Section X - Feast For Crown Tourney

    Herbes de Provence Dressing
    Honey Poppy Seed Dressing
    Basic Sponge Dough Started
    Whole Wheat Bread
    Bread With Currants and Rosemary
    Honey Butter
    Herbed Cheese made with Creme Fresh
    Pastex nourroys
    Great Chine of Beef
    Oregue de pouchins - Orange Chicken
    Roast Onion Salad
    Ris Engoule - Rice
    Tartre de Massapan - Marzipan Tarts
    Petit Mestier - Honey Wafers
    Almond Paste Spread
    Emplumeies de Pomes - Almond Applesauce
    Whipped Cream with Honey



Course One - Salad
A Grand Salat with Divers Compounds;
Herbs de Provence Dressing;
Honey Poppy Seed Dressing

Course Two - Bread
Manchet and Assorted Breads;
Pastez nourroys (Norse Pies);
Sausage Slices;
Honey Butter; Herbed Cheese; Salts & Pepper

Course Three - Meat
Great Chine of Beef;
Orenque de pouchins (chicken in an orange sauce);
Roast Onion Salad; Ris Engoule (Rice)
Entrement - Dragons Eggs

Course Four - Sweets
Tartre de Massapan made with Petit Mestier, et oublies (Marzipan Tarts);
Cheeses; Fresh Fruits such as berries and cherries;
Emplumeies de Pomes (Almond Applesauce);
A Dysch of Snowe;

Here are the recipes and background information on the feast. I have presented the recipes in the quantities I used while developing them, which is good for small gatherings or home use.
The order in which tonight's meal will be presented will be in a period fashion.4 From 14th century menus from France we know that meals were generally presented in a prescribed order, grouping dishes in a specific manner.
They believed that there was a natural order in which the stomach and the body should receive food. To begin a meal one must open the digestive system by starting with fresh seasonal fruits and with salads dressed with salt, oil, and vinegar. Then the stomach would be ready to receive foods that required long cooking times. This is generally where the soups, potages and brouets would be served. Then came the roast or meats accompanied by various sauces.
The entrements were next. An entrement is more widely known as a soteltie or subtelty. In the second part of the Vatican Viandier there are instructions for making entremets out of tin, wood, cloth, and parchment. They include a tower with saracens, St. George and the Dragon, and St. Martha.2
And finally came the desserte and "issue de table" which literally means departure from the table, which included candied fruits, cheeses, sweets of all sorts and light cakes. These things eaten just before leaving table was intended to close the stomach once more, and allow it to cook the food in the digestive track.4
In the original concept for this feast, the idea was to present a fine period repast while staying with in a short timeframe, so there would be plenty of time for Court. So to that end I have prepared a feast of four courses to be served on platters.
This type of serving was called "service en confusion" because more then one dish would be presented on a platter. The meats are all cut; only in Hollywood will you find great hunks o'meat. It was impolite to make your guest work at table. Portion control was strictly enforced and pre-slicing everything allowed for easier management for the correct distribution of food.

Course One ~ The Salad Platter
The salad is based on one created by Robert May (1588-1665) in The Accomplisht Cook, called A Grand Salat with Divers Compounds. It has a basic salad mixture in the center of the platter along with meat and tarragon and is surrounded by mounds of ingredients that can be added to individual plates. Salads were highly popular, especially on non-meat fast days. Robert May was an Englishman who was trained in France and was sometimes criticized for trying to make English cooking French. But if there is one truth to period cooking it is that food traveled. Nobles brought their cooks where ever they went. They borrowed from local fare and found new ways of preparing dishes, new ingredients, and then gave the new dishes names that would reflect its origin, such as the French Manner...a Turkish dish of Mete...etc.
To make a grand Sallet of Divers Compounds -
Take a cold roast capon and cut it into thin slices square and small (or any other roast meat as chicken, mutton, veal, or neats tongue) mingle with it a little minced tarragon and an onion, then mince lettice as small as the capon, mingle all together, and lay it in the middle of a clean scoured dish. Then lay capers by themselves, olives by themselves, samphire by itself, broom buds, picked mushrooms, pickled oysters, lemon, orange, raisins, almonds, blue-figs, Virginia Potato, caperons, crucifix pease and the like, more or less, as occasion serves, lay them by themselves in the dish around the meat in partitions. Then garnish the dish sides with quarters of orange or lemons or in slices, oyl and vinegar, beaten together and poured on it over all. On fish days, a roast, broil'd or boil'd pike boned and being cold, sliced it as above said.
For my salad, since I am serving beef, chicken, and pork in other places, I have decided to use smoked turkey for the meat in this dish, along with fresh snips of tarragon. For the side ingredients I have chosen olives, raisins, almonds, figs and peas. "And the like" would seem to me to be an open invitation to add whatever was handy or seasonal, to that end I have also added carrots, cucumber, egg, pear, dates and dried apricots.
I was fresh out of neats tongue, which would have been either ox or calf's tongue. Samphire is an aromatic salty plant that can be eaten fresh or used for pickling, I am afraid that no one in our local grocery knew what I was asking about and attempts to find plants to grow it were unsuccessful. I have taken Crucific pease to be a specific type of pea and have used a common sweet pea in its place.
Salad Dressings The Second Part of the Good Hus-wives Jewel, Thomas Dawson, 1529, had 10 recipes for salads all with oil and vinegar dressings. Most period salads were dressed in this fashion, so the dressings I have chosen are basic oil and vinegar dressing with herbs or spices added to them.
The first dressing is Herbes de Provence Dressing is a combination of "traditionally" French herbs including lavender, added to vinegar and oil and I must confess that I just made this one up. The second dressing is a family recipe given to me by my Grandmother, which I changed to include honey instead of sugar. I love the flavor and it was requested by feasters who have dined with us before.

Herbes de Provence Dressing

2/3 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 cups of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon each of the dried herbs:
tarragon ½ teaspoon lavender
1 teaspoon salt
Combine all and shake or whisk well.
Honey Poppy Seed Dressing

1 1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup apple cidar vinegar
2 cups vegetable oil
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
Combine sugar, mustard, salt and vinegar.
Slowly add oil, beat until thick.
This can be done with a wire whisk.
Stir in poppy seeds.
If it separates, blend again just before serving.

Course Two ~ Breads

Breads were not included in most cookery books as the recipes were treasured secrets of the Bakers Guild. The Bakers Guild was one of the strongest in medieval Europe and a bakery would have been a well established business. There are still laws in France that require every town to have at least one bakery. The grains used in France for breads was primarily wheat, spelt, and rye. Barley and oats were also added sometimes, but were not mentioned often. The wealthy could afford a finely bolted bread called Paindemain which was made into individual loaves or large rolls. They also relied on the fermentation of dough as their leavening agent, which is more readily known today as Sourdough. We have some period recipes which resemble modern day bread recipes.
In the 15th Century there were books of etiquette and manuals of instruction to young men, 13 who would have been serving the tables, on the cutting and presenting of bread to table. This act was considered as important as the composition of the bread itself.10 I have choosen to serve Manchet's as individual rolls and then bake the rest of the breads as loaves, cut them into slices and so serve. We will not be cutting the breads at the table as this would take a great deal of time, and my goal is to have a short feast.
There were many names for bread; Payndemayn, paynmayn, pain de mayn, pain main, mayne, bread of mane, panem domincum which is latin for 'the Lords bread', pain mollet or 'soft bread' and pain benist meaning 'consecrated bread'. Pandemayne was the finest of the white breads made. The French word Pandemayne survives today as just Pain, the modern French word for bread. Manchet is the English version of this bread and it is a recipe that we do have, there are numerous recipes "To Make Manchet", The English Hus-wife by Gervase Markham (1615) and "Manchet", The Accomplisht Cook or the art and Mystery of Cookery, by Robert May (1660); "The Making of Fine Manchet" in The Good Huswife's Handmaide for the Kitchen (1594); and finally "Lady Arundel's Manchet" printed for the Countess of Kent, in A True Gentlewoman's Delight (1653).


4 cups or so of unbleached flour
1 teaspoon dry yeast (1/2 ounce)
1 level tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 ¼ cups of warmed milk and water mixed

Warm the flour in a low oven (200 degrees) for 7 to 10 minutes. Mix the yeast with a little of the warmed milk. Dissolve sugar into ½ cup of water, add milk to make up the rest of the 1 ¼ cups mixture. Add the yeast to the warmed milk, allow to rest a few minutes to work. Mix the milk and water mixture into the flour, stir it into a dough. Work in the butter. Dough should be light, but not so light that it is hard to handle. Form into a ball. Cover and let rise, which it should do in 45 minutes to 1 hour. Breakdown the dough and divide into 4 equal pieces and form into a bun shape. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise about another 30 minutes. Bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes. These will be served as rolls, one per dinner guest and as such I have made much smaller rolls then called for in the recipe.
Generally they have a deep cut in them across the top of the bun, but I decided to embellish them with herbs. Brush each roll with a mixture of 1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water. While the brushed area is still moist place fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley or small leaves of sage or other herbs on the rolls. Brush with more of the egg white mixture and bake as stated above.
On Bread. Platina pp. 13-14 (Book 1) "... Therefore I recommend to anyone who is a baker that he use flour from wheat meal, well ground and then passed through a fine sieve to sift it; then put it in a bread pan with warm water, to which has been added salt, after the manner of the people of Ferrari in Italy. After adding the right amount of leaven, keep it in a damp place if you can and let it rise. ... The bread should be well baked in an oven, and not on the same day; bread from fresh flour is most nourishing of all, and should be baked slowly."15
While making up the bread I tried to short cut the flour mixture and only use a premixed white wheat, which made the bread hard as a brick. Start with a good grade bread flour and if the breads are a little chewy (which is a quality I like) you can add more bread flour and less of the wheat and ryes.

Basic Sponge Dough Starter

1 level cup of bread flour
1 teaspoons sugar
1 pkg. dry yeast (about 2 ½ teaspoons)
¾ cup very warm water (120 to 130 degrees)

Mix all ingredients until well mixed. Place in a bowl, cover and allow it to work, 4 to 24 hours. I used this recipe because it did not take an incredibly long time to work and it gave as good a bread as the others. The original recipe had the starter working in the refridgerator, but we found when it was time to do the batches that the cold had killed a lot of the levening agents, so making the starter up in the evening and making up the bread the next morning seemed to work well.

Whole Wheat Bread

1 1/2 cup sponge dough starter
1 level cup whole wheat flour
2 1/4 cup warm water (120 to 130 degrees)
5 3/4 level cup white flour: 5 1/4 cup at first, 1/2 cup later
1 tablespoon salt

Put the sponge dough starter in a bowl. Add warm water and salt, mix. Add whole wheat flour, then white, 1 cup at a time, first stirring in with a wooden spoon and then kneading it in. Cover with a towel, set aside. Let rise overnight (16-20 hours). Turn out on a floured board, shape into two or three round loaves, working in another 1/2 cup or so of flour. Let rise again in a warm place for an hour. Bake at 350° about 50 minutes. Makes 2 loaves, about 8" across. This is a very solid loaf of bread, you might want to use more gluten to make it rise better. This bread is tricky and needs to be worked with until the mix is right, so if your first batch is hard as a brick, add more white flour and gluten.

Bread with Currants and Rosemary

1 level cup bread flour
1 level cup whole wheat flour
1 recipe of the Basic Sponge Dough Starter
½ cup rye flour
¼ cup regular oats
¾ cup water
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ cup currants
2 tablespoons bread flour
2 tablespoons dried rosemary

Combine bread flour, whole wheat flour to the starter. Add rye flour, oats, water and salt. Mix until it forms a dough. Then knead for about 5 minutes by hand. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the currants, the 2 tablespoons of flour and the rosemary. Shape into a round loaf and place on a greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Make a deep tic-tac-toe cut into the top of the bread with a sharp knife. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until the loaf makes a hallow sound when thumped. Remove from pan, cool on a rack. If you want the crust to be crustier (as most French breads are) you can spritz your oven with water to make a moist oven, which is what will give you a harder crust. Baking on a pizza stone or in stoneware will also give it a more period character.

Honey Butter

Whip spun honey or sugared down honey into butter. I like a 1/3 honey to 1butter ratio. Spun honey is more expensive, but it has the added advantage of having a bit of the wax still intact and makes it easier to incorporate, and it stays incorporated longer. Sugared down honey is honey that is thickened on its own, leave your honey untouched a year or so and that's what you get. Regular honey seems to seep out of the mixture and down one's fingers. Which is not totally unpleasant, if you have the right dinner partner...but I digress. There aren't any period recipes for honey butter that I have found. However, it seems to be a staple of SCA feast and I would not presume to leave it off the menu.

Herbed Cheese made with Crème Fresh

Mix 3 parts cream cheese, 1 part cottage cheese, and some butter milk together with fresh snippets of thyme, sage, flat leaf parsley, chives, and rosemary. This is to taste, you can also use dried herbs, but it just isn't as good. You should try to make this the night before or at the very least early in the morning so that the herbs and cheese have a bit of time to meld flavors and become thicker. Crème Fresh is milk that has been combined with buttermilk and allowed to sour and thicken a bit.

Pastex nourroys
I choose pork meat, because it isn't in any other dish and the recipe did not specify a meat. The pine-nut paste I made by grinding the pine nuts until they formed a paste. Pine nuts are naturally very oily, and the oil created a good paste, without having to add any other ingredients. I choose to use a feta cheese and raw sugar, so you might notice a slight molasses flavor to the pie. I would assume that the Pinenut paste was to hold the mixture together, but with the large price of pinenuts I probably have not used enough of them. In the test pies, the filling was very crumbly. To help hold it together I added some of the broth from the boiled meat.
Pastex nourroys1: Norse Pies. Take finely chopped well-cooked meat, pine-nut paste, currants, finely crumbled rich cheese, a little sugar and very little salt.
2 cups of finely chopped cooked, pork roast
1/3 cup pine nut paste
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons of raw sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Broth to make it stick (you might thicken this with some rice flour or bread crumbs) Mix all of the ingredients and place into pastry shell, and crimp the edges. Bake at 350 degrees until they are browned 30-40 minutes.
For the piecrust I turned to one of my favorite crust recipe, given by Thomas Dawson8. I made the crust with white wheat flour to approximate the fine ground wheat flour used in France during the 14th Century. I know that the original recipe did not have salt, but I wanted the pie crust to rise a bit. Salt would have been a period leavening agent.
To Make Fine Paste. Take faire flower and wheat, & the yolkes of egges with sweet butter, melted, mixing all these together with your hands, til it be brought down paste, & then make your coffins whether it be for pyes or tartes, then you may put saffron and suger if you wil have it a sweet paste, having respect to the true seasoning some use to put to their paste Beefe or Mutton broth, and some Creame.
2 cups white wheat flour
2 egg yolks
½ cup of melted butter
2 to 3 Tablespoon milk (in place of cream)
½ teaspoon salt
Make up the crust dough. The softer the dough the better the crust. Roll it out, form tarts or pies, bake as appropriate to pie or tart recipe.

Course Three ~ Meats

Great Chine of Beef

In Menagier the general method of preparing beef is to scald it and then roast it. For "Shin of Beef" the pieces are sliced, sandwiched between slices of marrow, wrapped in layers of fat before it is spitted and roasted over a fire, all the while basting with butter. It was then served a la croque-au-sel or "with crunchy salt". By the time that Robert May wrote "To Roast a Chine of Beef" he had included several methods for roast in the same recipe.
To Roast a Chine of Beef 12: Draw [it] with parsley, rosemary, tyme, sweet marjoram, sage, winter savory or lemon, or plain without any of them, fresh or salt, as you please; broach it, or spit it, roast it and baste it with butter; a good chine of beef will ask six hours roasting. For the sauce take strait tops of rosemary, sage leaves, picked parsley, tyme, and sweet marjoram; and stew them in wine vinegar, and the beef gravy; or otherways with gravy and juice of oranges and lemons. Sometimes for a change in saucers of vinegar and pepper.
This recipe left a great deal up to the cook. Use herbs, don't use herbs, make a sauce with the gravy, don't make a sauce. I used freshly dried herbs. They are easier to rub into a roast, but still have a lot of oil left in them. To that end I have redacted the following recipe.
2 lb. roast
1 teaspoon of each of the dried herbs,
sweet marjoram,
winter savory
freshly cracked pepper
Rub the roast with the oil, I used olive oil, and then rub the mixed herbs so that the surface is well encrusted with them. I put a little water in the bottom of the roasting pan and covered the pan before baking. One clue to this type of roast is the slow cooking of it. May suggest that you can't do this under six hours, but I did not really want to use that much time, so I roasted mine at 325 degrees for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I basted with melted butter when it was done. For the sauce I made a gravy from the beef drippings. Also, some of the beef dripping went into the rice dish (see below). I had allowed some of the herbs to remain in the gravy, which was then thinned with about 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar. Cook down until it is thick again. Arrange slices of the meat on a platter, sprinkle with "crunchy salt" and ladle on the gravy.

Oregue de pouchins
Chicken in Orange Sauce

No, this is not Chicken La'Orange, but it could be its predecessor. Oranges as we know them were not available in France until the 17th century. The oranges referred to here are very, very tart. When I made this recipe with tart oranges, it was to sour for my taste. The verjuice and white wine also add to the over all sourness. If you want to see what it tasted like in period; substitute ½ cup of white grape juice and ½ cup of white wine for the Orange Juice in the recipe below. Also, since I was working with a bone dry site, I tried the recipe with white wine vinegar, and again I was disappointed with the flavor. In place of the wine I have used orange juice mixed with chicken broth. What I have finally come up with is a personal preferrence. I have tried to retain the idea of the dish, while making it appetizing to the modern feaster.
I added orange sections as a garnish. I opted for chicken breast only, with an eye for value/cost. It is simply easier to do portion control when you buy this way, portion control was very important in the middle ages, where resources were limited and hungry mouths were numerous.
Oregue de pouchins - Et pour l'orengue de pouchins, ou de perdris ou de pigions, prenes, les orenges et les copes en vergus blanc et vin blanc, et mettes boullir, et du gingembre au boullir, et mettes vous chozes dedens boullir.6
I found my translation in Plyne Delight #82, which is not the same source I found the French version. SO...all you French major's out there see if they match up. "Take the oranges and slice them in white verjuice and white wine, and put them to boil and put in ginger and put your poultry to cook in this."
I browned my chicken breast in butter before putting it into the roasting pan. This practice is apparent in other period recipes, so I have borrowed from other recipes. Chicken breast plain are not very appetizing, they look better browned. Then I poured orange juice mixed with chicken broth over it, (2 parts juice to 1 part broth). Sprinkled with powdered ginger and baked at 350 degrees for about an hour. The left over juices in the pan can be thickened for a very nice gravy or sauce. Garnish with orange sections.

Roast Onion Salad

Roast Onion Salad 4 Of onion salad. Take onions; cook them in the embers, then peel them and cut them across into longish, thin slices; add a little vinegar, salt, oil and spices and serve. (Za 90)
This recipe is a great accompaniment to meats and I have added it to my meat platter for its succulent and sweet flavors. I did not alas, cook the onions in embers as I do not have a large fireplace in which to cook. Ember cooking is a slow process and for that reason I decided to bake these very slowly with the oil and vinegar. This recipe is based on ½ onion per person and as such will serve twelve people. What I did for the feast was 3 onions per 8 people, or 80 onions/40 lbs of onions. That's a lot of onions. I have used a Basalmic Vinegar, which has been aged. A mixture of red and sweet onions was used to make it colorful as well as tasty. Onions should be about a half pound each.
6 medium onions, peeled and cut into wedges (six to eight wedges per onion)
I used sweet onions, red vadalia, etc. Use a mixture of onions for a more interesting flavor.
1/3 cup Olive oil
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
½ teaspoon Fine Spices (see recipe below)
½ teaspoon salt

Cut the onions into wedges, and place into a stone or glass baking dish. Toss the wedges with the oil, vinegar, salt and spices. Cover and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Arrange on the serving platter with your meats.
Fine spices for all foods.4 Take an onza of pepper and one of cinnamon and one of ginger and a half quarter (onza) of cloves and a quarter of saffron.
A very straightforward formula, even if the measurement of onza is undetermined, a one for one ratio seems to work. You can make up a batch and use on meats, in soups, etc. 1 teaspoon each of pepper, cinnamon, ginger, finely ground 1/8 teaspoon of cloves, ground ¼ teaspoon of saffron, powdered

Ris Engoule

For the Rice I looked at two recipes. The first was from The Viandier and the second was Meniger. Both recipes were really close, except one of them did not use milk. I have tried both versions and like the second version the best. The milk version turned rather sticky and had a pasty after taste. Generally this is indicative of being under or over cooked, but in this case I think it was because of the milk. The beef broth only version had a better consistency and didn't have a pasty aftertaste.
There were attempts to grow rice in Europe, and at the end of the 13th century the Visconti dukes of Milan, took an interest in doing so. Their successors brought rice to the Po delta and prospered, in spite of the outbreaks of malaria among the workers. Henri IV tried to start a similar project in the Rhone delta, 15th Century. But with his death and the under enthusiasm of the peasantry who did not relish the thought of dying of malaria, the project did not continue. I have chosen to use Jasmine Rice, which is native to the Mediterranean area. Rice was not uncommon in Provence, and there are several recipes that call for it to be cooked in milk and served as a porridge.5
The rice that I used was not instant, but it wasn't in need of culling or soaking either. The redacted recipe given by Scully added extra butter, which I found to be unnecessary if I did not skim the fat from the beef broth. There wasn't much of a concern about cholesterol in the Middle Ages. If you intend to use this recipe at home, I recommend leaving out the greasy beef broth and use a fat reduced beef broth, it is much healthier.
The Viandier Ris Engoule1 Fancy Rice for Meat Days. Cull the rice and wash it thoroughly in hot water and set it to dry by the fire, then cook it in simmering cow's milk; then add ground saffron infused in your milk to lend it a russet colour, and greasy beef broth from the pot. (The recipe I did not use).
The Goodman of Paris Ris Engoule3: Savory Rice for a meat day. Peel it and wash it in two or three lots of cold water until the water be quite clear, then half cook it, run off the puree and sit it on flat trenchers to dry before the fire; then cook it until it is very thick with beef drippings and saffron if it be a meat day.
1 ½ cups of rice
3 cups of beef broth with drippings
½ teaspoon saffron ground fine in a morter.
Bring the broth to boil, add rice and saffron. Simmer until the rice is done. If you intend to make this for a feast, make it in small batches or it will scorch.

Course Four ~ Sweets

Tartre de Massapan

2 Marzipan Tarts
The original of this recipe was in French and I had a friend of mine help in its translation, and I relied heavily on the redacted version given. It is basically a wafer or crisp (a very popular cookie in the Middle Ages) which has had marzipan paste spread over it, baked, then iced and baked again. The recipe for the wafers or petit mestier follows.
Tartre de massapan -

Prenes des amandes plumees bien nettes une livre, faites les piller fort dens un mortier de marbre avec demi livre de succre de Madere: et quand le tout sera tresbien piste ensemble, vous y mettres un peu de l'eau rose, en less pillant, pour cause qu'elles ne rendent huylle: et quand elles seront tresbien pistees, vous en geres de petites tourteaulx, ou de petites tartlettes toutes rondes estendues dessus des olies: et que soient primes: et pourres faire de petites quadratures... sus les dites oblies: et puis les feres cuire au four. Et quand elles seront demy cuites au four, vous aures du succre en poulre, et le pasteres avec blancz d'oeufs, peu de suc des orenges: et feres qu'il sera fort liquide: et guand la tartre sera presque du tout cuite, vous la sortires du four, et avec une plume luy mettres par dessus de ce succre liquefe: et puis retourneres la tartre dens le four tant seulemnet pour prendre couleur: et quand serv cuite, la trouveres avoir un goust for delectable et savoreux: car quand il y a du succre en plus grande quantite, la rend pasteuse, et fascheuse a manger, et en est moins delectable. Michel de Nostradamus, Excellent et moult utile opuscule a touts neccessaire (1555).

Petit Mestier - Honey Wafers

8 oz flour
a pinch of salt
4 oz butter
1 ounce of double cream (I always use milk)
2 tablespoons honey

Rub the butter into the salt and flour. Add the honey and cream and work the dry ingredients into the cream and honey until the mixture holds together. Then roll the mixture into small balls. Ready the wafer irons and place one of the balls in the iron. This is a 15th Century recipe adapted from Ayrton's Cookery of England.

Almond Paste Spread:

Make a normal batch of almond paste, but do not put in as much sugar as you normally do. Thin it with water until it is about the consistency of soft cream cheese. You can start with store bought almond paste and simply add water, it works well too, but doesn't have those little bits of almond that homemade almond paste has.
To make the icing: Beat 1 egg white with a whisk until it is slightly foamy and then stir in 2 tablespoons of sugar and the juice and grated rind of half an orange.
To assemble the tarts: Spread each wafer with the thinned almond paste, making it a very thin layer. Spread to the edges of the wafer. The redacted recipe has you mark the marzipan with a squared pattern but doesn't really describe it other then that. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 4 to 5 minutes. Spread immediately with the frosting, I used a brush, return to oven and bake about minute or two until the surface is dry. Cool on a wire rack. These may be pre-cooked and then frozen, which makes them very chewy.

Emplumeies de Pomes (Almond Applesauce)

This recipe6 is actually supposed to be made for invalids or people who are feeling under the weather. Sugar in this case was added because it was thought to be medicinal. It goes very well with fresh fruits and honeyed whipped cream.
6 apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
2 cups of water
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup finely ground almonds
1 cup of sugar

Put apples, water and salt on the fire to boil, when the apples start to be done add the almonds and allow to boil until it thickens. Add the sugar. It may be served hot or cold, but I recommend that you allow it to mellow over night as the almond flavor becomes more noticeable.
In A Proper Newe Booke of Cokerye (Cambridge manuscript c. 1560), there is a delightful recipe called A Dyschefull of Snowe. Basically it is whipped cream made with cream, rosewater, sugar, rosemary and egg whites. They are served with wafers much like the ones that you have for the Tartre de Massapan. They cut a stick into a whisk and beat the cream until it "ryseth." Because this recipe was flavored with rosemary and I already have so much of that herb in this feast I decided to present a simpler whipped cream.

< a name="whipped">Whipped Cream with Honey

1 pint heavy cream, whipped
1 tablespoon honey

In a chilled mixing bowl, whip heavy cream with a whisk until stiff. Gently fold the honey into the whipped cream. Try this recipe with different flavors of honey, its wonderful.


Shortbreads are fairly old in origin with a basic cookie made from flour, sugar and butter. One shortbread recipe originated in Shrewbery; these cakes are mentioned in 1561 in the bailiffs accounts as having cost the town two shillings when the town council presented Lord Stafford with "a dossen of fyen kakys." The Shrewsberry Cake recipe was written down by John Murrell in A Delightfull Daily Exercise for Ladies and Gentle Women. The shortbreads are shaped like a flur-de-lis and tinted with food coloring red and gold.
The other cookie is a gingerbread. Gingerbread was a very popular substance in the Middle Ages. Queen Elisabeth I had a baker whose only job was to create the likeness of her guest in gingerbread.


1 ¼ cups flour
3 tablespoons of sugar
½ cup of butter

In a mixing bowl combine sugar and flour, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs and begins to cling. Form into a ball and knead until smooth. Divide dough in half, color one half red and one half yellow. Chill dough and then roll out about 1/8 inch thick and cut with fluer de leis cutter. They will be thinner then normal shortbreads. Place on baking sheet bake at 325 degrees for about 8 to 10 minutes, check them often to make sure they are not burning. They won't take as long as normal shortbreads


These are small round gingersnap type cookies

1 cup butter
1 ½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
¾ teaspoon cloves
2 ½ cup flour

Cream butter, sugar, molasses. Beat in the egg. Stir in soda and spices. Stir in the flour. Drop by rounded teaspoon on to cookie sheet and press down a little. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes. Remove from pan, let rest 1 minute. Cool on a towel. I need 250 cookies Put into ziplock bags and either freeze or bring to me to freeze.
To round out the dessert platter I have added cheese slices that are cut in the shape of leaves and fresh berries. I hope that you have enjoyed this simple repast and that you will visit Dark River and my feast again.


1. :    The Viandier of Taillevent, Edited by Terence Scully, University of Ottawa Press.
2. :    Savoring the Past, the French Kitchen and Table from 1300 to 1789, Barbara Ketcham Wheaton, Scribner Pub.
3. :    Living and Dining in Medieval Paris, the Household of a Fourteenth-Century Knight, Nicole Crossley-Holland, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 1996.
4. :    The Medieval Kitchen, Recipes from France and Italy by Odile Redon, Francoise Sabban, & Silvano Serventi - translated by Edward Schneider 1998,
5. :    History of Food by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat.
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10. :    English Bread and Yeast Cookery
11. :    The Blessings of Bread
12. :    Dining with William Shakespeare
13. :    The Northumberland Household Book; the regulations and establishment of the house hold of Henry Algernon Percy, 1512.
14. :    The Accomplisht Cook, Or the Art and Mystery of Cookery, Robert May, (1660)
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