Medival food:I read about something in a book and was wondering if anyone knows more about this.

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by mark shields, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. mark shields

    mark shields

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    Hey I have a question about some ingredients and if there is an actually recipe for this or if anyone knows anything about this.

    The ingredients are:

    -Ground Almonds

    -Honey

    -Eggs

    -Milk

    There are no measurements mentioned of any sort, the section from the book reads as follows: "...a dish made from ground almonds, honey,eggs and milk all boiled together to produce a thick sweet confection which was eaten from bowls like soup. Murdo had never tasted anything so sweet, and did not think you could finish his, until, following Dufnas' example, he alternated each spoonful with a healthy swig of wine, and he found the combination produced a delectable flavor."

    So we learn from this that it was probably thinish due to the fact it was eaten like soup, I don't know for sure tell me what you guys think and if you have any ideas on how to make this, and what the measurements could possibly be. Thanks much to all who answer!
     
  2. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    I'll bite.

    Whisk 2 eggs into a cup of milk then switch to a spatula or spoon and continue to stir on low-med heat until it boils (large bubbles).

    Pour into a bowl and add the ground almonds and stir and then honey to taste.

    Without salt or vanilla it may be a bit bland but then it wouldn't be the dish that Murdo enjoyed with his wine would it?

    Enjoy and welcome to Chef Talk.

    mimi

    edit... the above will be a bit thick so feel free to thin with more milk.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
  3. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    Sounds like Blancmange.
     
  4. mark shields

    mark shields

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    Hey Mimi I tried what you said then added 2 Tbsp crushed almonds and 3 Tbsp honey, and I have a feeling it didn't quite work out, I'll explain why. First lets go back to the book again and to give more background the place this was being eaten was the feast of St. John, put on by the local bishop, we are also told that this is a vast feast and somewhat grand, I guessing from this that no matter how expensive it may have been at the time, they would not have chinced out at all, and it is also expressed that this was the sweetest thing Murdo had ever tasted, which while they may have eaten somewhat more bland food back then I am sure he would have experienced some sweets in his life already, so this was maybe not as sweet as many of the things in today's day and age, but it was sweet. Now back to what I made, here are the issues: it was kind of eggy like scrambled eggs in a tiny bit of water, I think the milk for the most part cooked in, but some of the water separated from the milk? maybe... the second was that it didn't taste like almonds barely at all, this may be due to the fact that I didn't crushed them like to powder more like large sand. The third, because I didn't want to use an entire bottle of honey, it was sweet, but not like that sweet. I know you aren't going to be able to help with the honey issue much, but maybe why it was not tasting like almonds much and why I made scrambled eggs haha! Here is a picture too, I should add that I was stirring it almost constantly, maybe that was a problem?
    I feel like a detective trying to get to the bottom of a case, haha, maybe you want to be my detective case helper? Hahaha!
     
  5. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    S'ok..you just "broke" your custard (too high heat and/or cooked too long).

    Not knowing how experienced you are I prolly should have linked a recipe.

    Almonds are pretty bland and prolly have a pretty weird mouth feel when ground and added into a "wet" dish so go into your second try with that thought.

    I would have toasted them for more flavor but the recipe didn't mention it so.....

    Plus I s'pose you should use more honey lol.

    Drop to only one egg.

    Set your temp on stove to low and stir continuously.

    Pull when it gets thick... yes it will take forever and it won't get as thick as a custard but there should be a noticeable difference.

    mimi

    What wine are you going to pair with this dish?

    m.

    edit....read up on puddings and custards.

    Maybe you will have a AHA moment?
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  6. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Never having made this I googled and it has gelatin instead of eggs.

    Altho it did mention it had medieval roots so maybe I didn't look back far enuf?

    mimi
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  7. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    @Mark Shields  ...have you tried asking this question on reddit?

    Surely there are lots of medieval forums there?

    mimi
     
  8. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Speaking of almonds....

    Ground almonds (sold as almond flour sometimes and kinda expensive ;-) ...maybe a cup into a pan set on low....stir until you can smell them....don't allow to brown or surely they will scorch.

    1 room temp egg whisked into...

    1 cup room temp milk then add to almonds.

    Cook on med stirring continuously until the mixture reaches 160 f.

    Add lots of honey and then add some more lol.

    Dish up and serve with wine of choice.

    mimi
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  9. laurenlulu

    laurenlulu

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    A more forgiving method is to heat the milk and drizzle into the egg that's in a separate bowl to temper it (warm it gradually) then add that egg to the milk on the stove. And stir til thick.
     
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  10. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Not knowing how much experience he had I was trying to go around the tempering part.

    That is where I came to the add milk and egg to the almonds technique.

    I have a partial bag of ground almonds in the freezer and thinking of pulling it out and giving it a whirl.

    Grab a bottle of wine  (a dryish red?) and haul yer buns to Texas GF...

    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/drinkbeer.gif

    m.
     
  11. laurenlulu

    laurenlulu

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    Aw he'll yeah, overdue for a trip down south, I tell you what!
     
  12. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    m.
     
  13. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    So, a little googling around for medieval feast menu suggestions specifically mentions just this combination. Instead of almond flour, almond milk was often used.

    "Eggs, milk and cream were used for making cream custard tarts. Often honey or spices were added for extra sweetness and flavour. Sometimes the milk was substituted by almond milk to make it even richer, particularly if it was outside Lent but this was generally only affordable by richer people, not peasants.
    Here is a recipe for almond milk."

    Also, if you are grinding your own almonds and finding your end product gritty, I would suggest skinning the almonds first. Blanch the almonds. Shock them in cold water. Rub the skins off while they are submerged in the bowl of water.

    So, history lesson here:

    Almonds on a Medieval European table would have come from Spain, Italy, Turkey, North Africa, Palestine, or Greece, depending on where the feast took place and what trade route that place was on. They are grown in warmer climates. They came to Europe from China via the Silk Road and on the way passed through Central Asia, Persia, Byzantium, the Ottoman Empire, and into North Africa. I have cookbooks from all along the Silk routes, especially the Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Middle East, and there are almond custard or pudding desserts in most of them.The Moors (Arabs and Berbers) brought honey and almonds to Spain and Portugal from N Africa. The Turks would have brought them to the Middle East and the Balkans, including Greece. From there they would have made it to Italy. 

    The Ottoman Turks ruled much of the Eastern Mediterranean & Middle East during the Middle Ages. There is a Turkish almond pudding it is called Keskul. It's made with sugar in this recipe but you could probably use honey. If you leave out the starch, it would be soupy:

    http://www.turkishcookbook.com/2006/02/almond-pudding.php

    There were also Sephardic Jews spread throughout the region, who would have carried recipes with them all around Europe as they were buffeted from place to place.There is a Sephardic almond cream called Scodelline often served at Passover Seders (another feast) that food scholar and historian Claudia Roden says are so rich you can only eat a few spoonfuls at a time. It migrated to Italy from Portugal, as Jews were expelled from Iberia. You could certainly substitute honey for the sugar. Here is one recipe:

    http://dinnerinvenice.com/2013/03/19/passover-almond-custards-scodelline/

    There is an Arabic almond pudding but it doesn't seem to be made with eggs. Rice starch is the thickener.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  14. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Shhh...quiet...don't tell anyone...but I adjust according to taste whether I am allowed to or not. :~)
     
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