Creamy Bastard! or Creme Bastarde!


I feel like I should put this blog through a pirate talk translator every time I read “Bastarde!” (arrr)

I’m looking for recipes for a SCA feast idea, an irreverent one, and the name (Bastarde! Arrr!) fits the bill but I have to try it.  It might be a bit labour intensive for a feast, but could be made in advance.

151. Cream Bastarde. Take the whites of eggs a great heap, and put it in a pan full of milk, and 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  withal, 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 thou will.

There are many different versions of the recipe online. From a whipped topping creaminess to a chunky tapioca texture. I think you get tapioca if you don’t draw it through a strainer twice or bring it to a boil too quickly.

I’m imagining a custard, with the sugar added at the end plus baking it, would thicken it enough.

Cindy translates heaps as “4” which could be a thing. You need one whole egg and 1 tablespoon of sugar to thicken 1 cup of milk. Extra egg white should make sure it thickens without the yolk.

If we don’t over bake it, it shouldn’t be rubbery, which egg yolks like to do.

Search for “diet custard” recipes if you want to explore other egg white custard ingredient ratios. The few I looked at put in heaps of whites.

* 4 egg whites, lightly beaten
* 1 cup of whole milk + 2 tbsp
* 2 tbsp honey
* dash of salt
* 2 tbsp raw cane sugar


  1. Put egg whites and milk into small, wide-bottomed, saucepan on medium-low and bring up to scald (bubbles forming on the outside of the pan, skin forming over the milk–I’m not using raw milk and I don’t want to burn it)  and then add honey. Stir until honey is melted and then remove saucepan from heat. Let cool until room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven until 350
  3. Pour cooled mixture through a wire strainer into a bowl. Add in 2 tbsp of milk and 2 tbsp of sugar and mix. Pour through a strainer back into sauce pan, or other oven proof dish.
  4. Bake until mixture firms up, approximately 30 minutes. Serve cool if you want it to thicken fully–serve warm if you cannot help yourself.  Its very sweet.**

** Serves 6 if people know how to share, realistically 2 (because the third is asleep).

Almond Milk Custard Tart or Daryols


Today I am making two tarts to bring with me to family dinner. The pear and custard pie I’ve blogged about before and a “Daryole” or plain custard tart because my daughter has never ever liked pears.

Tomas De Courcy suggested I try making his daryoles recipe when I mentioned having 3 dozen eggs to play with. I could do that, but since I don’t like to reinvent the wheel every time I blog I am going to do the option he didn’t explore on his page, using almond cream instead of milk which was a suggested substitution in many of versions he references.

Since it is a almond cream or milk mentioned instead of cows milk or cream I feel safe in saying that we can use thick almond milk instead of marzipan like in the Italian quince tart I’ve made before. Google says almond cream is marzipan-like which is why I mention it.

To make almond cream instead of almond milk you use a higher ratio of blanched almonds to water. My almond milk is 1 cup almonds to 4 cups water. My almond cream is 2.5 cups almonds to 2.5 cups water (50-50).

Since almond cream has less fat in it than cows milk I am wondering if adding a few egg yolks instead of whole eggs would give you more of a custard mouth feel but the original recipe says to use whole eggs so that’s what this recipe will do.


DARYOLS. XX.IX. III. Take Creme of Cowe mylke. oþer of Almandes. do þerto ayren with sugur, safroun, and salt, medle it yfere. do it in a coffyn. of II. ynche depe. bake it wel and serue it forth. [Forme of Cury]

* 2 cups of almond cream
* 4 eggs
* 4 tbsp raw cane sugar
* 1 pinch saffron
* 1 pinch salt
* 2 tart shells

1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Stir together almond cream, eggs, sugar, salt, and saffron then, while stirring, pour through a pasta strainer into a larger bowl. Divide into two parts.**
3) Pour mixture slowly into each tart shell***. Bake on 350 for 40 minutes, until custard sets.
4) Serve cold.


** pouring through a strainer gives a smooth product, using a electric mixer makes a fluffy product, don’t use a mixer.

*** if you set the shell on the pulled-out oven rack and then pour custard into shell you wont’ spill custard on the inside of the oven. Like I did.



A Discussion about Seville Oranges


Seville orange, bitter orange, sour orange, or marmalade orange refers to a citrus tree (Citrus × aurantium) and its fruit.

If your medication requires you to avoid grapefruit juice, it is also recommended you should also avoid Seville orange juice.

Seville orange juice tastes closer to lemon juice than sweet orange juice. I would substitute 3 parts lemon juice to one part orange if you can’t get bitter oranges.


Clemintine, Seville orange, and a regular orange


Seville oranges are not as pulpy as the modern orange.


With a sample size of 1, I got 1/4 cup of juice and about 1/3 cup of seeds from one Seville orange.


With a sample size of 1, I got almost 2/3 cup of juice from a regular orange.

Blood Cake for Halloween!


I was looking through past blog articles for a recipe and discovered that in the Beans and Thickeners article I mentioned that blood was also used as an egg replacer but I’d leave that recipe to Halloween.

Well I said I’d do it so here I go.

Blood pancakes (also known as Blodpannekake, Veriohukaiset, Blodpannkaka) are a traditionally served food from all over Northern Europe. The modern blood pancake recipes I found have molasses or a savoury component such as onions added to the mixture. I couldn’t find an early English recipe for griddle fried blood cakes even though they are certainly a traditional food.

The following recipe is an unsweetened baked blood cake recipe from Forme of Cury.  I’d serve this simple cake with syrup, fruit compote, or with fried onions, as is done with the above traditional pancakes. The recipe is similar to bannock, but without any rising agents.

When cooking with blood to substitute for eggs use a ratio of 1/3 cup of blood for one egg, or 1/4 cup of blood for one egg white. I used pre-clotted blood from Asian grocery, if you have fresh blood add oatmeal 1 tbsp at a time until the dough is thick not runny.

Blood can be used as a colouring agent in recipes or as the sticky ‘egg wash’ for breading fish.

Also, blood is supposed to be easy to digest.

Pie with pig’s blood 
Take blode of swyne, floure, & larde idysed, salt & mele; do hit togedre. Bake hyt in a trappe wyt wyte gres. Forme of Cury, 14th century

* 1 cup pigs blood, strained
* 1 cup flour
* 1/4 cup lard
* pinch of salt
* 1/4 oatmeal
* bacon fat to grease pan

1) Preheat oven to 350F
2) Mix together blood, flour, lard, salt, and oatmeal. Kneed together with hands so that batter is an even burgundy or pink throughout.
3) Grease cake or pie pan. Pour batter into pan then press it flat.
4) Bake cake for 45 minutes, until bread is dry to touch, its hard to see ‘browning’ with such a dark cake.

Confession: I used gf flour so I could try it. Its really good. Is there nothing lard can’t make delicious?

Caudle of Almond Milk or Hot Almond Milk Drink



This is another experiment on the differences between cooking with ale or wine.

Nut milks are made by blanching and grinding a fatty nut, like almond, and blending it in water for some time, and then straining out the solids. Ratios will depend upon preferences and how thick you like your milk.

Since we are using saffron to colour the wine-drink option I am using white wine. They would have coloured with something else, or nothing, if red was being used.

The ale is a superior drink mix, with or without the ginger garnish. You can even use less sugar with the ale. It has a warm earthiness that is part of the best comfort food style drinks.

The heat sharpened the flavour of the wine, so if you use a crappy wine the crappiness really comes through very strongly. Honey might be preferable over sugar. Garnished with ginger is preferable over no garnish.

Both mixes taste better as the drink cools or the more you drink.



Caudell de Almondes. Take rawe almondes, and grinde hem, And temper hem with goode ale and a litul water; and drawe hem thorgh a streynour into a faire potte, and lete hit boyle awhile; And cast there-to saffron, Sugur and salt, and serue hit forth hote. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books (1430)


Cawdel Of Almaund Mylk. XX.IIII. VII. Take Almaundes blaunched and drawe hem up with wyne, do þerto powdour of gyngur and sugur and colour it with Safroun. boile it and serue it forth. Forme of Cury (1390)


Caudell of Almondys. Grynd almondys blaunchyd & temper hem up with wyne or with ale & draw hit thorow a streynour do hit in a pott & do to sigure or hony claryfyd & safron & set hit on the fyre stere hit well as sone as hit be gynneth to boyle take hit of & serve hit forth & yf thu wilt cast a lytyll poudyr if gynger. Wagstaff Miscellany (1460)


Ale & Almond Caudle:
1 cup Ale
1/4 cup ground almonds
pinch saffron
1/4 cup raw sugar (or honey)
pinch salt
Optional: Powdered ginger to garnish

  1. Pour cup of ale into a larger pot and stir in the ground almond. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Blend the ale mixture for 1-2 minutes using whisk or hand blender.
  3. Pour mixture into a saucepan through a strainer or cheesecloth.
  4. Warm ale mixture on medium high until it starts to boil (approximately 5 minutes). Add saffron, sugar and salt, then stir until sugar is dissolved.
  5. Remove from heat and serve hot.


Wine & Almond Caudle:
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
pinch saffron
1/4 cup raw sugar (or honey)
Optional: Powdered ginger to garnish

  1. Pour cup of wine into a larger pot and stir in the ground almond. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Blend the wine mixture for 1-2 minutes using whisk or hand blender.
  3. Pour mixture into a saucepan through a strainer or cheesecloth. Add ginger, saffron, and sugar, then stir until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Warm wine mixture on medium high until it starts to boil (approximately 10 minutes).
  5. Remove from heat and serve hot.



Aquafaba!? Or how to redact a recipe


I am researching chickpea recipes. I like chickpeas. I found this delightful recipe:

“Gloves,” that is ravioli.

Take white chickpeas, well softened in water; boil them well, then take them out of the water, minced finely and mix them with said water, and strain them; and with this strained water dilute the flour as you like and fry it on a low fire with lard and oil, and put some honey on top.

Another preparation.  Dilute the flour with eggs, then make some gloves or other shape, as you like: set them to cook well in a pan with hot lard or oil.An Anonymous Tuscan Cookery Book


So simple but it has inspired 4 days of chasing other recipes and facts so I am doing a whole blog post on just the process of redaction and will do the full recipe once I have bought dried chickpeas to play with.

The questions that this recipe inspired:

Q1: Is that a 14th Century vegan egg-replacement recipe? 

Yes. The second half of the recipe “another preparation” covers that question. I believe that this is a recipe to make your own Aquafaba, which is a trendy ‘new’ ingredient.

(to do: find other medieval examples of legumes used as egg replacement)

Q2: Are there simple crepe/pancake/flat bread recipes that are simple flour plus egg or liquid?

Yes. I look at modern examples:

Q3: Could that be using chickpea flour as the ‘flour’ in the recipe?

Maybe?  They had access to many different kinds of flours in the 14th Century.

Breadcakesandale has a list (although not a historic timeline) of different flours.


Wikipedia lists a lot of flours too. It discusses chickpeas being a neolithic crop so I am pretty comfortable declaring chickpea flour as a possible option for this recipe. [wikipedias course: Zohary, Daniel and Hopf, Maria, Domestication of Plants in the Old World (third edition), Oxford University Press, 2000, p 110]

Q4: If the recipe had chickpea flour (like you are wishfully thinking) would it work in this recipe?

Yes it would work. Modern examples of chickpea flour flatbreads:

Ok I didn’t find chickpea flour and aquafaba together in a crepe or pancake–chickpea flour has a strong flavour, which is my reasoning behind not combining them.

Q4: What will be your approach? 

One cup of dried chickpeas will grow to about 2 1/2 cups. Soften chickpeas in water overnight. Strain chickpeas and discard the soaking water. Bring chickpeas to boil in enough water to cover, then reduce to simmer for ~1 hour. Start checking the chickpea progress at about 35-40 minute. The chickpeas have to be soft.

Take cooked chickpeas and reserve cooking liquid. Chop up chickpeas roughly. Pour chickpea meat back into chickpea cooking water.

Strain the chickpeas out using a strainer, this should take care of the chickpea skins and give you a nice chickpea milk.

Mix one cup of (chickpea and other experiments) flour with one cup of chickpea milk, or less depending on what sort of consistency you want.

Fry in lard or bacon fat in a medium-hot frying pan.

Serve covered in honey.

Q5: When will you make this? 

I will make this over the next few days.