Baronial 12th Night - Let Lardes – hard custard flavored with herbs cooked in bacon grease Harl. MS 4016, 1450

Delicious appetizers on the table featuring black olives, let lardes, capers, mortrews of pork & chicken, green olives, caperberries and mortrews of fish

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.