Basil & Ginger Meringue or How to Make a White Roman Tart

Standard

This savory tart should be fluffy not dense. If a dense tart was wanted the cook would use:

  1. egg yolks not whites and
  2.  hard cheese not creamed

All ingredients should be room temperature (except the melted butter).

The recipe calls for adding foam and carefully not adding the liquid left after beating. This liquid is water. With the creamed cottage cheese being so wet, the pie would take longer to cook or become soggy if more liquid was added.

The rest of the redaction choices are easy–the cook gives very precise measurements.

dsc_0600

To make a white Roman tart. Take a pound of white cheese of cream, then take the whites of six eggs, & beat then well until a foam forms on the surface like snow, & let a little stay in without beating, then take the foam from thereon, & cast it into the cheese, then beat the whites at the top until again foam forms on the surface like the first time, & cast onto the cheese, & make again two or three times as such, then take two ounces of melted butter, a little ginger, a little chopped basil, & make the tart, & cook like the others. Master Lancelot de Casteau, Ouverture de Cuisine (1604)

Ingredients:

  1. 1 lb cottage cheese, creamed
  2. 2 branches basil, stems removed, chopped small
  3. 1 tsp ginger, grated
  4. 2 oz butter, melted
  5. 6 egg whiles from small eggs (1/2 cup), whipped
  6. 1 deep dish pie crust

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. Pour cheese into large bowl, then cover with basil, ginger, and butter but do not mix. Then cover with egg whites and gently fold ingredients together. The basil will be bright green and show if the batter has been mixed together.
  3. Slowly pour batter into pie shell. Its ok if the mixture is taller than the crust, it is more or less the final height on the tart.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or meringue is browned and doesn’t have a liquid-jiggle in the middle when pan is tapped.
  5. Serve hot or once cooled.

Modern: make it in little ramkin dishes as souffles because OMG adorable. 

Stuffed Turnips or How to make a pudding in a turnep root

Standard

I was talking about turnips with @glen_malley (as one does) and after the “turnips are not Rutabaga” comments decided to blog about it because I like clearing up confusion.

dsc_0570

One small rutabaga, and two large turnips to clear up confusion.

Over at Wikipedia says that rutabaga (Brassica napobrassicais a cross between a turnip (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa and cabbage (Brassica oleracea), and is commonly called ‘turnip’ to confuse people. Rutabaga has a stronger, sharp flavour, and the flesh is very hard, where turnip flavour is mild, and the flesh is softer.

Sappho, a poet from the 7th century BC, calls one of her lovers Gongýla, “turnip”.

I implore you, Turnip,
Show yourself to me!
Pick up your harp one more time
While the wings of longing hover around you.

Rutabaga, not so romantic. I looked it up.

The recipe I am doing likes the softness and blandness of the turnip. If you were to substitute an apple for the turnip it would dissolve into apple-squish before the pudding was cooked since the turnips are simmered.

dsc_0578

How to make a Pudding in a Turnep root. Take your Turnep root, and wash it fair in warm water, and scrape it faire and make it hollow as you doo a Carret roote, and make your stuffe of grated bread, and Apples chopt fine, then take Corance, and hard Egs, and season it with Sugar Sinamon, and Ginger, and yolks of hard egs and so temper your stuffe, and put it into the Turnep, then take faire water, and set it on the fire, and let it boyle or ever you put in your Turneps, then put in a good peece of sweet Butter, and Claret Wine, and a little Vinagre, and Rosemarye, and whole Mace, Sugar, and Corance, and Dates quartered, and when they are boyled inough, then willl they be tender, then serve it in. A.W. A Book of Cookrye (1591)

Ingredients:

* 4 turnips, pealed
Stuffing:
* 1/2 cup bread crumbs
* 1 apple, grated
* 1 tbsp currants
*  yolks from 2 hard boiled eggs
* 2 tbsp sugar
* 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
* 1/2 tsp ginger, ground
Broth:
* 2 tbsp unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup red wine
* 1 tsp rosemary needles
* 1 flake mace
* 1 tbsp sugar
* 1 tbsp currants
* 2 tbsp dates, quartered
* 1 tbsp grape vinegar

Directions

  1. Carve out an egg sized hole in your turnips removing about 1/4 cup of flesh. I used a grapefruit spoon but a Mellon baller or knife will work. If you slip and pierce the flesh a little don’t worry too much but try not to make any of the turnip-bowl walls too thin.
  2. Mix stuffing ingredients together with hand. Tightly stuff the stuffing into each turnip bowl.
  3. Fill a sauce pan half way with water. Bring water to a boil. Turn pot down to low to simmer  and add butter, wine, rosemary, mace, sugar, currants, and dates, then stir.
  4. Gently place the turnips stuffing side up in pot, simmering liquid should cover them. Cover pot with lid and simmer the puddings for 1 hour.
  5. Serve hot or cold.

Optional: You could make a sauce out of the cooking liquid by straining and adding more sugar but that isn’t mentioned in the original recipe.

Stuffed Beef Rolls or ‘To Make Alloes Of Beef’

Standard

 

This is the simplest version of Alloes of Beef that I have found. Daniel Myers covers beef rolls with more ingredients, including boiled egg yolks, and a sour sauce, on his web page. Myers lists three additional sources for the reader to play with if they desire.

To make Alloes of beef. Take lene beef and cut hym in thyn pecys and lay hit on A borde then take sewet of motton or of beef and herbys and onyons hackyd small to gether then straw thy leshes of beef with powder of pepur and a lytell salt and strew on thy sewet and the herbys. And rolle them up ther yn put them on a broche and roste them and serue them up hote. Gentyll manly Cokere (MS Pepys 1047) (1500)

Ingredients
* 1/4 cup suet, broken into pieces
* 2 small onions or one large, minced small
* 2 heaping tablespoons dried sage
* 2 heaping tablespoons dried parsley
* 1 kilo (6) thin beef “inside and sandwich” steaks
* pepper to taste
* salt to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix suet, onions, sage, and parsley together. Set aside.
  3. Lay a piece of long thin beef out onto a large cutting board. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover the meat with a generous handful of the suet mixture along its length. Roll up a fat beef roll and then skewer to hold in place. Place it in a baking dish lined with parchment paper. Repeat for each steak. Optional: Dump any left over filling onto the nested beef rolls. 
  4. Bake beef rolls on 350 for 50 minutes, or  beef filling reaches 165°F, and onions are softened.
  5. Serve them up hot.

Modernly you could probably put the filling ingredients through a food processor and brush on more of a flavouring sauce than a stuffing. If you used beef sliced for fondu and the sauce you could have small appetizers on toothpicks instead of a main course.  

The Tale of Two Tarts – Pear tarts three ways

Standard

dsc_0483Sometimes you find two recipes that are fairly similar but with small differences. Like the two recipes that are back to back in A  BOOK OF COOKRYE :

To bake small meats.
Take Egges and seethe them hard, then take the yolkes out of them and braye them in the morter, and temper them with Creme, and then straine them, and put to them Pepper, Saffron, Cloves, Maced, small raisins, Almonds blanched and small shred and grated bread.
Take Peares also sodden in Ale, and bray and straine them with the same Licour, and put therto Bastard and Honny, and put it into a pan and stir it on the fire til it be wel sodden, then make little coffins and set them in the Oven til they be hard, and then take them out againe, and put the foresaid licour into them and so serve them forth.

To make small bake meats of Sirup and Peares.
Take Peares and seethe them in Ale, then bray them and straine them and put Sanders to them and Ale, with the spices aforesaide, and the Coffins in likewise ordered, and so put in the sirup. A.W. A  BOOK OF COOKRYE (1591)

The first “to bake small meats” recipe is pretty straight forward, a honey sweetened pear puree tart with a thick cream sauce that uses all the things to thicken the sauce. The second tart is less clear. Instead of simmering the pear mixture its baked, with a ‘sirup’. Its not clear what the ‘sirup’ A.W. is talking about here.

The manuscript has ‘sirip’ listed in four other places:

“…put in some sirup of vergious, and some sugar…”

” …take Claret wine, Vergious, Rosewater, Sinamon, Ginger and Sugar, boyle them togither, laye your Pig flat like a Fawne or a Kidde, and put your sirup unto it…”

“…and make your sirrop half with rosewater and half with that liquor & put double sugar to your Orenges, and when your sirup is halfe sodden…”

“To make sirup of Violets. … and put to them so much rosewater as you think good then let them boyle altogither untill the colour be forth of them, then take them of the fire and straine them through a fine cloth, then put so much Sugar to them as you thing good…”

So the ‘sirup’ in the second recipe can be three things:

  1. the cream sauce from the first recipe.
  2. sugar + the cooking liquid
  3. sugar + rosewater and cooking liquid

It cannot be verjuice + sugar because I said so.

So a mad scientist er a medieval recipe enthusiast googles the recipes to see what other people have done, and as of today I found nothing for either recipe. The other option open to the cook is to try the variations and see which tastes better.

Makes 37 tarts

Recipe 1 Pear Puree (for both tarts):
* 3 cups of chopped pears
* 500 ml (1 can) light-coloured beer

  1. Place chopped pears in small sauce pan. Cover with  beer. Simmer for 1 hour on medium.
  2. Strain fruit but reserve the cooking liquid, you will need it.
  3. Smash batches of fruit with mortar and pestle with a small splash of cooking liquid and then force through colander with potato masher and/or wooden spoon. This will remove most of the skins.
  4. Should arrive at 2 cups of pear puree.

Pear Tart #1 (To bake small meats)

Ingredients:
Cream sauce:
* two egg yolks, cooked
* 1/2 cup cream
* 1/4 tsp each, pepper, mace, cloves
* 1 pinch saffron
* 1 tbsp raisins
* 2 tbsp almond meal
* 3 tbsp bread crumbs

tart filling:
* 1 cup of pear puree
* 2 tbsp white wine
* 2 tbsp honey

12 small tart shells

Directions

  1. Make cream sauce: Take 2 egg yolks and mast in mortar and pestle, adding cream slowly. Stir the liquid in the mortar, and slowly pour through a colander into another bowl. Add spices, raisins, almond meal and bread crumbs into cream mixture. Stir well and set aside.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  3. Place pear puree, wine and honey into sauce pan and brig to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Place 1 tbsp of pear mixture into each tart shell.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes, until tarts are brown.
  6. Place 1/2 tbsp of the cream mixture on each hot tart, spreading it out with a knife or spoon. Make sure there is at least 1 raisin on each tart.
  7. Serve once cooled.

Tart #2 (To make small baked meats of sirup and pears)

Ingredients:
* 1 cup of pear puree
* 1/4 tsp each, pepper, mace, cloves
* 1 tsp saunders
* 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup of cooking liquid
* 1/2 cup raw sugar
* 1 tsp rosewater
* 25 tart shells

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix pear puree, spices, saunders and 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
  3. Put 1/2 tbsp of pear mixture into each tart shell.
  4. Mix 1/2 cup cooking liquid and raw sugar together in sauce pan, heating gently to dissolve sugar.
  5. Put 1/2 tbsp of syrup onto 12 of the filled tart shells.
  6. Mix rosewater into rest of syrup. Put 1/2 tbsp of the adulterated syrup onto the rest of the filled tart shells.
  7. Baked for 35 minutes until tarts are brown.

dsc_0484

Authors notes:

  1. The rose water ones taste better than the ones without. Who knew?
  2. The option of putting the “cream sauce” on the second kind of tart and baking it was gross. I’m not including a recipe here. 
  3. None of the above recipes tasted of pear. 

 

 

Gluten Free Boiled Pudding or To Make a Dry Oatmeal Pudding

Standard

Yay a gluten-free pudding recipe! Well for those who are gluten-free and not also sensitive to oats.

Suet is the only ‘moisture’ in the recipe. It doesn’t even call to soak the dried fruit first. If it didn’t take 4 hours to cook it would be an incredibly simple recipe.

This is a heartier recipe than my other pudding recipe “Raspberry Steamed Pudding“. And made a lot less mess.

To make a dry Oatmeal Pudding. Take your Oatmeal well picked, and put into it a little salt, some Raisins and Currants, and some beaten spice, and good store of Beef Suet finely shred, so tie it up hard in a Cloth, and let your water boil when you put it in, and let it boil very well; if you would butter it, then leave out the Suet; and if you would leave out the Fruit, then put in sweet herbs good store. Hannah Woolley, The Queen-like Closet OR RICH CABINET Scored with all manner of RARE RECEIPTS FOR Preserving, Candying and Cookery (1670)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups large oat, wheat free, oatmeal
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup of raisin
  • 3/4 cup currants
  • 1 cup suet (or butter)
  • A good book

Directions

  1. Fill two pots of water 3/4 full. Put pots of water on high to boil. (Or one large pot and a teakettle).
  2. Mix ingredients together, carefully making sure the fruit and suit are evenly distributed.
  3. Place oatmeal mixture on a piece of fabric large enough for the task and tie up the ends. Wrap a string around and tie several times, leave one end long. Tie the loose end on to the middle of a cooking spoon, this will support the ball that is the pudding.
  4. Once water is fully boiling slowly lower bag of oatmeal mixture to submerge. Turn heat down to medium-high. Rest spoon across the top of the pot to keep the pudding off the bottom (where it will burn). Set oven timer for 4 hours.
  5. Get out the good book because you can’t leave the pudding unattended.
  6. Every 30 minutes add more hot water from the second pot to the first, to insure that the bag of oats is always covered, and always floating off the bottom.
  7. After four hours set pudding aside in a bowl until its cool enough to touch.
  8. Untie pudding, and open the bag over the edges of the bowl. Place a plate over the opened pudding. Upend bowl with pudding in it onto the plate. Unwrap pudding.
  9. Serve warm or cool.

The pudding doesn’t call for a ‘sauce’ but butter and sugar sauce would probably suit this pudding. (Or ice cream….shhhhhh)

Raspberry Steamed Pudding

Standard

Since there are 100rd recipes on line for Cambridge pudding I decided to go a different steamed pudding route with this Raspberry Pudding.

I learned from a very unreliable source that Raspberries are an old world fruit that was cultivated in the new world. I’m going to have to dig out some more medieval or Tudor era recipes.

This recipe makes a firm custard not a rock hard cake.

DSC_0299.JPG

To make a Rasberry Pudding. Take a Quart of Cream and boil it with whole Spice a while, then put in some grated Bread, and cover it off the Fire, that it may scald a little; then put in eight Eggs well beaten, and sweeten it with Sugar; then put in a Pint or more of whole Rasberries, and so boil it in a Cloth, and take heed you do not boil it too much, then serve it in with Wine, Butter and Sugar Hannah Woolley, The Queen-like Closet OR RICH CABINET Scored with all manner of RARE RECEIPTS FOR Preserving, Candying and Cookery (1670)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of cream (half-and-half)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 small chunk of dried galingale
  • 4 cups bread crumbs (takes 8 slices of bread dehydrated to make crumbs)
  • 8 eggs, beaten with whisk
  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
  • 2 cups raspberries

Sauce:

  • 1 cup wine
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar

Directions:

  1. Fill two pots of water 3/4 full. Put pots of water on high to boil. (Or one large pot and a teakettle).
  2. Put cream and spices into a sauce pan on medium high. Bring cream mixture up to close to a boil, until there are bubbles around the edge of the pot. Taste-test to make sure the cream has absorbed the spices.
  3. Using a slotted spoon fish the spices out of the cream.
  4. Turn off heat to the cream but leave pot on hot element.
  5. Dump the bread crumbs into the cream, and stir well. Let the bread soften and expand in the hot cream.
  6. Slowly pour the eggs into the cream mixture, stirring constantly as your pour. Add sugar and stir. Add raspberries and stir.
  7. Slowly pour pudding mixture into a cloth bag for the purpose and tie up the top. Wrap a string around and tie several times, leave one end long. Tie the loose end on to the middle of a cooking spoon, this will support the ball that is the pudding.
  8. Once water is fully boiling slowly lower bag of oatmeal mixture to submerge. Turn heat down to medium-high. Rest spoon across the top of the pot to keep the pudding off the bottom (where it will burn). Set oven timer for 4 hours.
  9. Get out a good book because you can’t leave the pudding unattended.
  10. Every 30 minutes add more hot water from the second pot to the first, to insure that the bag of custard is always covered, and always floating off the bottom.
  11. After four hours remove pudding from boiling water and hang until water stops running from it. Set it aside in a bowl until it is cool enough to touch.
  12. Mix wine, butter and sugar in a sauce pan and heat mixture on medium-low. Stirring often until sugar is melted.
  13. Untie pudding, and open the bag over the edges of the bowl. Place a plate over the opened pudding. Upend bowl with pudding in it onto the plate. Unwrap pudding.
  14. Serve when cool, with sauce.