Recipes from John Crophill's Commonplace Book (Harley MS 1735)
This manuscript is dated before 1485.
The 68 recipes in John Crophill's Commonplace Book are on pages 16v through 28v.
Images of the original manuscript are freely available on the British Library website.
I have done my best to provide an accurate, but readable transcription. Common abbreviations have been expanded, the letters thorn and yogh have been replaced with their modern equivalents, and some minor punctuation has been added.
Copyright © 2015 by Daniel Myers, MedievalCookery.com
[1.] A Tarte of Fysch
Tak fygges & reysingis & cyng[?] [f.17r] hem & do ther to freysch samoun or othyr maner of freysch fysch grynd alle to gyder temper hem up with almounde mylk & frye almounds in swete oyle & do therinne lye alle to gydr do ther to pouder of galingale reysings of coraunce quybybes & soden perys & schere hem & cast hem ther inne amonge alle to gidre & of ilk of the spyces kepe the halvendel with outen colour thi fars with saffroun & swet it with sugre. Tak laumpreys & laumprouws & elys & dares & roches & loches smeltys and other maner of freysch fysch & wete hem in flour frye hem in swete oyle & loke thu have dats farsed & plumbys damaycynis than go to the ovene & mak dowe & couche thi fars on this maner, fferst ley thi kake of dowe than tak thi fars & couche thi fryed fysch & thi dats farsed & plumbys & thi almondys & drengle it in swete oyle & poudre it with sugre & lay thou thi fars on this [f.17v] maner couche thi fars as thu wylt have hulke it & pinche it & mak thi lowes colour it with saffron & set it inne the ovene & yf you wylt hawe of foure coliurs make it as I have tawte of the tou or of the tothere.
The final sentence of this recipe—instructing the cook to color the tart as described earlier—strongly suggests that it was copied from some other source as there are no preceding recipes to refer to.
There are many similar recipes for fish pies in the surviving medieval cookbooks, though I haven’t found any that closely follow the one in Crophill.
Tartes of Fyssche. Take Fygys, and Roysoynys, and pike an sethe in Wyne; than take Costardys, Perys, and pare hem clene, and pike out the core, and putte hem in a morter with the frute; then tak Codlyng or haddok, other Elys, and sethe hem and pike owt the bonys, and grynd alle y-fere, and do ther-to a lytel wyne, and melle to-gederys: an do ther-to Canelle, Clowys, Mace3, Quybibe3, pouder Gyngere, and of Galyngale, and pepir, and Roysonys of coraunce, and coloure it with Safroun. When thou makyst thin cofyns, than take gode fat Ele, and culpe hym, and take owt the stonys of Datys, and farce hem; and blaunche Almaundys, and caste ther-to; but fyrste frye hem in Oyle, and couche al this a-mong, and bete thin cofyns with the ledys, and bake, and serue forth. [Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books (England, 1430)]
CRUSTARDES OF FYSSHE. XX.VII. XVI. Take loches, laumprouns, and Eelis. smyte hem on pecys, and stewe hem wiþ Almaund Mylke and verions, frye the loches in oile as tofore. and lay þe fissh þerinne. cast þeron powdour fort powdour douce. with raysons coraunce & prunes damysyns. take galyntyn and þe sewe þerinne, and swyng it togyder and cast in the trape. & bake it and serue it forth. [Forme of Cury (England, 1390)]