Frytour Blaunched: Medieval Almond Empanadas

“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”
― W.C. Fields

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This weekend I ate (dessert) like a king…or at least a very wealthy person from the 14th century. The dessert in question is called Frytour Blaunched, and the recipe comes from Forme of Cury, a collection of recipes assembled by the cooks of King Richard II around 1390.

ORIGINAL RECIPE:

Take almaundes blaunched, and grynde hem al to doust withouten eny lycour. Do þerto poudour of gyngeuer, sugur, and salt; do þise in a thynne foile. Close it þerinne fast, and frye it in oile; clarifie hony with wyne, & bake it þerwith.

For those of you not versed in 14th century English, Godecookery.com provides this translation:

Take almonds blanched, and grind them all to dust without any liquid. Do there-to powder of ginger, sugar, and salt; do this in a thin foil. Close it there-in fast, and fry it in oil; clarify honey with wine, & bake it there with.

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Sounds pretty simple, right? It is. But I still managed to mess it up. BIG TIME. That “thin foil” they refer to in the recipe. Well, that means pastry dough. Of course, I wanted to be historically accurate, so I scoured Gode Cookery and found a recipe for Paest Royall. This recipe was from a little later–1545–but it was medieval so I figured it would be fine.

Wrong…

I made the dough, cut it into adorable hearts, and filled it with my almond filling.

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At this point I was feeling pretty confident. The dough was easy. The filling tasted good. All that was left was to fry them up. So I tossed them in the oil, and this happened:

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Toxic Sludge. No problem. There was a reasonable explanation for this. I must not have sealed the dough well enough. A new pan of oil later–more sludge. At this point I was pretty sure the problem didn’t lie in my sealing abilities, so I did a test. I fried a scrap piece of dough with no filling in it. It dissolved in seconds. I gave it one last try swapping butter for oil and using a slightly lower heat. I’m not sure why I thought that would help, but I was desperate. No luck.

So I cheated…

Don’t judge me too harshly. I was running out of time and wanted to give you something, so I bought a pre-made pie crust. If it makes you feel any better, the filling is authentic, and crust probably doesn’t taste too far off. Anyway, I’m glad I did, because these things are delicious! Don’t believe me? Check out my kids reactions:

Out of the mouth of babes!

If you’re wondering what my daughter says with her mouth full of pastry, she says “tastes like chocolate,” which is her way of saying it tastes good. These don’t actually taste like chocolate.

Conclusion

These were delicious, and once I used the store bought crust, super easy to make. They were gone by the end of the day, and the kids have been bugging me for more ever since. A definite recommend! Keep scrolling down for the printable recipe with step-by-step instructions.

 

Frytour Blaunched: Medieval Almond Empanadas
Print Recipe
An almond filled pastry basted in honey and wine.
Servings Prep Time
8 large pastries 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 large pastries 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Frytour Blaunched: Medieval Almond Empanadas
Print Recipe
An almond filled pastry basted in honey and wine.
Servings Prep Time
8 large pastries 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 large pastries 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: large pastries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Process almonds in a food processor until finely ground.
  3. Combine ground almonds, sugar, ginger, and salt.
  4. Roll pastry dough to 1/8 inch on a floured surface.
  5. Using a cookie cutter, cut dough into whatever size and shape you would like your pastry to be. I chose large circles for simplicity's sake.
  6. Brush the edge of your pastry with egg white to help seal in the filling.
  7. Spoon filling into the center of dough, taking care to avoid the edges.
  8. Fold the dough into a semi-circle and use your fingers to crimp the edges. Make sure there are no gaps or your filling with fall out while cooking.
  9. Fry in hot oil until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes.
  10. Remove from oil and place on cookie sheet lined with paper towels to drain.
  11. Bring honey to a boil in a small saucepan and reduce heat. Skim off any scum that rises to the top. Add enough wine to thin the honey into a sauce.
  12. Place fried pastries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with honey sauce and bake for 5 minutes. Reapply honey sauce and bake an additional 5 minutes.
  13. Allow to cool and enjoy!
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4 thoughts on “Frytour Blaunched: Medieval Almond Empanadas

  1. I suppose *into* “the mouths of babes” is appropriate, too. All of this brings to mind an Arthurian Lit class I took, where a group of students brought in medieval fare, including a heady spiced wine (introduce to those tykes when they’re older, I suppose).

    Looks yummy!

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