“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”
― W.C. Fields
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.
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.
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.
I made the dough, cut it into adorable hearts, and filled it with my almond filling.
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:
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.
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.