) or serve them. 

PikkyH ipotir le Mallard. ^ Take oynons, and hewe hem smaH, and fry hem in fressh grace, and caste hem into a potte, And fressh broth of beef, Wyne, & powder of poper, canel, and dropping of the mallard/ And lete hem boile togidur awhile ; And take hit fro ]>e ijre, and caste thereto mustard a litul, And ponder of ginger. And lete hit boile no more, and salt hit, And seme it forthe with j^e Mallard.

36. Pickle for the Mallard. Take onions, and hew them small, and fry them in fresh grease, and cast them into a pot, and fresh broth of beef, wine & powder of pepper, cinnamon, and drippings of the mallard/ And let them boil together awhile; And take it from the fire, and cast thereto mustard a little, and powder of ginger, and let it boil no more, and salt it and serve it forth with the Mallard.

Pickle for the Mallard – onion jam Harl. MS 279, 1430

2 medium onions sliced
1 tbsp. oil or lard
1 cup beef broth (you should be able to sub chicken or 50/50 beef/ chicken mix)
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. melted duck fat (I used chicken fat that I had saved after skimming off fat from chicken stock)
1/2 tsp. dry mustard (I used a tsp. of the lombard mustard)
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. salt

In large skillet over medium heat, fry the onions in oil until they are transparent, add the broth, wine, pepper, cinnamon, duck fat, and let the mixture boil until the flavors are mixed, about 10 minutes. Add mustard, ginger, and salt. Stir. Reduce heat. Serve hot with duck (capon, chicken, or goose).

Harleian MS. 4016, ab. 1450 A.D. Guisseƚƚ. [supplied by ed.] *. [Taken from Douce MS. ] [folio 15.] ¶ Take faire capon̄ brotℏ, or of beef, And sette hit ouer the fire, and caste þerto myced sauge, parcelly and saffron̄, And lete boile; And streyn̄ the white and þe yolke of egges thorgℏ a streynour, and caste there-to faire grated brede, and medle hit togidre with thi honde, And caste the stuff to the brotℏ into þe pan̄; And stirre it faire and softe til hit come togidre, and crudded; And þen̄ serue it forth hote.

Guissell. (Note: Taken from Douce MS.) Take faire capon broth or of beef, and set it over the fire and cast thereto minced sage, parsley and saffron, and let it boil; and strain the white and the yolk of eggs through a strainer, and cast thereto grated bread and meddle it all together with your hand, and caste the stuff to the broth into the pan; and stir it fare and soft till it come together, and curded; and then serve it forth hot.

Guissell- bread dumplings Harl. MS 4016, 1450

2 cups bread crumbs (1/2 cup sage and onion stuffing mix and 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 eggs
1 small onion minced and parboiled
4 cups broth
1 tsp. sage
1 tbsp. parsley
Pinch of saffron

Served as side dish 

Put your breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, (which was added for modern taste) into a bowl, create a well and add in your eggs one at a time until it starts to form lumps. Add your onions, and then enough water to form a smooth stiff "dough".  If serving your dumplings dry (not in a flavored broth) add sage, parsley and omit the saffron. 

Shape your dough into balls (I used a tablespoon) and drop them into boiling broth and remove with a slotted spoon when they begin to float. Serve. 

Served as pottage

If you are not serving the dumplings dry, but are serving them in a flavorful broth, heat the broth, sage, parsley and saffron till it comes to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer. Shape your dough into balls, or add the dough in small batches until the dumplings float. Serve with broth.

Pickled Barberries (Blueberries) The Whole Body of Cookery Dissected, 1682

The copy of this book I have is a copy of the 1682 edition of Rabisha's book. The first edition of this book was printed in 1661.  Many individuals have expressed concern on why I would choose to use books that are published after our time period.  The answer is simple, despite being published late, many of the methods described were used in our time period, common foods and methodologies were not written down, and it is only later that you find them.  To quote Mr. Rabisha, who says it quite eloquently:

"..It hath been the practice of most of the ingenuous Men of all Arts and Science, to hold forth to posterity what light or knowledge they understood to be obscure in their said Art:  And the wisest of Philosphers, learned and pious Men of old, have highly extolled these principles, who went not out like the snuff of a Candle, but have left thier Volumes to after-ages, to be their School-master in what they have a mind to practice; which calls back time and gives life to the dead." 
So it is my belief that common items were not written down and that it was not until cooking was given "to the masses" that you begin to see everyday items placed into books so that the art would not be lost.  I have no way to prove this theory, however, with careful research, many of the items referenced in this particular book can be found in older manuscripts.

I have access to dried barberries through Amazon.  However a friend gifted me with five pounds of the most beautiful wild blueberries, which I used for this pickle.  It is delicious and I did take liberties with the spicing for it.

To Pickle Barberries Red (or blueberries blue) When your Barbaries are picked from the leaves in clusters, about Michaelmas, or when they are ripe, let your water boyl, an give them a half a dozen walms; let your pickle be white-wine and Vinegar, not to sharp, so put them up for your use.

Pickled Blueberries

1 cup vinegar (I used white wine)
1/2 cup wine (I used a white moscato)
3 sticks whole cinnamon
1 tsp. coriander
3-4 whole cloves
8 cups blueberries, cleaned, rinsed and drained
2 cups sugar

Make your pickle by heating vinegar, wine, and spices together until it begins to simmer, lower heat and cook for approximately five minutes.  Add blueberries and continue to cook approximately ten more minutes.  SHAKE the pan--do not stir to keep your blueberries as whole as possible.  Remove pan from heat, allow to cool about ten more minutes.

Strain the blueberries over a bowl so that you can preserve your syrup and place into clean sterilized jars.  Return the syrup to the pan, add the sugar and bring to a boil, continuing to boil until sugar has dissolved. Be sure to skim off anything that rises to the top so that your syrup is clear.  Fill the jars with the syrup.  You can continue the canning the process at this point, or store in your fridge.  Berries are best when they have been allowed to sit for a few weeks.

Roasted Chestnuts, Turnips and Sage Le Menagier de Paris, 1393 - - Venison of Deer or Other Beast, If you wish to salt it in summer, it is appropriate to salt it in a wash-tub or bath, ground coarse salt, and after dry it in the sun. Haunch, that is the rump, which is salted, should be cooked first in water and wine for the first boiling to draw out the salt: and then throw out the water and wine, and after put to partly cook in a bouillon of meat and turnips, and serve in slices with some of the liquid in a dish and venison.

Item, if you have small young turnips, you should cook it in water and without wine for the first boiling, then throw out the water, and then partly cook in water and wine and with sweet chestnuts, or if you have no chestnuts, some sage: then serve as above.

Roasted Chestnuts, Turnips and Sage

2 pounds turnips, peeled and quartered
Vegetable broth
1 cup white wine (opt. I used only vegetable broth)
1/4 pound shelled chestnuts
½ tsp. dried sage or 1 sprig fresh sage
salt to taste

Parboil turnips in 4 cups boiling, salted water for five minutes. Drain and recover with remaining cup of water and wine. Add shelled chestnuts and sage and a little more salt and bring back to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes. --Courtesy  Pleyn Delit: Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks, By Constance B. Hieatt, Brenda Hosington, Sharon Butler

Third Course

Cheese & Nuts 

While researching dietary theory,  specifically 15th century England,  and brainstorming ways that the theory could be applied to modern day feasts specifically for SCA events, I learned that it was customary to serve later in the meal ripened or hardened cheeses especially after meat and nuts after fish.  Since I had served both at this event, I  put together a "dessert" plate of cheeses, dried fruits and nuts.

For the nuts I used a mixture of walnut, almond, hazel and pistachio nuts.  The cheeses included mild cheddar in slices, white cheddar curds, gouda, blue cheese and brie.  I also added dried fruit to the tray including raisins and currants mixed together, dried cherries, dried apricots, dates and figs.

Spiced apples and pears Chiquart's 'On Cookery’, 1420  Again, pears cooked without coals or water: to instruct the person who will be cooking them, he should get a good new earthenware pot, then get the number of pears he will be wanting to cook and put them into that pot; when they are in it, stop it up with clean little sticks of wood in such a way that when the pot is upside down on the hot coals it does not touch them at all; then turn it upside down on the hot coals and keep it covered over with coals and leave it to cook for an hour or more. Then uncover them and check whether they have cooked enough, and leave them there until they are cooked enough. When they are cooked, put them out into fine silver dishes; then they are borne to the sick person. Chiquart's 'On Cookery, 1420

Spiced apples and pears

Approximately 2 pound apples and pears
¼ cup sugar (I used brown)
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp. anise seeds (opt)
1/4 cup water

Peel and core your fruit and slice into even slices.  Mix well with spices and sugars and place into a baking dish.  Add water and bake in a 400 degree oven until tender. Alternatively, you can place in a crockpot and cook on low overnight.  

.Clj. Creme Bastarde Harl. MS 279 Take þe whyte of Eyroun a grete hepe, & putte it on a panne ful of Mylke, & let yt boyle; [leaf 26.] þen sesyn it so with Salt an hony a lytel, þen lat hit kele, & draw it þorw a straynoure, an take fayre Cowe mylke an draw yt with-all, & seson it with Sugre, & loke þat it be poynant & doucet: & serue it forth for a potage, or for a gode Bakyn mete, wheder þat þou wolt.

151. Cream Bastarde - Take the white of eggs, a great heap and put it on a pan full of milk, an let it boil, then season it so with salt and honey a little, then let it cool, and draw it through a strainer, and take fair cow milk, and draw it with-all, and season it with sugar, and look that it be poignant and sweet: and serve it forth for a pottage, or for a good baked meat, whether that you will.

Cream Bastarde 

4 egg whites
1 pint milk (I used a mixture of half and half and whipping cream)
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
Opt: 1 stick cinnamon, ½ tsp. nutmeg, 1 tsp. orangeflower water

Boil the spices, sugar and most of the cream for a few minutes until well flavored. Beat the eggs with the remaining cream, mix them into the hot cream, and boil up twice before draining through a fine cloth. When cold, mix in the orangeflower water. - Courtesy Peter Breverton, The Tudor Cookbook

 Serve on the side with the stewed apples and pears.

To make white leach of creame - A Closet for Ladies and Gentlewomen (1602) - To make white leach of creame. TAke a pint of sweete creame, and sixe spoone-fuls of Rose water, and two graines of Muske, two drops of oyle of Mace, or one piece of large Mace, and so let it boyle with foure ounces of Isin-glasse: then let it run downe through a gelly bagge, when it is cold, slice it like brawne, and so serue it out: this is the best way to make leach.

A White Leach

1 pint half and half
3/8 of a cup rosewater
1 drop musk flavoring
2 tsp. ground mace
2 packages unflavored gelatine

Bloom the gelatine in the rosewater.  Put half and half and mace into a pan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for approximately five minutes, stirring constantly so that half and half does not burn.  Add gelatin and stir until it is fully dissolved.  Strain mixture into your mold or on a cookie sheet and place in refridgerator to cool for several hours.

To serve, cut into small squares or unmold.

Jellied Ypocras

I cannot take credit for the Jellied Ypocras.  The recipe was came from Eulalia Hath A Blogge; Eulalia Piebakere's SCA projects and adventures in medieval reenactment.

Here is my recipe based on her interpretation:

Jellied Ypocras

3 cups red wine (I used Welch's Sangria flavored juice instead)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
5 cloves
5 peppercorns
1 large piece of mace
½ nutmeg
½ stick of cinnamon
4 packets unflavored gelatine

Pour the wine into a pot and add sugar and spices, bring to a boil. Bloom the gelatine in the water. Boil the wine and sugar for five minutes. Strain the wine into a bowl and add the gelatine until completely dissolved. Place and fridge and leave until the jelly has set completely.

To serve, cut into small squares or diamonds and pile lightly onto a serving dish.


Issue de Table

Gyngerbrede Harl. MS 279, 1430

iiij - Gyngerbrede. Take a quart of hony, and sethe it, and skeme it clene; take Safroun, pouder Pepir, and throw ther-on; take gratyd Brede, and make it so chargeaunt (Note: stiff) that it wol be y-lechyd; then take pouder Canelle, and straw ther-on y-now; then make yt square, lyke as thou wolt leche yt; take when thou lechyst hyt, an caste Box leves a-bouyn, y-stykyd ther-on, on clowys. And 3if thou wolt haue it Red, coloure it with Saunderys y-now.

4. Gingerbread - Take a quart of honey and cook it, and skim it clean; take saffron, powder pepper and throw there-on; take grated bread, and make it so stiff that it will be sliced; then take powder cinnamon, and strew there-on enough; then make it square, like as you will slice it; take when you slice it, and cast box-leaves above, stick there-on cloves. And if you will have it red, color it with saunders enough.


1 pound honey (I use raw honey)
1 pound bread crumbs
2 tsp. pepper ** see below
1 tbsp. cinnamon
Opt. 1 tbsp. ginger, 1 tsp. grains of paradise, ½ tsp. white pepper

Bring honey to boil and skim off the scum that rises.\, once the honey is cleaned remove from heat.  Add spices to bread crumbs and mix well (you don't want clumps of spice), mix honey and spiced bread crumbs together,  shape, and allow to cool.  Once mixture is cool it can be sliced.  I prefer to shape the gingerbread into bite sized balls. 

**I like to use this mix for pepper which is my version of powder forte)

1 tbsp. mixed peppers (black, long pepper, grains of paradise and cubebs)
1/2 tsp. each nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger
1/4 tsp. clove

Coriander Flavored Marzipan -A Daily Exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen, 1621

To Make Callishones - Take halfe a pound of Marchpane paste, a thimble-full of coriander seeds beaten to a powder, with a graine of Muske, beat all to a perfect paste, print it and drie it.


10 ounces almond paste
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
up to 1/2 cup confectioner sugar
1 tsp. rosewater

This works best if the almond paste is cold, so I put mine in the refrigerator overnight. I grated it into a bowl and added 1/2 tsp. ground coriander to the grated paste. I then added the remainder of the coriander to the sugar, and put a small handful of it onto a piece of wax paper. I took 1/3 of my almond paste and pressed it on both sides into the sugar/coriander mixture. I rolled it out to approximately 1/4" thick and cut it out with cookie cutters. I got about 80 pieces of candy from this.

To finish, I mixed gold luster dust with ground coriander and painted the edges of the callishones with rosewater before running the edges through the coriander/luster dust mix, before setting it out to dry.

To make the almond paste I used a mix of equal parts almond flour to confectioner sugar and then add 1-2 tsp. almond extract, a tsp. of orange flower or rose-water plus an egg white. I know, I should be worried about salmonella, but these were super fresh eggs purchased at the market that morning.

Marchpane A Book of Cookrye, 1591

How to make a good Marchpane. - First take a pound of long smal almonds and blanch them in cold water, and dry them as drye as you can, then grinde them small, and put no licour to them but as you must needs to keepe them from oyling, and that licour that you put in must be rosewater, in manner as you shall think good, but wet your Pestel therin, when ye have beaten them fine, take halfe a pound of Sugar and more, and see that it be beaten small in pouder, it must be fine sugar, then put it to your Almonds and beate them altogither, when they be beaten, take your wafers and cut them compasse round, and of the bignes you will have your Marchpaine, and then as soone as you can after the tempering of your stuffe, let it be put in your paste, and strike it abroad with a flat stick as even as you can, and pinch the very stuffe as it were an edge set upon, and then put a paper under it, and set it upon a faire boord, and lay lattin Basin over it the bottome upwarde, and then lay burning coles upon the bottom of the basin. To see how it baketh, if it happen to bren too fast in some place, folde papers as broad as the place is & lay it upon that place, and thus with attending ye shal bake it a little more then a quarter of an houre, and when it is wel baked, put on your gold and biskets, and stick in Comfits, and so you shall make a good Marchpaine. Or ever that you bake it you must cast on it fine Sugar and Rosewater that will make it look like Ice.

How to make a good Marchpane. - First take a pound of long small almonds and blanch them in cold water, and dry them as dry as you can, then grind them small, and put no liquor to them but as you must needs to keep them from getting oily, and that liquor that you put in must be rosewater, in manner as you shall think good, but wet your pestle therein. When ye have beaten them fine, take half a pound of sugar and more, and see that it be beaten small in powder, it must be fine sugar. Then put it to your Almonds and beat them all together, when they be beaten, take your wafers and cut them round with a compass, the size of your marchpane. As soon as you can after the tempering of your (marchpane) stuff, let it be put in your paste, and strike it abroad with a flat stick as even as you can, and pinch the very stuff as it were an edge set upon, and then put a paper under it, and set it upon a fair board, and lay lattin Basin over it the bottom upwards. Lay burning coals over the basin. To see how it bakes, if it happen to brown too fast in some places, fold papers as broad as the place is & lay it upon that place. And thus with attending you shall bake it a little more than a quarter of an hour, and when it is well baked, put on your gold and biskets, and stick in comfits, and so you shall make a good marchpane. Or ever that you bake it you must cast on it fine sugar and rosewater that will make it look like Ice.


2cups almond flour
1cup confectioners' sugar
1 - 2 tbsp. Rosewater or water, or juice of choice
To Make the Icine 

Confectioner  sugar
Rose water

I made the Marchpanes over three separate days, and each day, the amount of liquid needed to make the dough varied between 1 and 2 tbsp. To begin, you will want to sift the almond flour and the sugar together, and then you add enough liquid that a stiff dough is formed. I used a spring form tart pan to press the dough into.  I then removed the dough from the bottom pan and placed it onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  

Place the dough into the oven set to your lowest setting.  The goal is to dry and bake the dough but not brown it (as you can see I had some difficulty on a few of these keeping them from browning...they were delicious despite being brown). This took about 15 minutes in my oven. I chose not to decorate the marchpanes, but the time to add decorations is when they come out of the oven and before you ice them. 

To make the icing, add rosewater to confectioner sugar and pour over your marchpane.  Allow icing to dry before serving.  Note--these store well. 


To Make Candied Orange Peel, Le Menagier de Paris, 1393

To Make Candied Orange Peel, divide the peel of one orange into five quarters and scrape with a knife to remove the white part inside, then put them to soak in good sweet water for nine days, and change the water every day; then cook them in good water just till boiling, and when this happens, spread them on a cloth and let them get thoroughly dry, then put them in a pot with enough honey to cover them, and boil on a low fire and skim, and when you believe the honey is cooked, (to test if it is cooked, have some water in a bowl, and let drip into this one drop of the honey, and if it spreads, it is not cooked; and if the drop of honey holds together in the water without spreading out, it is cooked;) and then you must remove your orange peel, and make one layer with it, and sprinkle with ginger powder, then another layer, and sprinkle etc., and so on; and leave it a month or more, then eat.

Candied Orange Peel (easy method)

Orange peel
2 c. sugar
1 c. water
Additional sugar for dredging peels

To begin, cut your peel into quarter inch strips.  Put into a pot and bring to a boil about 15 minutes.  Drain, rinse and repeat.  At this point you can choose to drain, rinse and repeat the boiling process a third time or, move forward with candying.  Since I like a touch of bitter with my candied peels I only do this twice. 

Allow peels to drain while you make your syrup.  Mix together sugar and water and cook over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.  Increase your heat until the syrup comes to a boil.  Add your peels, lower to simmer and cook until the peels become translucent (between 30 and 45 minutes). 

Place your additional sugar into a ziploc bag, using a fork or slotted spoon remove the peels a few at a time, drain the syrup from them and place them into the ziploc bag (sounds more complicated than it is). Put the drained peels into the sugar, shake until well coated then place the sugared peels onto a wire rack to dry.  Drying can take 1-2 days.  Store peels in an airtight container.  If you wish to recreate the flavor of the peels, substitute honey for sugar, and add ginger to the sugar you coat your peels with. 

To candy any roote, fruite or flower - English Housewife, 1615

Dissolue Sugar, or sugar candy in Rose-water, boile it to an height, put in your rootes, fruits or flowers, the sirrop being cold, then rest a little, after take them out and boyle the sirrop againe, then put in more roots, &c. then boile the sirrop the third time to an hardnesse, put∣ting in more sugar but not Rose-water, put in the roots, &c. the sirrop being cold and let them stand till they candie.

Candied Fruit (quince, plums and pears)

I chose to make the candied fruit from quince, pears and plums for this event.  The process is simple, and does not require days on end. Simply peel, core and slice your fruit into slices and add them to your syrup using the same portions as you would use for the candied orange peels, and cook till fruit is transparent.  Cooking times and drying times will vary.

To make Marmalade of Damsins or Prunes, The treasurie of commodius conceits (1573) - TAke Damsins, which ar ripe, boyle them on the Fyre with a lyttle fayre water tyll they bee softe, then draw them through a course Boulter as ye make a tart set it on the Fyre agayne seeth iton height with sufficient sugar, as you do your Quinces, dash it with sweete water. &c. and box it. If you wil make it of Prunes, euen likewise doo put some Apples also to it, as you dyd to your Quinces.

This wise you may make Marmylade of Wardens, Peares, apples, & Medlars, Seruits or Checkers, strawberys euery one by him selfe, or els mixt it together, as you thik good.  Partridge, John., The treasurie of commodius conceits (1573)

Plum Paste

2 pounds plums, quartered with core removed
2 cups water
2 pounds sugar

Place stoned and quartered unpeeled plums into a pot, and bring to a boil.  Simmer until the plums are very tender and starting to break apart. Put your plums into a blender and blend until they create a smooth paste.  Strain your plum paste into your pot and add your sugar.  Cook stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened, darkened and a spoon passed through the center of the paste leaves a trail behind it.  Pour your paste into a lightly oiled mold, or onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet and allow to dry.  Alternatively, you can pour your paste into a jar, and can it.  Cooking times vary on your fruit.  I found that the plum paste was ready in about 35-40 minutes. 

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - .Liij. Rapeye. Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430)

.Liij. Rapeye.—Take half Fygys & halfe Roysonys, and boyle hem in Wyne; þan bray hem in a morter, an draw wyth the same lycoure þorw a straynoure so þikke þat it be stondynge; þanne take Roysons of Corauns, Pynys, Clowys, Maces, Sugre of Siprys, an caste þer-to: þan putte it on a potte; þan take Saunderys a fewe, Pepir, Canel, an a litel Safroun; an ȝif it be noȝt stondyng, take a [supplied by ed.] lytil flowre of Amidons, an draw it þorw a straynwoure, an caste þer-to Salt, & serue forth stondyng.

53. Rapeye - Take figs and raisins and boil them in wine; then pound them in a mortar, and draw with the same liquor through a strainer so thick that it be standing; then take currants, pine nuts, cloves, mace, sugar, and caste there-to: then put it on a pot; then take sandalwood a few, pepper, cinnamon, and a little saffron; and if it be not standing, take a starch (flowre of Amidons - most likely wheat), and draw it through a strainer, and caste there-to salt, and serve forth standing

Fig, Walnut and Candied Ginger (a rift of Rapeye--I claim cooks perogative)

I took several liberties with this recipe in order to accommodate allergies.  First, the fruit was not cooked in wine, secondly I did not use pine nuts,  apples were substituted for currants in order to get pectin and make the paste set up, and lastly, I added candied ginger in place of the other spices. It is in fact almost a completely different recipe then the original, but the method is the same. 

4 granny smith apples, cored and sliced
1 tbsp. lemon juice
3 cups sugar
1 1/2-2  cups finely chopped dried figs
2-3 tbsp. candied ginger sliced into small slivers
1 cup

Place cored apples and figs into a pot and add water. Bring to a boil and cook until the fruit is very tender and starting to fall apart.  Place your fruit into a food processor and process until it forms a very smooth puree.  Do not strain your fruit before returning it to the pan.  Add your sugar and heat on low until the sugar has melted.  Increase heat to medium, and stir constantly until mixture becomes extremely fragrant, darker and thickens enough that a spoon pulled through the fruit leaves a gap.  Add candied ginger after removing from heat, stir to mix, and then pour your paste into a lightly oiled mold, or onto a lightly oiled parchment lined cookie sheet. 

How to cover all kinds of Seeds, or little pieces of Spices, or Orange or Limon Pill, with Sugar for Comfits. The queen-like closet (1670)

Thomas Dawson lists comfets (comfits) as one of the "necessaries appertaining to a banquet". 

How to cover all kinds of Seeds, or little pieces of Spices, or Orange or Limon Pill, with Sugar for Comfits. First of all you must have a deep bottomed Basin of Brass or Latin, with two ears of Iron to hang it with two Cords over some hot Coals. You must also have a broad Pan to put Ashes in, and hot Coals upon them. You must have a Brass Ladle to let run the Sugar upon the Seeds. You must have a Slice of Brass to scrape away the Sugar from the sides of the hanging Basin if need be. Having all these things in readiness, do as followeth; Take fine white Sugar beaten, and let your Seeds and Spice be dry, then dry them again in your hanging Basin: Take to every two pounds of Sugar one quarter of a pound of Spices or Seeds, or such like.

If it be Aniseeds, two pounds of Sugar to half a pound of Aniseeds, will be enough. Melt your Sugar in this manner, put in three Pounds of Sugar into the Basin, and one Pint of Water, stir it well till it be wet, then melt it very well and boil it very softly until it will stream from the Ladle like Turpentine, and not drop, then let it seeth no more, but keep it upon warm Embers, that it may run from the Ladle upon the seeds.

Move the Seeds in the hanging Basin so fast as you can or may, and with one hand, cast on half a Ladle full at a time of the hot Sugar, and rub the Seeds with your other hand a pretty while, for that will make them take the Sugar the better, and dry them well after every Coat. Do thus at every Coat, not only in moving the Basin, but also with stirring of the Comfits with the one hand, and drying the same: in every hour you may make three pounds of Comfits; as the Comfits do increase in bigness, so you may take more Sugar in your Ladle to cast on: But for plain Comfits, let your Sugar be of a light decoction last, and of a high decoction first, and not too hot.

For crisp and ragged Comfits make your decoction so high, as that it may run from the Ladle, and let it fall a foot high or more from the Ladle, and the hotter you cast on your sugar, the more ragged will your Comfits be; also the Comfits will not take so much of the sugar, as upon a light decoction, and they will keep their raggedness long; this high decoction must serve for eight or ten Coats, and put on at every time but one Ladle full. A quarter of a pound of Coriander seeds, and three pounds of sugar, will serve for very great Comfits. See that you keep your Sugar in the Basin always in good temper, that it burn not in Lumps, and if at any time it be too high boiled, put in a spoonful or two of water, and keep it warily with your Ladle, and let your fire be always very clear, when your Comfits be made, set them in Dishes upon Paper in the Sun or before the Fire, or in the Oven after Bread is drawn, for the space of one hour or two, and that will make them look very white.


1 tbsp. seed of choice (anise, fennel, caraway)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water

To make smooth comfits you will want your sugar syrup heated to a lower heat, while jagged comfits you will need to heat your sugar to a higher heat.  To make smooth comfits, I put the sugar and the water into a pot and then I heat it on low until the sugar has melted.  At this point I heat the seeds in a large flat pan, similar to a wok or frying pan on low heat. If you can't comfortably reach into the pan and stir the seeds with your hand, then the pan is too hot.

Once the seeds are fragrant, and your syrup is heated take a teaspoon of it and pour it over the seeds in the pan. Using the back of a wooden spoon, (or your hand) stir the seeds until the sugar dries. If the seeds stick together, you have used too much syrup. If the sugar forms pellets in the bottom of the pan then you have used too much syrup. 

The first few charges (coats) of the syrup the seed will look grayish, and then they will gradually begin to turn white. Continue to add syrup to your seeds until your comfits reach the size you want. They will lighten and whiten as they cool.  If you wish to add color to your comfits add it to the syrup a few charges before your comfits reach the size you want.

To make Manus Christi - A Closet for Ladies and Gentlevvomen, 1602

To make Manus Christi  - Take halfe a pound of refined Suger, and some Rose water, and boyle them together, till it come to sugar again, then stirre it about while it be somewhat cold, then take your leaf gould, and mingle with it, then cast it according to art, That is in round gobbetts, and so keep them.

Manus Christi 

2 cups sugar
2 tbsp. rosewater
1/4 cup water
Opt. Edible gold (I used stars for this event), food color (I used Wilton's pink), pearl luster dust

Place sugar, rosewater and water into a pan and allow the sugar to dissolve over low heat.  Add a bit more water or rosewater if the sugar seems to dry and will not dissolve into a syrup.  Heat till syrup reaches 230 degrees, remove pan from heat immediately, stir in gold or pearl luster dust, add food color if you wish and using a fork, whisk your hot sugar syrup until it starts to cool and becomes opaque in color.  At this point, you can drop it by spoonfull's onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet or pour it into candy molds.

The resulting candy is very soft and will need a few days to dry out a bit before trying to serve. It almost reminds me of fudge in consistency.

To Make Muscadines, Commonly called Kissing Comfits, Delightfull daily exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen, 1621 - Take halfe a pound of double refined Sugar beaten and cearsed [sieved], put into the beating thereof, two graines of Muske, 3 grains of ambergreese, & a dram of orris powder: beat all these together with gum Dragogon steeped in damaske-rose-water, in an aliblaster [marble] mortar to a perfect paste, then slicke a sheete of white paper, slicked with a slick-stone very smooth, and rowle your sugar pate upon it, then cut it like lozenges with a rowel, & so dry them upon a stone, and when they bee dry they will serve to garnish a marchpaine, or other dishes, tarts, custards, or whatsoever else, if you will have any red you must mingle it with Rosa Paris, if blew, with blew bottles growing in the corne. 

Kissing Comfits

3 tablespoons rose water
1 teaspoon gum arabic powder
3 eyedropper drops essence of ambergris
2 eyedropper drops essence of musk
4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon powered orris root
2 drops yellow food color (optional)
2 drops blue food color (optional)

Pour rose water into a saucer, add gum arabic and stir until the gum is dissolved. Add the ambergris and musk, set aside until needed. Sift two cups of the sugar and the orris root into a bowl, Add the gum arabic mixture, a tablespoonful at a time and work into the sugar until the paste is smooth.

For white pastilles, sprinkle the third cup of sugar on a large plate and, with your fingers, work the paste into the sugar until it is smooth. For colored pastilles, divide the white paste into two equal parts, add a drop of food color to each part. Blend in each of the colors and set one aside covered (they dry out very quickly) while you work with the other.

Sprinkle half the remanning sugar on a clean plate and work in until smooth. Pat the paste into a square and cover it with a piece of wax paper. Roll it out gently to a sheet about 3/8 inch thick. Mark and cut off small squares, triangles and rectangles with a knife. Sprinkle a cookie sheet with the remanning sugar and place the pastilles on it about an inch apart.

When the pastilles have hardened, loosen them gently with a spatula (they break easily) and store them in an airtight container. You should be able to get about four dozen pastilles from this recipe. They will keep for six to eight weeks.-- "Dining with William Shakespeare" by Madge Lorwin