Friday, October 2, 2015

Recipes from John Crophill's Commonplace Book - 22 Pochee

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,


[22.] Pochee
Tak fyggs [f.21r] & reysynggs & grynd hem wel & seson it with good almonde mylk & do ther to agod porcion of canel & of ginger & if it charge nowth tak flour of rys & do ther to tyl it be wel stondynge than do to salt.


There are a handful of recipes with titles related to "pochee", but all of them other than the Crophill version are centered around eggs (e.g. "poached").
Pochee. XX.IIII. X. Take Ayrenn and breke hem in scaldyng hoot water. and whan þei bene sode ynowh. take hem up and take zolkes of ayren and rawe mylke and swyng hem togydre, and do þerto powdour gyngur safroun and salt, set it ouere the fire, and lat it not boile, and take ayrenn isode & cast þe sew onoward. & serue it forth.  [Forme of Cury(England, 1390)]
Eyron en poche. Take Eyroun, breke hem, an sethe hem in hot Water; than take hem Vppe as hole as thou may; than take flowre, an melle with Mylke, and caste ther-to Sugre or Hony, and a lytel pouder Gyngere, an boyle alle y-fere, and coloure with Safroun; an ley thin Eyroun in dysshys, and caste the Sewe a-boue, and caste on pouder y-now. Blawnche pouder ys best.  [Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books (England, 1430)]

The recipes that appear to be more closely related to Crophill's pochee are the "figey" recipes in Liber and Nobel.
To mak a figge tak figges and boile them in wyne then bray them in a mortair put ther to bred and boile it with wyne cast ther to clowes maces guinger pynes and hole, raissins and florisshe it withe pongarnettes and serue it.  [A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)]
For stondand fygnade. Fyrst play þy water with hony and salt, Grynde blanchyd almondes I wot þou schalle. Þurghe a streynour þou shalt hom streyne, With þe same water þat is so clene. In sum of þe water stepe þou shalle Whyte brede crustes to alye hit with alle. Þenne take figgus and grynde hom wele, Put hom in pot so have þou cele. Þen take brede, with mylke hit streyne Of almondes þat be white and clene. Cast in þo fyggus þat ar igrynde With powder of peper þat is þo kynde, And powder of canel. in grete lordys house With sugur or hony þou may hit dowce. Þen take almondes cloven in twen, Þat fryid ar with oyle, and set with wyn Þy disshe, and florysshe hit þou my3t With powder of gynger þat is so bry3t, And serve hit forthe as I spake thenne And set hit in sale before gode menne.  [Liber cure cocorum (England, 1430)]

Two possible explanations come to mind for the Crophill version. The first is that the wrong title somehow got attached to the recipe. The second is that the recipe is for a meatless version of the more common pochee recipes.

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