Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Recipes from John Crophill's Commonplace Book - 50 Charlet

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,


[50.] Charlet
Tak swete melk & colour it with saffron tak freysch pork soden hewe it smal sweng eyren & cast alm the melk set it over the fyer boille it stere it wel to gider kele it with alytyl ale & set it doun.


There are corresponding recipes for charlet in both Liber and Noble. In itself this isn't all that unusual as the dish appears in most of the cookbooks from the medieval period, however the versions in Liber, Noble, and Crophill appear to be the only ones that include the phrase "set it down".
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)]

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