Recipes (Lembas)Ingredients

Mediaeval or mediaeval-style recipes for some of the food mentioned in the stories. Found on the web and untested!

 

English Saffron Bread
2 tsp. saffron
1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups scalded milk
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 packages dry yeast
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 cups flour
3 Tbs. lemon rind, grated
2 cups currants (optional)
Steep saffron in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and reserve liquid. Pour scalded milk over butter and sugar. Stir to melt butter. Cool to warm then stir in yeast. Add saffron liquid and eggs. Blend well. Add dry ingredients. Dough should be stiff. Knead, shape into a ball, place in bowl, cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down, divide into 3 equal sections, knead each section and roll out into 15-inch ropes. Braid the three ropes together, place on a greased baking sheet, and let rise again until doubled. Bake at 350º F for 1 hour, or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped with a finger.

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Summer Fruit, Honey, and Hazelnut Crumble
A baked dessert like this would have been sunk in the embers of the log fire with a cauldron or pot upturned over it to form a lid
2 1/2 lb mixed soft summer fruits-- raspberries, loganberries,
strawberries, currants, bilberries or whatever is available

honey to taste
3 oz toasted hazelnuts
3 oz wholemeal or wholewheat brown breadcrumbs
Put the fruits in a pan with about 1 inch of water in the bottom and cook gently for 10-15 minutes or till the fruits are soft. Sweeten to taste with honey. Drain the excess juice and save to serve with the pudding. Chop the hazelnuts until they are almost as fine as the breadcrumbs, but not quite, then mix the two together. Spoon the fruit into an ovenproof dish and cover with a thick layer of hazelnuts and crumbs. Bake in a moderate oven for 20 - 30 minutes or till the top is slightly cruncy and browned. Serve with cream or plain yogurt and the warmed fruit juices.

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Syllabub
To make a very fine Sillibub, Take one Quart of Cream, one Pint and an half of Wine or Sack, the Juice of two Limons with some of the Pill, and a Branch of Rosemary, sweeten it very well, then put a little of this Liquor, and a little of the Cream into a Basin, beat them till it froth, put that Froth into the Sillibub pot, and so do till the Cream and Wine be done, then cover it close, and set it in a cool Cellar for twelve hours, then eat it. From Hannah Wooley The Queen-like Closet (London:1674)

To make whipt syllabubs Take a quart of thick cream, and half a pint of sack, the juice of two Seville oranges, or lemons; grate in the peel of two lemons; half a pound of double-refined sugar, pour it into a broad earthen pan, and whisk it well; but first sweeten some red wine, or sack, and fill your glasses as full as you chuse; then as the froth rises take it off with a spoon, and lay it carefully into your glasses, till they are as full as it will hold. From Charles Carter The London and Country Cook (London: 1749)

1 pint thick cream
1/2 pint sherry
juice and grated rind of one lemon
1/4 cup sugar
Chill a large bowl and put in all ingredients. Beat continuously, skimming off foam as it rises. Continue until all mixture has turned to foam. Put the foam in a pretty serving bowl and chill. For a solid version, whip the cream alone until it is stiff. Fold in the other ingredients and chill. The first version is to be served as a drink; the second is to be eaten as a dessert with spoons.

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Lavender Cake
This is a modern recipe.
For the cake:
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1- 3/4 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lavender leaves
For the glaze:
1/3 cup sifted icing sugar
1 teaspoon water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat granulated sugar, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla together until well-blended. Add egg and egg white, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stir well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in lavender. Pour the batter into an 8-inch greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. To prepare glaze, combine icing sugar and remaining ingredients. Spread over hot cake. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes before removing and cooling on a wire rack

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Honey Cakes
1 lb sifted flour
1/4 lb butter
2 Tbs. caster sugar
2 Tbs. honey
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 pt. (1 cup) milk
pinch salt
1 egg white
For the topping:
1/2 lb (1 cup) thick heather honey
3 Tbs. ground almonds
Rub the butter into the flour, and gently heat the sugar and honey until it is well mixed, then stir in the baking powder. Add this to the flour mixture, alternately with the egg yolks beaten with the milk. Mix very well, and finally add the salt and mix again. Roll out on a floured board very lightly and cut into rounds or shapes. Put on a greased baking sheet and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F) for about 20 minutes. Remove to a rack, paint the tops with lightly beaten egg white, and spread over the thick honey mixed with the ground almonds. Put in a very cool oven for no longer than 5 minutes to set. Eat either hot or cold.

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Fruit Tansy
Fruit tansy was a popular harvest dish that originated in the C14th. Initially it was made with eggs and herbs flavoured with tansy juice, but by the C17th had developed into a sweet pudding and the bitter tansy was omitted.
1 lb cooking apples or gooseberries
4 oz butter
2 fl oz water
4 oz granulated sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 dessertspoon orange juice
4 ox white breadcrumbs
Top & tail the gooseberries or peel, core and slice the apples. Melt the butter in a pan with the water and add the fruit and sugar. Simmer until soft and leave to cool. Gradually beat in the eggs, followed by the orange juice. Place the pan over a low heat and add the breadcrumbs, a few at a time, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens like custard. Serve at once with fresh cream.

Lozenges
Curd Cheese Pastries
8oz wholemeal or wholewheat shortcrust pastry
8 oz curd cheese
1oz very finely chopped stem or crystallized ginger or plump raisins
1/2 oz toasted and chopped pine nuts
sugar to taste
lemon juice to taste
Roll the pastry out very thin and cut it into small rectangles, 6 inches x 3 inches. Bake them in a moderately hot oven (190C, 375F, Gas Mark 5) for ten minutes or till they are crisp and brown. Remove them and cool on a rack. Meanwhile mix the curd cheese with the ginger or raisins, the pine nutes and the sugar and lemon to taste. Set aside. When you are ready to serve, sandwich together two pieces of pastry with the cheese mixture.

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Fenkel in Soppes
Braised Fennel with Ginger
This recipe comes from the Forme of Cury, a collection of 196 'receipts' copied by Richard II's scribes at his cooks' directions.
1 1/2 lb trimmed, fresh fennel root; cleaned and cut in matchsticks
8 oz onions, thickly sliced
1 heaped teaspoon of ground ginger
1 level teapsoon of powdered saffron
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoon olive oil
5 fl oz each dry white wine and water
6 thick slices of coarse wholewheat or wholemeal bread
Put the fennel in a wide, lidded pan with the onions. Sprinkle over the spices and salt, then the oil and finally pour over the liquids. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or till the fennel is cooked without being mushy. Stir once or twice during the cooking to make sure the spices get well distributed. Place one slice of bread on each warmed plate, cover it with the fennel and pour over the juices.

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Tart de Bry
A cheese tart
Another recipe from the Forme of Cury
174. Tart de Bry. Take a crust ynche depe in a trap. Take yolkes of ayren rawe & chese ruayn & medle it & þe yolkes togyder. Do þerto powdour gynger, sugur, safroun, and salt. Do it in a trap; bake it & serue it forth.
One nine-inch pie shell
Raw Egg Yolks
Cheese - semi-soft, but not so soft that it can't be grated
Ginger (powder)
Sugar
Saffron
Salt
Combine the final six ingredients - the mixture is essentially grated cheese held together with the egg yolk; the final consistency should be slightly runny. Place this filling in a pie shell and bake until the pastry is golden brown and the filling has set. "Chese ruayn," also called "rewen" or "rowen" in other Medieval sources, was Autumn cheese, made after the cattle had fed on the second growth. This was apparently a semi-soft cheese, but not as soft as a ripe modern Brie: one period recipe says to grate it.

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Sky-blue sauce for summer
Take some of the wild blackberries that grow in hedgerows and some thoroughly pounded almonds, with a little ginger. And moisten these things with verjuice and strain through a sieve.
1 quart blackberries
1/3 cup unblanched almonds
2/3 cup verjuice, or a mixture of two parts cider vinegar to one part water
1/4-inch slice ginger, peeled
salt
Puree the blackberries and strain the juice, pressing to extract as much liquid as possible. In a mortar, grind the almonds and ginger, then mix with the blackberry juice. Contact with the air will turn the mixture a dark blue. Add the verjuice and strain once more. Season with salt to taste.

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Humble Pie
A non-vegetarian pie, made with the parts of the boar Eomer refused.
To be authentic, this should be made with 'noumbles' or intestines from the deer. At one time the hero who had shot the deer would be awarded these delicacies and would have had them made into a pie. The 'noumbles' are dusted with seasoned flour, sauteed and then simmered in game broth. Cubebs and galingale and other 'strong' spices (poudre fort) are added. The mixture is put into a pastry case and baked in a savoury egg custard sauce.

From the Forme of Cury
XIII: Noumbles. Take noumble of Deer op of beef pboile hem kerf hem to dice. Take the self broth or butter, take brede and grynde with the broth and temp it up with a gode qutite of vyneg and wyne. Take the oynons and pboyle them and mynce hem smale and do th to color with blode and do th to powdo fort and salt and boyle it wele and sue it fort.

Take nombles (organ meat) of deer or of beef, parboil them and carve them to dice (small pieces). Take the sieved broth or butter, take bread and grind it with the broth and temper it with a good quantity of vinegar and wine. Take the onions and parboil them and mince them small and color them with (beef) blood and add 'powder fort' (strong powder) and salt and boil it well and serve it forth.

A modern recipe for 'powder fort': 1 part cloves, 1 part mace, 1 part crushed red pepper, 7 parts cinnamon, 7 parts ginger, 7 parts black pepper, all ground and blended.

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Rapes in Potage
Another recipe from the Forme of Cury
7. Take rapus and make hem clene, and waissh hem clene; quarter hem; perboile hem, take hem vp. Cast hem in a gode broth and seeþ hem; mynce oynouns and cast þerto safroun and salt, and messe it forth with powdour douce. In the self wise make of pastunakes and skyrwittes.
Note: rapes are turnips; pasternakes are parsnips or carrots; skirrets are a species of water parsnip.

1 lb turnips, carrots, or parsnips
1/2 lb onions
broth
6 threads saffron
salt
powder douce (4 parts sugar, 1 part cinnamon, 1 part ginger)

Wash, peel, and cut up the turnips, carrots or parsnips, and parboil for 10-15 minutes. Mince the onions. Drain the turnips, carrots, or parsnips and put them in a pot with the onions and broth. Bring to a boil. Crush saffron into a spoonful of broth and add with the other seasonings to potage. Cook for another 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the liquid is slightly reduced

Potage of Rice
From MS Harley 5401, England, 15th Century
Potage of Rice. Recipe rice, & pike þam & wash þam clene, & seth þam to þai breste; þan lat þam kele & cast þerto almond mylke, & do þerto a lityll porcyon of wyne, anoþer of hony, and colour it with saferon, & boyle it & serof it forth.

Potage of Rice. Recipe. Rice, & pick them & wash them clean, & boil them till they burst; then let them cool & add there-to almond milk, & do there-to a little portion of wine, another of honey, and color it with saffron, & boyle it & serve it forth.

Lavender Lemonade
1/4 cup fresh lavender blooms - stems removed before measuring
1 cup sugar
5 cups good-tasting water
1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
In a saucepan, mix the sugar with 2 1/2 cups of the water. Bring to a boil, stirring, to dissolve the sugar. Add the lavender to the hot sugar syrup, remove from heat, and allow to steep for at least 20 minutes - and up to several hours, as desired. Strain; discard solids. Add the lemon juice and the remaining 2 1/2 cups of water. Stir - the color will change. Chill, or serve over ice. Garnish, if desired with sprigs of fresh lavender.

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Elderflower champagne
50 elderflower heads
3 2lb bags of caster sugar
11 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
25 litres of cold water
11 large lemons
Pick the elderflowers when fully out and shake to remove insects. Place the flowers in a cloth bag, seal it and put it into the water with the sugar, vinegar, juice and zest from the lemons. Mix well, cover and stand for 72 hours. Bottle and leave for 2 weeks releasing the fizz every couple of days or the bottles will burst.

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Pear Cordial
A modern recipe.
3 fresh pears (or 6 dried pears)
2 cups sugar, dissolved in 1/2 cup water
1 orange
3 whole cloves
1/2 tsp. whole coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 whole peppercorn
2 cups vodka
Remove seeds and dice pears. Put in a glass jar along with spices and peel from 1 orange (avoid the white pith). Add vodka, cover, and leave for 2 weeks. Strain through cheese cloth and add sugar solution. Leave until clear.

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Herb Cordial
A modern recipe.
1/4 cup honey
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp. caraway seeds
1/2 tsp. whole cloves
2 sticks of cinnamon
2 1/2 cups 100-proof vodka
1 whole nutmeg, broken
7 cardamom pods, crushed
3 whole allspice
peel of 1/2 lemon
peel of 1/2 orange
1/2 vanilla bean, broken
Simmer all but vodka for 15 minutes. Cool. Pour into glass container along with vodka. Let stand 3 weeks. Strain through cheese cloth and leave until clear.

Gyngerbrede
Take a quart of hony, & sethe it, & skeme it clene; take Safroun, pouder Pepir, & þrow ther-on; take gratyd Brede, & make it so chargeaunt þat it wol be y-leched; þen take pouder Canelle, & straw þer-on y-now; þen make yt square, lyke as þou wolt leche it; take when þou lechyst hyt, an caste Box leaves a-bouyn, y-stkyd þer-on, on clowys. And if þou wolt haue it Red, coloure it with Saunderys y-now. Harleian MS. 279, England, 15th century. Take a quart of honey, & boil it, and skim it clean; take saffron, powder pepper, and throw thereon; take grated bread, & make (the mixture) so stiff that it can be sliced; then take powder cinnamon, & strew thereon enough; then make it square, like as thou wouldst slice it; take when thou slicest it, and cast box leaves over it, stuck thereon with cloves. And if thou wouldst have it red, colour it with sandalwood enough.

Take goode honey & clarifie it on the fere, & take fayre paynemayn or wastel brede & grate it, & caste it into the boylenge hony, & stere it will togydr faste with a sklse that bren not to the vessell. & thanne take it doun and put thein ginger, long pepere & saundres, & tempere it up with thin handel; & than put hem to a flatt boyste & strawetheron suger, & pick therin clowesround about by the egge and in themyudes yf it plece you &c.’

1 pint honey
15 oz breadcrumbs
5 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground sandalwood
cloves
Place honey in a small saucepan and bring to the boil on a low heat. Skim off the scum that forms on the top of the honey. Stir in the breadcrumbs then remove from the heat. Mix in the spices and place the mixture in a Swiss roll tin. Cut into pieces when cold and serve decorated with whole cloves.

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Peppered Almonds
A modern recipe.
¼ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons water
4 cups (1lb) whole almonds, unskinned
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons table salt

Preheat oven to 300F. Line one or two rimmed baking sheets with lightly buttered foil. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet on medium heat. Add the brown sugar and water and stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the almonds, pepper and salt. Cook at a fast bubble for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Spread nuts in a single layer on the baking sheet(s). Bake for 30 minutes or until the nuts turn a deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, then separate the nuts.

Roasted Chestnuts
Cut the chestnuts in half and discard any that are bad. Place the chestnut halves cut side up on a hot grill and roast for 45 to 50 minutes or until the shells have browned and the nuts slip easily from their shells. Sprinkle with salt if desired.

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Baked Apples
A modern recipe.
1 large cooking apple per person
Brown sugar
Butter
Water

Heat the oven to 400F. Wash the apples, remove the cores and, with a sharp knife, slit the skin all around the apple, just above the middle. Stand the apples in a baking dish. Fill the centre of each apple with brown sugar and top with a nut of butter. Put a little water in the dish and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes depending on the size of the apples. Test with a knife to make sure the centre of the apples is cooked. The centre of the apple may also be filled with sultanas and brown sugar; mincemeat; chopped dates; marmalade; raisins and honey; or chopped nuts and golden syrup.

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Rysshews of fruyt
Spiced rissoles of fruit.
Recipe from the Forme of Cury.
190. Rysshews of fruyt. Take fyges and raisouns; pyke hem and waisshe hem in wyne. Grynde hem wiþ apples and peeres ypared and ypiked clene. Do þerto gode powdours and hole spices; make balles þerof, frye in oile, and serue hem forth.
Figs
Raisins
Red wine - slightly sweet
Apples - peeled, cored, and diced
Pears - peeled, cored, and diced
Good powders - use spices appropriate for fruit: sugar, cinnamon, clove, mace, nutmeg, ginger, etc.
Whole spices - this would probably have been such spices as anise, grains of paradise, etc.
Soak the figs and raisins in wine until the fruit begins to plump; remove from wine. Pass the figs, raisins, apples, & pears through a food grinder. In a bowl, combine the fruits and the spices into a thick, malleable mixture; roll this mixture into small balls. Fry the rissoles in the hot oil; remove and drain.

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Wastels Yfarced
Toasted Stuffed Brown Rolls
Wastels were good quality loaves served to the gentry at a late medieval feast.
3 wholemeal or wholewheat brown rools, halved and with their crumb removed
2 oz butter
4 oz mushrooms, chopped roughly
4 oz cooked and very well drained leaf spinach, chopped roughly
2 oz raisins
salt, pepper, ground cinnamon, cloves to taste
1 large or 2 small eggs
Put halved rolls in moderately hot oven for about ten minutes or until they are lightly browned and crisp. Melt the butter in a pan and cook the mushrooms for a couple of minutes. Add the spinach and the raisins and continue to cook gently for several minutes, or till the butter has been almost absorbed by the vegetables. Season to taste with the salt, pepper, and spices. Beat the egg in a bowl, add to the vegetable mixture and cook it gently just long enough for the egg to slightly bind to the other ingredients. Pile the filling into the halved rolls and serve at once.

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Wassail
A modern recipe.
1 large orange
Whole cloves
3 quarts apple cider
1 quart apricot nectar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 cinnamon sticks
Insert cloves into the orange about 1/2" apart. Bake the orange in a 350° oven. After about 30 minutes, remove the orange and puncture it in several places with a fork. Place the orange and the remaining ingredients in a large pot and cover it. Bring it to a boil and simmer over low heat for another 30 minutes. Transfer to a heat-proof punch bowl. Float the orange and cinnamon sticks. Serve in heat-proof goblets.

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Pease pudding
8oz Dried Split Peas
½ pint Vegetable Stock
1 small Onion
1 Bouquet Garni
1 Egg
Salt & Black Pepper
Soak the peas. Drain and place in a pan with the halved onion, bouquet garni and 300 ml (1/2 pint) of vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for an hour or until tender. Stir occasionally, adding extra boiling water or stock as required. Puree the peas to produce a smooth paste, add the beaten egg and season. Place the puree into a greased and floured pudding cloth, tie it securely and boil for 1 hour.

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Porridge
Porridge was served with a separate bowl of double cream, or a spoonful of porridge (in a horn spoon) could be dipped into a communal bowl of cream before it was eaten. The porridge could also be poured into a "porridge drawer" and, once it had cooled, cut up into slices, which were easier to carry than brittle oatcakes.

Traditional recipe
Sufficient for two people
One pint water (some people use half water and half milk)
2 1/2 rounded tablespoons of medium-ground oats
Pinch of salt

Bring the water (or water and milk) to a good boil. Slowly pour the oatmeal into the boiling liquid, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon ALL the time. Keep stirring until it has returned to the boil, reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer very gently for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the salt at this point and simmer and stir for a further 5 - 10 minutes (depending on the quality of the oats). The porridge should be a thick but pourable. Serve hot in wooden bowls.

Modern recipe
4-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, apples, apricots)
1 dash ground nutmeg
1 dash ground mace
1 dash ground cinnamon

Bring water and fruit to a boil. Slowly add the oatmeal to boiling water while stirring. Reduce heat to low, cook, stirring frequently, 15 to 30 minutes. The longer the ingredients cook, the softer they will be. The porridge should be like a thick soup. Do not add milk at the table.

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Yuletide

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