Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Recipes from John Crophill's Commonplace Book - 25 Charlet Gentyl

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,


[25.] Charlet Gentyl
Tak pork & grynd it with cow melk breke eyren & draw hem & do ther to & saffron & grynd it [f.21v] al to gider seson it at the feyr & sythen let resten a qwyle tak than a clene cloth & do it ther inne & sye outh the iews tak sithen melk of almondys & ginger & galingale & mak a sew chargeant as grave & do ther to sugre & clowes & maces seson it wel do ther to qwyth salt tak sythen the charlet outh of the cloth & schere it with a knyf on schywer & do ther to the sew.


While there are many reciped for charlete in other sources, none of them are a very close match for the Crophill version and none are "gentyl". The charlet recipes from Liber and Noble are good examples.
Charlet. Take swettest mylke, þat þou may have, Colour hit with safron, so God þe save. Take fresshe porke and sethe hit wele, And hew hit smalle every dele. Swyng eyryn, and do þer to. Set hit over þe fyre, þenne Boyle hit and sture lest hit brenne. Whenne hit welles up, þou schalt hit kele With a litel ale, so have þou cele. When hit is inoȝe, þou sett hit doune, And kepe hit lest hit be to broune.  Liber cure cocorum (England, 1430)]
To mak charlet tak swet mylk and colour it with saffron then tak freche pork and boile it and hew yt smalle then swinge eggs and cast them into the mylk and boile them and stirr them lest they bren and bete it with a litill ale and set it doun and let it not be brown and serue it.  [A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)]

Interestingly, there is a non-charlet recipe from Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books with the word "gentyl" in the name which may be related.
Crustade gentyle. Take a Cofyn y-bake; than grynd Porke or Vele smal with harde ȝolkys of Eyroun; than lye it with Almaunde Milke, and make hem stondyng; take Marow of bonys, and ley on the cofynne, and fylle hem fulle with thin comade, and serue forth.  [Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books (England, 1430)]

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