Ipocras 3 ways from “The Booke of Carving and Sewing” (1613)


Whenever I find a Ipocras recipe I write it out for my friend Helen. These are from a book I got from eebo.com called “The Booke of Carving and Sewing” (1613)  printed by printed by Edward Allde for Sara White (in London). I dug around but I was unable to find more on this 40 page (20 pages in pdf) receipt book.

I started reading the manuscript because I was interested in the discussion of different feast days between the different versions of Ipocras.

[page 3]
Here followeth the names of Wines
Red wine, White wine, Claret wine, Osey, Caprick, Campolet, Renish wine, Malmesey, Bastard, Eyre, Romney, Muscadell, Clary, Raspis, Vernage, Cutz, Piment, and Ipocras
[page 4]
For to make Ipocras,
Take Ginger, Pepper, Graines, Canel, Cinamon, Suger, and tornsole, than looks ye have five or sixe bags of your Ipocras to run in, and a pearch that your renners may ren on, then must ye have six pewter basins, to stand under your bags, then looke your spice be ready and your Ginger well pared, ere it be beaten to powder, than looke your stalkes, of Sinamon be well coloured, and the sweet Canel is not so gentre[??]n operation, Cinamon is hot and dry, Graines of Paradice be hot & moist, Ginger, Graines, long Pepper and Suger be hot and moist, Sinamon, Canell, and red Wine coulouring.
Now know yee(?) the proportions of your Ipocras, then beat your Powders each by them selves, and put them in bladders, and hang your bags sure that no bagge touch other, but let each Basin touch other, let the first Basin be of a gallon, and each of the other a pottle(?), than put in your Basin a gallon, of redde Wine, put there to your powders, and stirre them well , then put them into the first bagge, and let is ren, than put them into the second Bagge, than take a peece in your hand and assay if it be strong of the Ginger and alay it with Sinamon, and if it be strong of Sinamon, alay it with sugar. & look ye let it ren through six renners, and your Ipofras shall be the finer : than put your Ipocras into a close vessell, and keep the receite, for it will serve for sewes, then serve your Sovereign with wafers and Ipocras.
Very serious and then we find on page 20 something much simplier:
To Make Ipocras:
Take  a gallon of wine, & an ownce of Sinamon, two ounces of ginger, & a pound of sugar, twenty cloves bruised, and twenty cornes of pepper grosse beaten, and let all those soak one night, and let it run through a bag.
To make Ipocras,
Take of chosen Cinamon two ownces, of fine ginger one ownce, of graines half an ownce, bruise them all, and steepe them in three or 4 pyutes of good odifferous wine with a pound of suger, by the space of foure and twenty howers, then put them into a Ipocras bag  of wollen, and so receive the liquor. The readiest and best way is to put the spices with the halfe pound of suger and the wine into a bottle or a Bone(?) pot stopped close, and after twenty foure houres it will be ready, then cast a thinne linnen cloath and a piece of a beulter cloath in the mouth, and let it so much runne through as yee will occupie at once, and keep the vessell close, for it wilso well keep both the sprite odour and vertue of the wine and also of spices.

A “wollen” ipocras bag amuses me greatly.  I picture some poor apprentice using a sock.

Apple Filling or “The next dishes are made from apple.”


Using up apples one blog post at a time!

This is my favourite sauce so far. Its very sweet, not savoury which I was expecting, but that probably reflect how sweet and juicy these apples are and the sweetness of the wine.

Although it is a stuffing all the recipes for donuts, cakes and strudels I used it as a pancake topping. I think it is a flexible sauce.

The next dishes are made from apple. Peel the apple, slice it into little pieces, put them into a clean pan, add some wine, then some black pepper and ginger, then cook it. Do what I told you before, you can use this for stuffing cakes or strudels. The Prince of Transylvania’s Court Cookbook  (Hungary, 16th c.)



  • 4 cups of apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups wine
  • 1 tsp Black pepper fresh ground, (or more)
  • 1 slice of dried ginger


  1. Combine ingredients in sauce pan and bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat and simmer until apples fall apart.
  2. Remove ginger slice and then use a potato masher to smooth out sauce.
  3. Serve in donuts, strudels, or on cake.


Apple Sauce Tart or “To make a Tarte of preserued stuffe.”


I discussed this redaction with people on the Facebook SCA Cooks group because I think there is a lot of room for interpretation with this recipe:

To make a Tarte of preserued stuffe. You must take halfe a hundreth of Costardes, and pare them, and cut them, and as soone as you haue cut them, put them into a pot, and put in two or three pound of suger, and a pint of water, and a little Rosewater, and stirre, them from the time you put them in, vntill the time you take them out againe, or else you may also put it into a dishe, and when your Tart is made, put it into the Ouen, and when it is caked endore it with butter, and throw suger on the top, & then do on your sauce, & set comfets on the top, and so serue it vp. The Good Housewife’s Jewell (1596)

I was drawn to the recipe because it mentions “preserved stuff” and I had a lot of apples to use up. If you take 50 apples  you will make aproximately 12 cups of apples sauce. I felt that this would have preserves as described would be use for more than one recipe, not one really huge tart–however I can see why some people thought that this is a reasonable interpretation.

The “confits” sprinkled on top can be many different kinds of candies, in 1596 they candied a lot of things. I used candied fennel, but candied pepper or almonds would work. I was tempted to use cake sprinkles in heraldic shapes and colours but I refrained. If you do that please post pictures down below.


  1. Sauce (1 litre of apple sauce)
    I ~15-20 apples
    1 cup of sugar
    1/2 cup of water
    1/2 tsp of rose water.
  2. Tart
    1 pie shell
    1 tbsp butter
    1 tbsp raw can sugar
    1 cup of sauce
    1 tbsp of candied fennel


  1. Combine sauce ingredients bring to boil on medium-high. Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer for 30 minutes or until apples are mushy. Use potato masher to encourage the mushy. *
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350. Place pie shell in oven and bake until golden (~25 minutes). Remove from oven.
  3. Cover hot tart shell with butter so it is evenly coated.
  4. Sprinkle a layer of sugar onto the buttered crust.
  5. Pour 1 cup of “preserved stuff” into the coated tart shell.
  6. Sprinkle with candy. Serve hot or cold.

*I made the apple sauce a few days in advance.

Apple Picking


A car load of of went to a friends farm to pick apples. The apple orchard we descended upon was semi-wild and not sprayed for pests and things. Organic!

When using organic(!) apples you should know several things. The bugs you might find are technically edible. I set the worms and apples free when I found wiggly things. I did cook the apples with bruising from the worms. Any spots and rust on the on the outside can be cut or peeled away. Its also technically edible.



If you pick up apples off the ground they can be contaminated with ecoli. Cooking apples, or pasteurizing drinks made with apples will kill this and other bacteria.


Enjoy applesauce!

My basic sauce recipe: 16 cups of roughly chopped apples, 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar into instantpot on manual for 20 minutes, slow release. Makes 2.5 litres of sauce.

John’s recipe: 16 cups of roughly chopped apples, 2 cups water, 1 cinnamon stick, into instantpot on manual for 20 minutes, slow release.  Makes 2.5 litres of sauce.

Chicken stewed with apples or “Hungarian Capon in Pottage”


The two part cooking of chicken is for two reasons:

  1. Chickens humours are of a dry humour and you need to simmer them to add moist to balance them, and
  2. it insures that the chicken is cooked through so it won’t make someone who is cooking without reliable heat, or meat thermometer, ill.

I used chicken legs but this recipe calls for Capon, which is much more expensive.

The apples are cut into quarters, this could mean that you should have chunks of apples when the sauce is done cooking, or that the cook knows they will cook long enough to thicken sauce. Or both!

I think the flavour from the pine nuts helps balance out the sweetness of the other sauce ingredients. If you needed to remove the pine nuts I’d try dried mushrooms or toasted almonds to give a umami, or savoury taste.

Hungarian Capon in pottage. Take a slightly cooked capon, cut it into quarters, & fry in butter a little, that it is not at all black: then take onions cut into slices, & apples cut into little quarters, & fry in butter, & cast it on the capon in a pot: then put therein a little broth & wine, & let it boil again, & put herein saffron, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, pine nuts, & make stew well until it is well cooked, & serve. Ouverture de Cuisine
(France, 1604 – Daniel Myers, trans.)


  • 6 chicken pieces
  • 1 tbsp & 1 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 apples, peeled, quartered, cores removed
  • 1.5 cups broth
  • 1/2 cup wine
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts**


  1. Heat a deep cast iron frying pan on medium. Add chicken pieces and 1 tbsp butter, fry until chicken is brown. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  2. Add 1 tbsp butter to chicken pan* with onions and apple pieces. Fry until onions soften.
  3. Gently place chicken back to pan, cover with broth and wine and then bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until chicken falls off bone or is well cooked. Your kitchen will smell wonderful.
  5. Serve chicken with cooking liquid.

*It is a different instruction from the original but I like using one pan when I can instead of two. If pressed for time fry apples and onions in a second pot as you are browning chicken pieces.

**Costs more than the chicken did.