[This is an article from Cariadoc's Miscellany. The Miscellany is Copyright (c) by David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook, 1988, 1990, 1992. For copying details, see the Miscellany Introduction.]

Desserts, Appetisers, Etc.


al-Baghdadi p. 214/14 (GOOD)

Take fine dry bread, or biscuit, and grind up well. Take a ratl of this, and three quarters of a ratl of fresh or preserved dates with the stones removed, together with three uqiya of ground almonds and pistachios. Knead all together very well with the hands. Refine two uqiya of sesame-oil, and pour over, working with the hand until it is mixed in. Make into cabobs, and dust with fine-ground sugar. If desired, instead of sesame-oil use butter. This is excellent for travellers.

2 2/3 c bread crumbs
2 c (about one lb) pitted dates
1/3 c ground almonds
1/3 c ground pistachios
7 T melted butter or sesame oil
enough sugar

We usually mix dates, bread crumbs, and nuts in a food processor or blender. For "cabobs," roll into one inch balls. Good as caravan food (or for taking to wars). They last forever if you do not eat them, but you do so they don't.

Gingerbrede (Good)

Curye on Inglysch p. 154 (Goud Kokery no. 18)

To make gingerbrede. Take goode honey & clarifie it on + e fere, & take fayre paynemayn or wastel brede & grate it, & caste it into + e boylenge hony, & stere it well togyder faste with a sklyse + at it bren not to + e vessell. & + anne take it doun and put + erin ginger, longe pepper & saundres, & tempere it vp with + in handes; & than put hem to a flatt boyste & strawe + eron suger, & pick + erin clowes rounde aboute by + e egge and in + e mydes, yf it plece you, &c.

1 c honey
1 c breadcrumbs
1 t ginger
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t saunders
1 T sugar
30-40 whole cloves (~ 1 t)
(or 5 t sugar, pinch powdered cloves)

Bring honey to a boil, simmer two or three minute, stir in breadcrumbs with a spatula until uniformly mixed. Remove from heat, stir in ginger, pepper, and saunders. When it is cool enough to handle, knead it to get spices thoroughly mixed. Put it in a box (I used a square corning-ware container with a lid), squish it flat and thin, sprinkle with sugar and put cloves ornamentally around the edge. Leave it to let the clove flavor sink in; do not eat the cloves.

An alternative way of doing it is to roll into small balls, roll in sugar mixed with a pinch of cloves, then flatten them a little to avoid confusion with hais. This is suitable if you are making them today and eating them tomorrow.


Hugh Platt p. 14/94

Take one pound of very fine flower, and one pound of fine sugar, and eight egges, and two spoonfuls of Rose water, and one ounce of Carroway seeds, and beat it all to batter one whole houre: for the more you beat it, the better your bread is: then bake it in coffins, of white plate, being basted with a little butter before you put in your batter, and so keep it.

4 c flour (1 lb)
2 c sugar (1 lb)
5 eggs

4 t caraway seeds (1 oz)
2 t rose water

Beat all ingredients together one whole hour (or do a fourth of a recipe at a time in a food processor, processing it for several minutes or until the blades stall). Spoon out onto a greased cookie sheet as 3" biscuits and bake about 20 minutes at 325deg. .

To Make Iumbolls

Hugh Platt p. 12/94

Take 1/2 a pound of almonds being beaten to paste with a short cake being grated, and two eggs, two ounces of caraway seeds, being beaten, and the juice of a lemon: and being brought into paste, roll it into round strings: then cast it into knots, and so bake it in an oven and when they are baked, ice them with rose water and sugar, and the white of an egg being beaten together, then take a feather and gild them, then put them again into the oven, and let them stand in a little while, and they will be iced clean over with a white ice: and so box them up and you may keep them all the year.

1/4 lb almonds
short cake? used 1/4 lb shortbread cookies
1 egg
1 oz = 4 t caraway seeds
1/2 of one lemon
8 T sugar
about 1 t rosewater
1/2 egg white

Bake for 15 minutes at 350deg. , then ice, then bake for another 2 minutes.


Curye on Inglysch p. 119 (Form of Cury no. 96)

Take wyne and hony and found it togyder and skym it clene, and see+ it long. Do + erto powdour of gynger, peper and salt. Tost brede and lay the sewe + erto; kerue pecys of gynger and flour it + erwith, and messe it forth.

1/2 c wine
1/2 c honey
1/4 t ground ginger
1/8 t pepper
1/8 t salt
8 slices toast
10 small pieces candied ginger = 1/3 oz

Mix wine and honey, simmer over moderate heat 20-25 minutes; remove from heat and mix in powdered ginger, pepper, and salt. Make toast and slice candied ginger very thin. Spread honey mixture on bread and put slivers of ginger on top.

Excellent Small Cakes

Digby p. 221/175

Take three pound of very fine flower well dried by the fire, and put to it a pound and a half of loaf sugar sifted in a very fine sieve and dried; 3 pounds of currants well washed, and dried in a cloth and set by the fire; when your flour is well mixed with the sugar and currants, you must put in it a pound and a half of unmelted butter, ten spoonfuls of cream, with the yolks of three newlaid eggs beat with it, one nutmeg; and if you please, three spoonfuls of sack. When you have wrought your paste well, you must put it in a cloth, and set it in a dish before the fire, till it be through warm. Then make them up in little cakes, and prick them full of holes; you must bake them in a quick oven unclosed. Afterwards ice them over with sugar. The cakes should be about the bigness of a hand breadth and thin; of the size of the sugar cakes sold at Barnet.

Scaled down version:

3 c flour
3/4 c sugar
3/4 lb currants = about 2 1/2 c
3/8 lb butter = 1 1/2 sticks
2 1/2 T cream
1 egg yolk
1/4 t nutmeg
2 t sack (we used sherry)

(All of this assumes that "spoonful" = T)

Cut butter into the flour as one would for piecrust. Bake cakes about 20 minutes at 350deg. .

Icing: about 1/3 c sugar and enough water so you can spread it.

To Make an Excellent Cake (GOOD)

Digby p. 219/175

To a peck of fine flour take six pounds of fresh butter, which must be tenderly melted, ten pounds of currants, of cloves and mace, 1/2 an ounce of each, an ounce of cinnamon, 1/2 an ounce of nutmegs, four ounces of sugar, one pint of sack mixed with a quart at least of thick barm of ale (as soon as it is settled to have the thick fall to the bottom, which will be when it is about two days old), half a pint of rosewater; 1/2 a quarter of an ounce of saffron. Then make your paste, strewing the spices, finely beaten, upon the flour: then put the melted butter (but even just melted) to it; then the barm, and other liquours: and put it into the oven well heated presently. For the better baking of it, put it in a hoop, and let it stand in the oven one hour and a half. You ice the cake with the whites of two eggs, a small quantity of rosewater, and some sugar.

Scaled down: (1/16th)

2 c flour
3/8 lb = 1 1/2 sticks of butter
5/8 lb currants = 2 c = 10 oz
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t mace
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 T sugar
2 T sack (or sherry)
1/4 c ale yeast settled out of homemade mead or beer (or 1 t dried yeast dissolved in 3 T water)
1 T rosewater
8 threads saffron


1/8 egg white (about 2 t)
1/4 t rosewater
2 T sugar

Mix flour, spices, and sugar. Melt butter, mix up yeast mixture, and crush the saffron in the rosewater to extract the color. When the butter is melted, stir it into the flour mixture, then add sack, yeast mixture, and rosewater-saffron mixture. Stir this until smooth, then stir in currants. Bake at 350deg. in a greased 10" round pan or a 7"x11" rectangular pan for 40 minutes. Remove from pan and spread with a thin layer of icing; We usually cut it up into bar cookies.


Two Fifteenth Century p. 52/63

Take fayre Flowre, and + e whyte of Eyroun, and + e yolk, a lytel; + an take Warme Berme, and putte al + es to-gederys, and bete hem to-gederys with + in hond tyl it be schort and + ikke y-now, and caste Sugre y-now + er-to, and + enne lat reste a whyle; + an kaste in a fayre place in + e oven, and late bake y-now; and + en with a knyf cutte yt round a-boue in maner of a crowne, and kepe + e crust + at + ou kyttyst; and + an pyke al + e cromys with-ynne to-gederys, an pike hem smal with + yn knyf, and saue + e sydys and al + e cruste hole with-owte; and + an caste + er-in clarifiyd Botor, and mille + e cromes and + e botor to-gederes, and keuere it a-gen with + e cruste, + at + ou kyttest a-way; + an putte it in + e ovyn agen a lytil tyme; and + an take it out, and serue it forth.

2 1/4 c flour
2 egg whites
1 egg yolk
1/2 T dried yeast (mixed with 1/2 c water)
1/2 c sugar
1 c butter

After mixing all ingredients except for butter, let the dough rise 45 minutes to an hour. Mold the dough on a greased cookie sheet, let rise a little more. Bake at 350deg. about 1 hour. Cut off top as described, mix insides of loaf with melted butter, and replace top. Second baking is about 5 minutes at the same temperature.

Pastry Which They Call Canisiones

Platina book 8

When you have rolled out your pastry made of meal with sugar and rosewater and formed it like a crust, put into it the same mixture as the one I said in the section on marzapan [Take almonds that have soaked in fresh water for a day and night and when you have cleaned them as carefully as can be, grind them up, sprinkling them with fresh water so that they do not make oil. And if you want the best, add as much finest sugar as almonds. When all this has been well ground and dissolved in rosewater...]; this time, it should be formed like rolls and cooked in the oven as I said before, with a gentle flame.

2 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 t rosewater + 5-6 T water

3/4 c almonds, soaked
1/2 c sugar
1/2 t rosewater

glaze: 1/2 egg yolk

Pastry ingredients are mixed and kneaded to a dry but not stiff dough and rolled thin. Coarsely grind the filling together. Spread thinly onto pastry, leaving 1/2" margin around the edges, and roll up like a jelly roll; seal seams tightly to avoid leakage. Glaze with beaten egg yolk. Bake 1/2 hour at 350deg. Slice when warm; crumbles when cool.

This makes two rolls about 8 inches long. Best when fresh; they dry out by the next day. The recipe does not specify that they should be glazed, but I think they turn out better that way.


al-Baghdadi p. 212/14

Take fine white flour, and with every ratl mix three uqiya of sesame-oil (one part oil to four of flour), kneading into a firm paste. Leave to rise; then make into long loaves. Put into the middle of each loaf a suitable quantity of ground almonds and scented sugar mixed with rose water, using half as much almonds as sugar. Press together as usual, bake in the oven, remove.

2 c white +1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c sesame oil (from untoasted sesame!!!)
6 oz almonds = 1 c before chopping
additional flour for rolling out dough
12 oz = 1 1/2 c sugar
1 T rose water
3/4 to 7/8 c cold water or 1/2 c water, 1/2 c sourdough starter

"Leave to rise" is a puzzle, since the recipe includes neither yeast nor water. The recipe does not seem to work without water; perhaps the author took it for granted that making a paste implied adding water. We originally developed the recipe without leavening, but currently use sourdough, which is our best guess at what the original intended (and also seems to work a little better). The two versions are:

Without leavening: Mix the flour, stir in the oil. Sprinkle the water onto the dough, stir in. Knead briefly together.

Sourdough: Mix the flour, stir in the oil. Mix the water and the sour dough starter together. Add gradually to the flour/oil mixture, and knead briefly together. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise about 8 hours in a warm place, then knead a little more.

We also have two interpretations of how the loaves are made; they are:

Almost Baklava: Divide in four parts. Roll each one out to about 8"x16" on a floured board. Grind almonds, combine with sugar and rose water. Spread the mixture over the rolled out dough and roll up like a jelly roll, sealing the ends and edges (use a wet finger if necessary). You may want to roll out the dough in one place and roll it up in another, so as not to have bits of nuts on the board you are trying to roll it out on. You can vary how thin you roll the dough and how much filling you use over a considerable range, to your own taste.

Long thin loaves: Divide the dough into six or eight parts, roll each out to a long loaf (about 16"), flatten down the middle so that you can fill it with the sugar and almond mixture, then seal it together over the filling. You end up with a tube of dough with filling in the middle.

Bake at 350deg. about 45-50 minutes.

Notes: At least some of the almonds should be only coarsely ground, for texture. The sesame oil is the Middle Eastern version, which is almost flavorless; you can get something similar at health food stores. Chinese sesame oil, made from toasted sesame seeds, is very strongly flavored and results in a nearly inedible pastry. We do not know what scented sugar contained.

Recipe for Murakkaba

, a Dish which is Made in the Region of Constantine and is Called Kutâmiyya

Andalusian p. A-62

Knead a well-made dough from semolina like the "sponge" dough with yeast, and break in it as many eggs as you can, and knead the dough with them until it is slack. Then set up a frying pan of clay [hantam] on a hot fire, and when it has heated, grease it with clarified butter or oil. Put in a thin flat loaf of the dough and when the bread is done, turn over. Take some of the dough in the hand and smear the surface of the bread with it. Then turn the smeared surface to the pan, changing the lower part with the upper, and smear this side with dough too. Then turn it over in the pan and smear it, and keep smearing it with dough and turning it over in the tajine, and pile it up and raise it until it becomes a great, tall loaf. Then turn it by the edges a few times in the tajine until it is done on the sides, and when it is done, as it is desired, put it in a serving dish and make large holes with a stick, and pour into them melted butter and plenty of honey, so that it covers the bread, and present it.

From "Making of Elegant Isfunja ("Sponge")," Andalusian: You take clear and clean semolina and knead it with lukewarm water and yeast and knead again. When it has risen, turn the dough, knead fine and moisten with water, little by little, so that it becomes like tar after the second kneading, until it becomes leavened or is nearly risen. ...

2 1/4 c Semolina flour
1/2 c water
1/2 c sourdough (for starter)
2 eggs
1/4 c more water
1-2 T oil for frying
1/2 c butter
3/8 c honey

Combine flour, 1/2 c water, and sourdough and knead smooth. Cover with a damp cloth and leave overnight to rise. In the morning knead in an additional 1/4 c water, making it into a sticky mess, and leave another few hours in a warm place to rise. Add the eggs, and stir until they are absorbed into the dough.

Heat a frying pan over a medium to high heat and grease it with oil or ghee (clarified butter). Pour on enough batter to make a thick pancake about 7" in diameter. When one side is cooked (about 2 minutes) turn it over. Put onto the cooked side about 1/4 c more batter, spreading it out to cover. When the second side is done (1-2 minutes more), turn it over, so that the side smeared with batter is now down. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Repeat. Continue until the batter is all used up, giving you about 8-10 layers--like a stack of pancakes about 3" thick, all stuck together. Turn the loaf on its side and roll it around the frying pan like a wheel, in order to be sure the edges are cooked.

Punch 8-10 holes in the top with the handle of a wooden spoon, or make X's with a knife, being careful not to get through the bottom layer. Pour in honey and melted butter, letting it soak into the loaf. Serve.

note: We have only made this once, but it was both good and interesting, so we decided to include it. You might want to try doubling the quantities and making a loaf 8" in diameter and 5" thick--or use more and make an even bigger one if you are feeling ambitious. If you don't have sourdough you could use yeast instead, with shorter rising times.

Cheese and Flour Cake

al-Andalusi no. 79 p. C-2 (Good)

Knead the necessary quantity of flour, one time with water, another with oil, and to it add yeast and milk until it has the same consistency as the dough of fritters, and leave it until it has next risen. Next grease with oil a large earthen pot, stretch in it a piece of dough, and over it a bit of cheese, and over the cheese a bit of dough, and so a little of one, and a bit of the other until the last of the dough and cheese. Next cover it with dough as you did in the previous recipe and cook it in the same way in the oven. Afterwards, drizzle it with honey, sprinkle it with sugar and pepper and eat it.

2 c flour (1/3 whole wheat)
1/2-3/4 c water
3 T oil
1 1/2 t yeast
3 T milk
12 oz cheese
6 T honey
1 T sugar
1/4 t pepper

Knead flour and water to a very dry dough, mix warm milk and yeast, let sit five minutes, add oil to dough, knead in. Knead milk and yeast into the dough for about 5-10 minutes, until fairly uniform. Leave 45 minutes to rise in a warm place. Divide dough in about 8 equal portions, flour and pat, stretch, or roll out to size of pan (about 4"x7"); if you roll it out you can use 12 equal portions. Layer with sliced cheese. Bake 45 minutes at 350deg. . Drizzle the honey over it. Serve with mixed sugar and pepper for the guests to sprinkle over to taste. This should probably be done with sourdough instead of yeast, but we have not tried it that way yet.

Quinces in Pastry

Du Fait de Cuisine no. 70

Again, quinces in pastry: and to give understanding to him who should prepare them let him arrange that he has his fair and good quinces and then let him clean them well and properly and then make a narrow hole on top and remove the seeds and what they are wrapped in, and let him take care that he does not break through on the bottom or anywhere else; and, this being done, put them to boil in a fair and clean cauldron or pot in fair water and, being thus cooked, take them out onto fair and clean boards to drain and put them upside down without cutting them up. And then let him go to the pastry-cooks and order from them the little crusts of the said pastries to put into each of the said little crusts three quinces or four or more. And when the said little crusts are made fill the holes in the said quinces with very good sugar, then arrange them in the said little crusts and cover and put to cook in the oven; and, being cooked enough, let them be served.

3 quinces
5/8 c sugar
(1/8 t ginger)

pie crust:
1 1/4 c flour
6 1/2 T butter
3 1/2 T water

Core the quinces without cutting through to the bottom. Simmer them in water about 15 minutes. Make pie crust, divide in half, roll out bottom crust and put in 7" pie pan. Set quinces upright on top of the bottom crust, fill with sugar, put top crust over them. Bake at 450deg. for 15 minutes, then at 350deg. for 35 minutes.

Note: there is a similar recipe in Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books p. 51. The differences are that the quinces are peeled, they may be replaced by warden pears, there is a little powdered ginger in with the sugar, and the sugar may be replaced by honey with pepper and ginger.

To Make Short Paest for Tarte

A Proper Newe Book p. 37/C10

Take fyne floure and a curscy of fayre water and a dysche of swete butter and a lyttel saffron, and the yolkes of two egges and make it thynne and as tender as ye maye.

3/4 c flour
1 T + 1 t water
1/2 stick = 4 T butter
6 threads saffron
1 egg yolk

Cut butter into flour, then crush saffron into 1 t of water; mix that and the rest of the water with the egg yolk and stir it into the flour-butter mixture.

A Tarte of Strawberries

A Proper Newe Book p. 39/C11

Take and strain them with the yolks of four eggs, and a little white bread grated, then season it up with sugar and sweet butter and so bake it.

2 c strawberries
4 egg yolks
1/2 c bread crumbs
1/3 c sugar
4 T butter
8" pie shell (see recipe above)

Force strawberries through a strainer or run through a blender, then mix with everything else (the butter should be melted). Bake crust for 10 minutes, then put filling into the crust and bake at 375deg. for 20 minutes.

Torta from Red Chickpeas

Platina book 8

Grind up red chickpeas that have been well cooked with their own juice and with a little rosewater. When they have been ground, pass them through a strainer into a bowl. Add a pound of almonds so ground up that it is not a chore to pass them through the strainer, two ounces of raisins, three or four figs ground up at the same time. And besides this, add an ounce of pine kernels coarsely ground, and as much sugar and rosewater as you need, and just so much cinnamon and ginger; and blend. Put the mixture into a well-greased pan with the pastry crust on the bottom. There are those who add starch or pike eggs, so that this torta is more firm; when it is cooked, put it almost above the fire to make it more colored. It should be thin and sprinkled with sugar and rosewater.

1 15 oz can chickpeas, w/ liquid
3/8 c water
1 lb almonds
2 oz raisins
4 figs
1 oz pine nuts
1/2 c sugar
1/8 c rosewater
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
(starch or pike eggs)
2 t more sugar
a few drops more rosewater
pastry for 2 9" pie crusts

Grind almonds finely, but not to dust. Chop pine nuts coarsely. Grind chickpeas in a food processor with the liquid from the can, then grind raisins and figs. Stir these and the sugar, rosewater, extra water, cinnamon, and ginger together. The pie crust can be rolled out and put on a 10"x15" cookie sheet or it can be made into two 9" pie shells. The filling is spread on top; it will be thicker if made as two pies. Mix extra sugar and rosewater together and sprinkle on top. Bake 30 to 40 minutes for the cookie-sheet version, or 50-60 minutes for the pie version, in a 375deg. oven until golden brown.

A Flaune of Almayne

Ancient Cookery p. 452/39 (GOOD)

First take raisins of Courance, or else other fresh raisins, and good ripe pears, or else good apples, and pick out the cores of them, and pare them, and grind them, and the raisins in a mortar, and do then to them a little sweet cream of milk, and strain them through a clean strainer, and take ten eggs, or as many more as will suffice, and beat them well together, both the white and the yolk, and draw it through a strainer, and grate fair white bread, and do thereto a good quantity, and more sweet cream, and do thereto, and all this together; and take saffron, and powder of ginger, and canel, and do thereto, and a little salt, and a quantity of fair, sweet butter, and make a fair coffin or two, or as many as needs, and bake them a little in an oven, and do this batter in them, and bake them as you would bake flaunes, or crustades, and when they are baked enough, sprinkle with canel and white sugar. This is a good manner of Crustade.

2/3 c raisins
3 pears or apples
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t ginger
pinch of saffron
1/2 t salt
3 eggs (large)
4 T breadcrumbs
1/2 c whipping cream
5 T butter
9" pie crust
1 T cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on at the end

A blender works well as a substitute for a mortar to mash the apples and raisins; mix the liquids in with the apples and raisins before blending. Bake at 375deg. for about an hour.

Torta of Herbs in the Month of May

Platina book 8

Cut up and grind the same amount of cheese as I said in the first and second tortae ["a pound and a half of best fresh cheese"]. When you have ground this up, add juice from bleta, a little marjoram, a little more sage, a bit of mint, and a good bit of parsley; when all this has been ground in a mortar, add the beaten whites of 15 or 16 eggs and half a pound of liquamen or fresh butter, and mix. There are those who put in some leaves of parsley and marjoram that have been cut up but not ground, and half a pound [surely a typo for half an ounce, as in the previous recipes] of white ginger and eight ounces of sugar. When all of these have been mixed together, put this in a pot or deep dish that has been well greased on the coals at a distance from the flame so that it does not absorb the smoke; and stir it continually and let it boil until it thickens. When it is nearly done transfer it into another pot with the crust and cover it with your lid until it is all cooked with a gentle flame. When it is done and put on a plate, sprinkle it with best sugar and rose water.

[Note: earlier torta recipes refer to a pastry crust rolled thin and both top and bottom crusts. "Blette-Name given in some parts of France to white beet or chard." Larousse Gastronomique.]

3/4 lb Monterey Jack cheese

herbs ground in mortar:
1/4 t marjoram (dry or fresh)
1/2 t sage (dry or fresh)
1 t fresh mint
1/2 c fresh parsley, stems off

3/8 c spinach + 1 T water
5 egg whites
1 stick melted butter (1/4 lb)
(1/4 c chopped parsley)
(2 t fresh marjoram)
(1/4 oz finely chopped ginger)
(1/2 c sugar)
double 9" pie crust

sprinkled on crust after baking: about 1/4 t rosewater, about 1 T sugar

Spinach is measured unchopped, then chopped and ground in a mortar with the water to provide spinach juice in place of bleta juice. Mix this with other herbs and grind in mortar or food processor; mix with grated cheese. Beat egg whites lightly, melt butter and add; put in pie crust and cover with top crust. Unground herbs are an option; sugar and ginger, for a dessert pie, are another option (ginger seems to mean fresh ginger root). Bake at 400deg. for 10 minutes, then at 350deg. for about another 40 minutes, then sprinkle with mixed sugar and rosewater.


Two Fifteenth Century p. 73/68 (GOOD)

Take mylke, and yolkes of egges, and ale, and drawe hem thorgh a straynour, with white sugur or blak; And melt faire butter, and put thereto salt, and make faire coffyns, and put hem into a Nowne til thei be a litull hard; then take a pile, and a dissh fastned there-on, and fill the coffyns therewith of the seid stuffe and late hem bake a while. And then take hem oute, and serue hem forthe, and caste Sugur ynogh on hem.

1/2 c milk
4 egg yolks
1/3 c ale
1/4 c sugar
4 T butter
1 t salt

Bake a pie shell. Beat together milk, egg yolks, ale, sugar. Melt butter, add salt, beat into the liquid, trying to keep the butter from separating out (the hard part). Pour into the pie shell, bake at 350deg. about 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle on sugar (about 1 T) after the flathon is reasonably solid.


Ancient Cookery p. 37/443

Take cream of almonds, or of cow milk, and eggs, and beat them well together; and make small coffins, and do it therein; and do thereto sugar and good powders, or else take good fat cheese and eggs, and make them of divers colors, green, red, or yellow, and bake them and serve them forth.

1 1/3 c milk and cream
1/3 c sugar
2 eggs
1/6 t salt
enough pastry for 2 9" pie crusts

colorings, each in a quantity for 1/3 of the filling:
6 threads of saffron in 1 t water
3/16 t of saunders
2 T parsley mashed and strained with 2 t water

Make pastry into tart shells in muffin tins and bake about 10 minutes. Make filling, divide in three and color one part with saffron, one with saunders, and one with parsley juice. Pour into tart shells and bake. The recipe makes 15 tarts.

Tart de Bry

Forme of Cury p. 74/A30

Take a crust inch deep in a trap. Take yolks of ayren raw and cheese ruayn and medle it and the yolks together and do thereto powder ginger, sugar, saffron, and salt. Do it in a trap, bake it and serve it forth.

Note: according to the OED, ruen cheese is a kind of soft cheese.

9" pie crust made with butter
6 egg yolks
1 1/5 lb Brie cheese
3/8 t ginger
3 T sugar
8 threads saffron
1 t water
1/16 t salt

Mash cheese and egg yolks together. Crush saffron into water to draw out the color, then mix that and the sugar and spices with the cheese. Put in crust and bake 50 minutes at 350deg. . Cool before eating.

To Make Cheesecakes

Digby p. 214/174

Take 12 quarts of milk warm from the cow, turn it with a good spoonfull of runnet. Break it well, and put it in a large strainer, in which rowl it up and down, that all the whey may run out into a little tub; when all that will is run out, wring out more. Then break the curds well; then wring it again, and more whey will come. Thus break and wring till no more come. Then work the curds exceedingly with your hand in a tray, till they become a short uniform paste. Then put to it the yolks of 8 new laid eggs, and two whites, and a pound of butter. Work all this long together. In the long working (at the several times) consisteth the making them good. Then season them to your taste with sugar finely beaten; and put in some cloves and mace in subtle powder. Then lay them thick in coffins of fine paste and bake them.

Judging by the cottage cheese recipe in Joy of Cooking, 12 quarts of milk would yield about 4.5 lbs of cottage cheese. It sounds as though either creamed cottage cheese or farmer's cheese corresponds to what Digby is making. The following quantities are for half of Digby's quantity, with an adjustment for egg sizes.

2 lbs of creamed cottage cheese or ricotta
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
2 pie crusts (this made 2 9" cheese cakes)
1/2 lb of butter
1/2 c sugar
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t mace

Cook at 350deg. for 70 minutes. Let cool 1 hour before serving.

Note: the version with ricotta comes out noticeably drier than that with cottage cheese.

White Torta

Platina book 8

Prepare a pound and a half of best fresh cheese, chopped especially fine. Add twelve or fifteen egg whites, half a pound of sugar, half an ounce of white ginger, half a pound of pork liquamen and as much fresh butter. Blend in as much milk as you need. When you have blended this, put it into a pastry crust rolled thin and put it all in a pan and set it to bake on the hearth with a gentle flame. Then, to give it color, put coals on the lid. When it is cooked and taken from the pan, sprinkle ground sugar over it, with rosewater.

1 lb fresh cheese: ricotta
8 egg whites
2/3 c sugar
1/3 oz fresh ginger
1/4 lb lard
1/4 lb butter
1/2 c milk
10" pastry shell
~2 t sugar
1 t rosewater

Beat egg whites to soft peaks. Soften butter and lard together at room temperature. Fold together cheese and egg whites, then add sugar, minced ginger, lard and butter. Mix until fairly uniform. Add milk, fill shell. Bake at 325deg. for 40 minutes. When oil separates, it is done. Put under broiler to brown top lightly. Sprinkle sugar and rosewater, spread on with spoon bottom. Cool until set.

This is a little less butter and lard than Platina suggests, but we found it too fatty using his quantities.

To Make a Custarde

Proper Newe Booke p. 23/C7

A Custarde the coffyn must be fyrste hardened in the oven, and then take a quart of creame and fyve or syxe yolkes of egges, and beate them well together, and put them into the creame, and put in Suger and small Raysyns and Dates sliced, and put into the coffyn butter or els marrowe, but on the fyshe daies put in butter.

1 pie crust
2 c cream
3 egg yolks
1/4 c sugar
1/3 c raisins
1/4 c dates
3 t butter (or marrow)

Make pie crust and pre-bake for 10-15 minutes at 400deg. . Chop dates. Beat the eggs, add cream, sugar, raisins and dates and pour into pie crust. Dot pie with butter. Bake at 350deg. for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Custard Tart

Platina book 8

Make a little crust as I said in the section on rolls. Put in two egg yolks that have been well beaten, milk, cinnamon and sugar, and stir it near the hearth until it thickens.

4 egg yolks
2 c milk
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 c sugar
9" pie crust

Mix cinnamon and sugar together, mix in milk, add yolks and beat well, pour into pre-baked tart shell. Bake at 375deg. 50-60 minutes. To make little tarts, make half again the amount of crust and make into about 15 little tart shells by pressing the dough down into muffin tins. Bake about 10-15 minutes in 400deg. oven, then pour in filling and bake about 40 minutes at 375deg. .

Torta from Gourds

Platina book 8

Grind up gourds that have been well cleaned as you are accustomed to do with cheese. Then let them boil a little, either in rich juice or in milk. When they are half-cooked and have been passed through a strainer into a bowl, add as much cheese as I said before [a pound and a half]. Take half a pound of belly or fat udder boiled and cut up or, instead of this, if you wish, take the same amount of either butter or liquamen, add half a pound of sugar, a little ginger, some cinnamon, six eggs, two ladles of milk, a little saffron, and blend thoroughly. Put this preparation in a greased pan or in a pastry shell and cook it over a slow fire. There are those who add strips of leaves, which they call lagana, instead of the upper crust. When it is cooked and set on a plate, sprinkle it with sugar and rosewater.

1/2 lb yellow squash (after peeling)
1/2 c milk to cook in
8 oz cheddar cheese
2 oz butter
1/4 c sugar
1/8 t ground ginger
1/2 t cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 c milk
6 threads saffron
double 9" pastry shell
2 T sugar sprinkled on top
1 T rosewater

Grind squash finely with a grater and boil in milk for six minutes on low heat while being stirred; drain in strainer and throw away liquid, then force squash through strainer. Grate or cut up cheese; mix with squash, butter, sugar, egg, milk, ginger, and cinnamon. Put in pie shell and cover with top crust. Bake in 350deg. oven for 65 minutes; at this point it is bubbly and needs to set for a while. Sprinkle top with sugar and rosewater. Makes one 9 inch pie.

Frytour Blaunched

Curye on Inglysch p. 132 (Form of Cury no. 153)

Take almaundes blaunched, and grynde hem al to doust withouten eny lycour. Do + erto poudour of gyngeuer, sugur, and salt; do + ise in a thynne foile. Close it + erinne fast, and frye it in oile; clarifie hony with wyne, & bake it + erwith.

1/2 lb blanched almonds
1/2 t ginger
1 T sugar
scant 1/4 t salt
2/3 c honey
1/4 c Rhine wine

2 c flour

Grind almonds thoroughly: 1/2 lb = 1 1/2 c whole = 2 c ground. Stir together with ginger, sugar and salt. Mix flour with enough water to make a slightly sticky dough. Roll out dough very thin and cut into 2" squares. Place heaped teaspoon of ground almond mix on dough squares. Fold corners to center and seal. Fry in 1/2"-1" of oil in a frying pan until brown, drain on paper towels, then place in baking pan. Heat honey and wine together; pour over fritters and bake at 350deg. for 10 minutes.

A Fritur + at Hatte Emeles

Curye on Inglysch p. 53 (Diuersa Ciberia no. 46)

Nym sucre, salt, & alemauns & bred, & grind am togedre; & so+ + en do of ayren. & so+ + en nim grece o+ ur botere o+ ur oyle, and so+ + en nim a dihs, & smeore heom; & so+ + en nym bliue [quickly, according to the editor of Curye on Inglysch], & cose wi+ sucre drue: & + is beo+ + in cyueles in leynten ase in o+ ur time.

1/2 c sugar
1/8 t salt
1 c almonds
1 c bread crumbs
4 eggs
grease, butter, or oil
more sugar (sprinkled on top)

Grind bread, sugar, salt and almonds together. Mix eggs and add to dry mixture. Put 1/2 inch of oil in skillet. Deep fry, turn fritter over, remove, drain on paper towel. Put on plate and sprinkle with sugar. Makes 36 1" diameter fritters.

Frytour of Erbes

Curye on Inglysch p. 132 (Form of Cury no. 156)

Take gode erbys; grynde hem and medle hem with flour and water, & a lytel yest, and salt, and frye hem in oyle. And ete hem with clere hony.

3 c flour
2 1/4 c water
1/4 t yeast
1/8 t salt

fresh herbs:
2 1/2 t sage
1 1/2 t thyme
6 T parsley
1 T oregano

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 c water, add salt to flour; when yeast is foamy, add yeast and rest of flour to water. Let sit while herbs are chopped and ground; note that quantities of herbs are after chopping. Divide batter in 4, add one kind of herb to each; or add four times as much of any one of the herbs to the whole batter. Fry in 1/4" deep oil by 1/2 T spoonfuls. Made about 3 dozen 2.5" fritters.

Golden Morsels

Platina book 8

Toast white bread crumbs, soak them in rosewater with beaten eggs and ground sugar. Take them out, fry them in a pan with butter or liquamen (chicken or pork fat), spread out so they do not touch each other. When fried, put in dishes and sprinkle with sugar, rosewater, and saffron.

3 slices white bread = 3 oz
1/4 t rosewater
2 eggs
1 T sugar
about 4 T butter or lard (used lard)
1/8 t more rosewater
4 threads saffron
2 T more sugar

Beat eggs. Beat in sugar and rosewater. Tear bread into bite-sized pieces, mix into egg mixture and let soak. Mix remaining sugar, rosewater, and saffron in small container and set aside. Melt lard in frying pan; when hot enough (test with small piece of bread stuff) put chunks of bread stuff into lard and fry until just browned on both sides. Drain briefly on paper towels, put into dish and sprinkle with sugar mixture.

Ryschewys Closed and Fried

Two Fifteenth Century p. 45/97

Take figs, and grind them small in a mortar with a little oil, and grind with them cloves and maces; and then take it up into a vessel, and cast thereto pines, saunders and raisons of corinth and minced dates, powdered pepper, canel, salt, saffron; then take fine paste of flour and water, sugar, saffron and salt, and make fair cakes thereof; then roll thine stuff in thine hand and couch it in the cakes and cut it, and fold them in ryshews, and fry them up in oil; and serve forth hot.

25 black mission figs
2 t oil
1 t cloves
1 t maces
1/4 c pine nuts
1/4 t saunders
1/3 c currants
5 1/2 ounces dates
1/8 t pepper
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
4 threads saffron

2 c flour
1/2 c water
1 T sugar
1/8 t salt
1 thread saffron

Lente Frytoures

Two Fifteenth Century p. 96/74

Take good flour, ale yeast, saffron and salt, and beat all together as thick as other manner fritters of flesh; and then take apples, and pare them, and cut them in manner of fritters, and wet them in the batter up and down, and fry them in oil, and cast them in a dish, and cast sugar thereon enough, and serve them forth hot.

2 1/3 c flour
12 ounces beer
3 t yeast
6 threads saffron
2 t salt

5 apples pared and sliced into 1/16ths
about 1/2 box powdered sugar sprinkled over
oil for frying

Fry them in a deep skillet with about 3/4" of oil.

Frictella from Apples

Platina book 9

Morsels of apple that have been cleaned and cored, you fry in liquamen or a little oil, and spread them on a board so that they dry. Then roll them in a preparation such as we described earlier and fry again. Preparation described earlier: to grated cheese, aged as well as fresh, add a little meal, some egg whites, some milk, a bit more sugar, and grind all this together in the same mortar.

3 green cooking apples
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup flour
1 T sugar
2 egg whites
5 T milk


al-Baghdadi 211/13

Take best white flour, made into a dough, and leave to rise. Put a basin on the fire, with some sesame-oil. When boiling, take in a reticulated ladle some of the dough, and shake it into the oil, so that as each drop of the dough falls in, it sets. As each piece is cooked, remove with another ladle to drain off the oil. Take honey as required, mix with rose water, and put over the fire to boil to a consistency: then take off, and while still in the basin, whip until white. Throw in the barad, and place out on a soft-oiled surface, pressing in the shape of the mould. Then cut into pieces, and serve.

1/2 c white flour
1/2 c water
1/2 t dried yeast + 2 t water
about 1 1/4 c sesame oil
1/2 c honey
1 T rose water

Make the flour and water into a smooth batter. Mix yeast and water, wait about 10 minutes, then add to the flour-water mixture. Let stand 2-3 hours. Heat 1 c of the sesame oil to about 300deg. in a large frying pan. Pour the batter through a ladle or skimmer with small holes in it, so as to form small balls in the hot oil. Cook to a pale brown (1-3 minutes), take out, drain on paper towel. Add more sesame oil when it gets low.

Mix rose water and honey, cook to 250deg. . Pay close attention-you want it almost but not quite boiling over. As it cools, whip it; it eventually takes a sort of whipped butter consistency, with a light color. Mix it with the fried dough, press down on an oiled plate, press down from above with another plate or a spatula. Chill before serving.

Losenges Fryes

Two Fifteenth Century p. 97/74

Take flour, water, saffron, sugar and salt, and make fine paste thereof, and fair thin cakes; and cut them like losenges and fry them in fine oil, and serve them forth hot in a dish in lenten time.

2 c flour
1/2 c water
a pinch of saffron
1/2 c sugar
1/2 t salt
oil for frying

Boil saffron in water to extract color and flavor, put in a bowl and mix in sugar and salt, add flour and mix lightly until moistened. Heat about 1 inch of oil in a frying pan. Roll out dough to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut in small diamonds, fry a few at a time since they cook very quickly.

Rice Fricatellae

Platina book 9

Spread rice that has been well cooked on a flat surface to rid it of excess moisture; mash it if you wish. Add a sufficient quantity of ground almonds and moisten with rosewater and the juice from the cooked-down rice. Next, into these things, blend flour and sugar. When they have been mixed, fry them in oil, as you wish.

1/2 c rice
3/4 c unblanched almonds
1 t rosewater
1/2 c flour
1/4 c sugar
3/8 c olive oil

Simmer rice in 2 c water about 30 minutes. Drain, keeping the water that comes out. Put the lid back on, it let it steam another five or ten minutes. Spread it out, mash with a fork. Grind almonds medium fine (not to flour but to very small crunchies). Mix with rosewater and 1/4 c of the leftover rice juice. Add flour and sugar. Mix it all together to a uniform consistency. Form into patties 2"-3" across, 1/2" thick. Fry over medium high heat, starting with 1/4 c oil and adding more as necessary. After frying one side, turn it over and press down on it with the pancake turner, thus making it a little thinner. Makes about 25 fricatellae.


Two Fifteenth Century p. 44/61 (GOOD)

Take white of eyroun, milk, and flour, and a little berme, and beat it together, and draw it through a strainer, so that it be running, and not too stiff, and cast suger thereto, and salt; then take a chafer full of fresh grease boiling, and put thine hand in the batter, and let thine batter run down by thy fingers into the chafer; and when it is run together on the chafer, and is enough, take and nym a skimmer, and take it up, and let all the grease run out, and put it on a fair dish, and cast thereon sugar enough, and serve forth.

4 egg whites
2/3 c milk
1 c flour
1 T dried yeast
3 T sugar
1/2 t salt

Take egg white, milk, and flour and a little yeast and beat it together, being careful not to let the flour make lumps. Add sugar and salt. Pour into a pan of hot oil, so that they puff up and brown, turn them, drain them, sprinkle on sugar and serve them.

This can be done either as a pancake, or as something more like a funnel cake; the latter seems to fit the description more closely. To make it like a funnel cake, I use a slotted spoon; the batter runs through the slots into the hot grease. Of course, you could always let thine batter run down by thine fingers instead-but make sure no one is watching.


Goodman p. 286/25

Take the yolks of eggs and flour and salt and a little wine and beat them well together and cheese cut into strips and then roll the strips of cheese in the paste and fry them in an iron pan with fat therein. One does likewise with beef marrow.

8 egg yolks
2 T flour
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 T wine (to make thick paste)
about 1/2 pound cheese

Works better with hard cheese such as cheddar.

The Making of Dafâir,


Andalusian, p. A-25

Take what you will of white flour or of semolina, which is better in these things. Moisten it with hot water after sifting, and knead well, after adding some fine flour, leavening, and salt. Moisten it again and again until it has middling consistency. Then break into it, for each ratl of semolina, five eggs and a dirham of saffron, and beat all this very well, and put the dough in a dish, cover it and leave it to rise, and the way to tell when this is done is what was mentioned before [it holds an indentation]. When it has risen, clean a frying pan and fill it with fresh oil, then put it on the fire. When it starts to boil, make braids of the leavened dough like hair-braids, of a handspan or less in size. Coat them with oil and throw them in the oil and fry them until they brown. When their cooking is done, arrange them on an earthenware plate and pour over them skimmed honey spiced with pepper, cinnamon, Chinese cinnamon, and lavender. Sprinkle it with ground sugar and present it, God willing. This same way you make isfunj, except that the dough for the isfunj will be rather light. Leave out the saffron, make it into balls and fry them in that shape, God willing. And if you wish stuffed dafâir or isfunj, stuff them with a filling of almonds and sugar, as indicated for making qâhiriyât.

1 lb semolina = 2 3/8 c
1 1/2 c flour
1 c water
leavening: 1 c sourdough starter
1 t salt
3 eggs
1/4 gram saffron (see note)
~1 T oil to brush on
oil for frying
sugar to sprinkle on

1 c honey
1/2 t pepper
1 t cinnamon
1 T lavender

Note: the recipe calls for a dirham of saffron = 3.8 grams, which is an incredible amount of saffron. If this is a scribal error for a danaq, it would be .6 grams. I actually used not quite half of that amount; but I think a danaq would work well-I do not know if a dirhem would.

Add water to semolina 1/8 c at a time, mixing, until all of semolina is barely moistened. Add sourdough, 3/4 c flour, and salt, and knead until is is a smooth elastic dough. Crush saffron into 2 t water; add it and eggs to dough and knead in. The dough being too soppy for braiding, add another 3/4 c flour. Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour and a half. While the dough rises make the sauce: grind the lavender and add to the honey with the pepper and cinnamon. Flour a cutting board, take small lumps of dough (about 2 tablespoons), roll into 6" strings, and braid three together into braids 6" long. Heat about 1/2" of oil in a frying pan at medium high heat and fry the braids a few at a time, so that there is room to turn them over as they fry, until puffed up and light brown on both sides: about 2-3 minutes total. According to the recipe they should be brushed with oil before frying, but I could not see any difference between the ones I brushed and those I did not. Makes 15 braids. Drain on paper towels, put on a plate, drizzle with the sauce and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Fritter of Milk

Form of Cury p. 68/A28

Take of curds and press out the whey. Do thereto sugar, white of eyroun. Fry them. Do thereto and lay on sugur and mess forth.

1 c dry curd cottage cheese
3 T sugar
4 egg whites
more sugar to sprinkle over them

Mix together cottage cheese, sugar and egg whites. Drop by tablespoonfuls into hot oil, fry about 1 minute on each side (light to dark brown). Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with sugar, serve. Should make about 40 fritters.


Curye on Inglysch p. 52 (Diuersa Cibaria no. 45)

A mete + at is icleped cuskynoles. Make a past tempred wi+ ayren, & so+ + en nim peoren & applen, figes & reysins, alemaundes & dates; bet am togedere & do god poudre of gode speces wi+ innen. & in leynten make + i past wi+ milke of alemaundes. & rolle + i past on a bord, & so+ + en hew hit on moni perties, & vche an pertie beo of + e leyn+ e of a paume & an half & of + reo vyngres of brede. & smeor + y past al of one dole, & so+ + en do + i fassure wi+ innen. Vchan kake is portiooun. & so+ + en veld togedere o+ e zeolue manere, ase + eos fugurre is imad:

& so+ + e boille in veir water, & so+ + en rost on an greudil; & so+ + en adresse.

Modernized English: A meat that is named cuskynoles. Make a paste tempered with eggs, & so then take pears & apples, figs & raisins, almonds & dates; beat them together & do good powder of good spices within. & in Lent make thy paste with milk of almonds. & roll thy paste on a board, & so then hew it in many parts, & each part be of the length of a palm & a half & of three fingers of breadth. & smear thy paste all on one half, & so then do thy filling within. Each cake is a portion. & so then fold together of the same manner, as this figure is made: [see above] & so then boil in fair water, & so then roast on a griddle; & so then dress.

one ripe pear (7 oz)
one apple (Rome?) (7 oz)
4 oz figs
4 oz raisins
4 oz whole, unblanched almonds
4 oz pitted dates
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 1/2 t nutmeg
1 t cloves
1/2 t ginger

Wash and core apple and pear but do not peel. Cut figs into 2 or 3 pieces each. Use a food processor or mortar and pestle to reduce the ingredients to a uniform mush.

1 1/2 c flour
1/4 c water
1 beaten egg

Stir cold water into flour, stir in egg, stir and knead until smooth. Roll out as two 12"x15" sheets. Cut each sheet into 10 6"x3" pieces. Spread 1 T of filling on one piece and put another piece over it, making a sandwich of dough, filling, dough. Using the back of a thick knife, press the edges together to seal them, then press along the lines shown in the figure, giving a 6"x3" "cake" made up of fifteen miniature fruit filled ravioli, joined at their edges. Boil about 4 minutes, then broil at a medium distance from the burner about 4 minutes a side, watching to be sure they do not burn.


Ibn al-Mabrad p.19

Its varieties are many. Among them are the sweets made of natif. You put dibs [fruit syrup], honey, sugar or rubb [thick fruit syrup] in the pot, then you put it on a gentle fire and stir until it takes consistency. Then you beat eggwhite and put it with it and stir until it thickens and becomes natif. After that, if you want almond candy you put in toasted almonds and 'allaftahu; that is, you bind them. walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, toasted chickpeas, toasted sesame, flour. [apparently alternative versions]. You beat in the natif until thickens. For duhniyyah you put in flour toasted with fat. As for ... (other versions.)

Sugar version:
1 1/4 c sugar
1/4 c water
1 egg white
1 1/2 - 2 c nuts = ~10 oz

Honey version:
1 c honey
1 egg white
2 1/2-3 c or more nuts

This makes 25-40 hulwa, depending on size.

Sugar version: Bring the water to a boil, stir in the sugar, continuing to heat. When it is dissolved and reasonably clear, turn it down to a simmer and put the top on the pot for two or three minutes (this is to let the steam wash down any sugar on the sides of the pot). Take the top off, boil gently until the temperature reaches the hard ball stage (250deg. -260deg. F). Beat the egg white until it is just stiff enough to hold its shape. Pour the sugar syrup into the egg white, beating continuously. You now have a thick white mixture; this is the natif. Mix it with chopped nuts (we have used almonds and walnuts) or toasted sesame seeds, or some mixture thereof. Squeeze the mixture into balls and set them aside to cool. Note that as the natif cools, it gets harder and less sticky, so you have to work quickly; the hotter you get the syrup before combining it with the egg white (and hence the less water ended up in it), the faster this happens and the dryer the hulwa ends up. If you get past 260deg. , the syrup may crystallize on you as or before you pour it; if so, give up and start over.

Honey version: Simmer the honey gently until it reaches a temperature of 280deg. -290deg. F. From that point on, the recipe is the same as for sugar, using the boiled honey instead of the sugar syrup. Note that honey requires a higher temperature than sugar to get the same effect. Also note that natif made from honey will be stickier than natif made from sugar (maybe you can solve this by getting the honey up to 310deg. without burning it; I couldn't). So use a higher ratio of nuts to natif and have the nuts chopped more finely; this helps reduce the stickiness. You may want to roll the honey hulwa in sesame seeds or ground nuts, also to reduce stickiness.

Dibs version (still experimental). Stir the dibs while simmering at medium heat about 1/2 hour+, until it gets to about 250deg. . If you do not stir, it may separate out. By 250deg. there is some problem with scorching.

Note: Dibs is date syrup, available from some Middle Eastern grocery stores.

Toasted Sesame: To toast sesame seeds, you put them in a heavy iron pot over a medium to high flame, and watch them carefully. When the ones on the bottom begin to to tan, start stirring. When they are all tan to brown, take them off the heat or they will burn.


, a Sugar Dish from the Dictation of Abu 'Ali al-Bagdadi

Andalusian p. A-23

Take a ratl of sugar and put in two ûqiyas of rosewater and boil it in a ceramic pot until it is on the point of thickening and sticks between the fingers. Then take a third of a ratl of split almonds, fried, not burnt, and pound well and throw the sugar on them and stir it on the fire until thickened. Then spread it out on a dish and sprinkle it with ground sugar.

2 c sugar
5 T rosewater
5 oz almonds
more sugar

Note: 1 ratl = about 1 lb = 12 uqiyas

Take slivered or sliced almonds, stir them in a hot frying pan without oil for about 3-5 minutes. Use a spatula, and stir continuously to avoid browning or burning. Crush in a mortar and pestle, producing something between ground and chopped. Cook sugar and rosewater mixture on medium heat, stirring constantly, until it gets sticky but does not form a ball (~6 minutes?). Dump in nuts, stir, turn out on a pan and sprinkle sugar on top.


al-Baghdadi p. 211/13

Take equal parts of sugar, almonds (or pistachios), honey, and sesame-oil. Grind the sugar and almonds, and mix together. Add saffron to color, mixed with rose-water. Put the sesame oil into a basin and boil until fragrant: then drop in the honey, and stir until the scum appears. Add the sugar and almonds, stirring all the time over a slow fire until almost set: then remove.

6 oz = 3/4 c sugar
6 oz = 1 c+ almonds
6 oz = 1/2 c+ honey
6 oz = 3/4 c sesame oil
10 threads saffron ground into
3 T rose-water

Grind the almonds coarsely in a food processor, then add the sugar and grind briefly together to mix (I assume the original is using a block of sugar, which is why it has to be ground). Add the saffron and rose water and run the food processor long enough to mix it in smoothly. Heat the oil to about 350deg. over a medium heat, add the honey and cook about 3 minutes on low. Foam (not very thick-like the bubbles of bubble bath, or a little thinner) will cover the top. Add the almonds and sugar. At this point it may foam up and boil over, so be careful, use a reasonably large pot, and be ready to remove it from the heat temporarily if necessary. Cook on medium to medium high, with a candy thermometer in the pot; be careful to keep the thermometer from touching the bottom.

At a temperature of about 230deg. the mixture becomes smooth. After cooking about 10 minutes (from the time the sugar went in) it reaches about 270deg. . If you stop at that point, your Makshufa will be light colored and chewy. Another 6 minutes or so gets the syrup up to about 290deg. , giving a darker candy, crunchier, with a slightly caramelized taste.

Remove from heat, spoon onto a buttered cooky sheet (to make lots of little candies) or else pour it on (to make a sheet of candy like peanut brittle) and let cool. Chill, remove from the cooky sheet and keep the candy refrigerated or frozen to make it less likely to stick together. It is crunchier if you serve it chilled. The recipe makes about 40-45 pieces 1 3/4" in diameter with a total weight of about 21 ounces.


Two Fifteenth Century p. 29

Take Strawberys, and waysshe hem in tyme of yere in gode red wyne; + an strayne + orwe a clo+ e, and do hem in a potte with gode Almaunde mylke, a-lay it with Amyndoun o+ er with + e flowre of Rys, and make it chargeaunt and lat it boyle, annd do + er-in Roysonys of coraunce, Safroun, Pepir, Sugre grete plente, pouder Gyngere, Canel, Galyngale; poynte it with Vynegre, and a lytil whyte grece put + er-to; coloure it with Alkenade, and droppe it a-bowte, plante it with graynys of Pomegarnad, and + an serue it forth.

1 pint strawberries
1/4 c red wine (burgundy)

1 3/4 c almond milk: (see p. 5)
1/2 c almonds
1 1/2 c water

4 T wheat starch
3/4 c currents
8 threads saffron
1/8 t pepper
1/4 c sugar
1/4 t ginger
1/4 t cinnamon
1/8 t galingale
1/4 t cider vinegar
3/4 t lard
pomegranate seeds (not available)

Wash strawberries in water, then mix with wine and force through wire strainer using a pestle. Mix with almond milk and wheat starch, then boil about 10 minutes, until thick enough to stick to the spoon. Add currents, then remaining ingredients as it cooks. Make sure the spices are ready when you start boiling it. We used not very sweet strawberries; one might use less sugar or more vinegar if they were sweeter.

Creme Boylede

Two Fifteenth Century p. 8/52

Take creme or mylke, and brede of paynemayn, or ellys of tendre brede, and breke it on the creme, or elles in the mylke, an set it on the fyre tyl it be warme hot; and thorw a straynour throwe it, and put it into a fayre potte, an sette it on the fyre, an stere euermore: an whan it is almost y-boylyd, take fayre yolkes of eyron, an draw hem thorw a straynowr and caste hem ther-to, and let hem stonde ouer the fyre tyl it boyle almost, an till it be skylfully thikke; than caste a ladel-ful, or more or lasse, of boter ther-to, an a good quantite of whyte sugre, and a litel salt, an than dresse it on a dysshe in maner of mortrewys.

5-10 slices torn-up white bread
1 quart light cream
8 lightly beaten egg yolks
6 T melted butter
1/2 c sugar
1 t salt

Soak bread in cream. Heat until hot to the touch but not boiling. Pass through a coarse sieve or mash thoroughly. Heat again, stirring constantly. When almost boiling, stir in egg yolks. Keep heating, stirring, not boiling, until it thickens. Stir in butter, sugar, salt. Serve in bowls.


Two Fifteenth Century p. 9/52

Take fayre Mylke and Flowre, an drawe it + orw a straynoure, an set it ouer + e fyre, an let it boyle a-whyle; + an take it owt an let it kele; + an take yolkys of eyroun y-draw + orwe a straynour, an caste ther-to; + an take sugre a gode quantyte, and caste + er-to, an a lytil salt, an sette it on + e fyre tyl it be sum-what + ikke, but let it nowt boyle fullyche, an stere it wyl, an putte it on a dysshe alle a-brode, and serue forth rennyng.

2 c milk
4 T flour
3/4 c sugar
1/8 t salt
4 egg yolks

Beat together the milk and flour, keep it over a very low flame about 5 minutes until it will coat a clean spoon. Add egg yolks, sugar and salt and put over a medium flame, stirring constantly for about 1/2 hour (until it thickens).


Two Fifteenth Century p. 22

Take almond milk and flour of rice, and do thereto sugar or honey, and powdered ginger and galingale; then take figs and carve them a-two or raisins whole or hard wastel diced and color it with saunders, and seethe it and dress it in.

almond milk (see p. 5): 1 cup ground almonds + 1 cup water
1 c rice flour
6 T honey
2 t ginger
1 t galingale

figs/raisins/hard bread: 1 c halved figs + 1 1/2 c raisins
a pinch of saunders

Webbed by Gregory Blount of Isenfir