Thursday, June 5, 2008

Chardquynce - Part 2

The quince had been peeled, cored, cut up, and cooked (baked) for 2 hours at 350°F. The pieces were soft enough to smush easily with a spoon. All that was left was to figure out what to do with it. After re-reading all the source recipes, I decided to work primarily from this one:

Chare de Wardone. Take peer Wardons, and seth hem in wine or water; And then take hem vppe, and grinde hem in a morter, and drawe hem thorgh a streynoure with the licour; And put hem in a potte with Sugur, or elle3 with clarefiede hony and canell ynowe, And lete hem boile; And then take hit from the fire, And lete kele, and caste there-to rawe yolkes of eyren, til hit be thik, and caste thereto powder of ginger ynowe; And serue hit forth in maner of Ryse. And if hit be in lenton tyme, leve the yolkes of eyren, And lete the remnaunt boyle so longe, til it be so thikk as though hit were y-tempered with yolkes of eyren, in maner as A man setheth charge de quyns; And then serue hit forth in maner of Rys.
[Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books, T. Austin (ed.)]

Being the impatient sort, I used a food processor instead of a mortar and pestle to grind up the fruit (having experimented in the past, I've found that the final result is pretty much the same). I then added sugar, egg yolks, and spices, and then cooked it over medium heat until it started doing the bubbling-oatmeal thing. Here's how it looked when it was done:

mMMmmmm ... quince!

Spicing is always an issue when working from medieval sources - it's rare that a medieval recipe specifies quantities for anything. When I tasted this stuff during cooking, it seemed too bland, so I wound up putting in more ginger. When it was done it tasted great to me, and my wife liked it too. However it received a less than positive reception from a couple of people who don't normally eat medieval foods. I suspect it has a bit more ginger than the general population cares for.

I'll have to try out the same recipe using pears, possibly with less ginger and more cinnamon.

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