Medieval Feast 2014
Sixth Course: Course of Cheeses
Seventh Course: Desserts: Mon-amy & honeycomb, Quince Pie, Taillés
The ending of the feast is both savory and sweet! We were all very full by the cheese course, so we served just a couple of hard cheeses with brown mustard and an assortment of crackers. One of the cheeses was a green herbed cheese (a Dutch brand), that had a very thick wax and was green all of the way through.
All three of the desserts (excepting the honeycomb, which we just thought would be a fun addition) came from a Dutch medieval cookbook. My favorite was the unhealthy but delicious Mon-amy. Apparently, there is a 15th century painting depicting Charlemagne eating this dessert (painted about 500 years after he died, but interesting nonetheless). Though it was not thick enough to slice when we made it, it was the consistency of a very thick custard, and still looked pretty decorated with delphinium flowers in the shape of a fleur-de-lis. The Taillés (a fig pudding) was very tasty; we cooked it on the stove until it was about the consistency of oatmeal, then pressed it into a Charlotte mold and chilled it in the fridge. It popped out of the tin nicely, and we served it at room temperature. For the quince pie, we used pears instead of quinces. The pie was delicious, though the dough was difficult to work with because we had to spread it very thin to cover a 9” pie plate. Here are the translated recipes:
- 1 cup of double cream or unsweetened whipping cream
- 1.1 pounds of quark (we substituted with ricotta)
- 6 tbs. cane sugar, some saffron, 0.11 pounds of butter
- 20 egg yolks
- (We also added vanilla extract)
Boil the double cream gently with the quark (which has been pressed to remove excess liquid). Add the sugar, saffron and butter. Then take off the heat and mix in 20 egg yolks that have been passed through a sieve and then mixed together. Make sure the mixture doesn’t cool too much, so the egg yolks won’t bind, but also don’t heat it too much, to prevent the egg yolks from cooking. Wait until this is as thick as a pudding, then cool and serve by cutting slices of it (about 3-4 per person) and decorate with violets (or other small flowers).
Quince Pie (makes one 9” pie)
- 3.3 pounds of quinces (could also be any other type of cooking pear)
- Red wine (to boil the quinces in, so depending on our preference, it could be sweeter or more sour)
- 0.11 pounds currants, 0.11 pounds raisins
- 0.22 pounds crushed, peeled almonds
- 0.11 pounds pine seeds (not pine nuts, so may be hard to obtain)
- 2 eggs
- Cane sugar, cloves, cinnamon, bonemarrow (note: we left this ingredient out, and the pie was just fine without it!), nutmeg, butter
- 0.44 pounds of all purpose flour
- 0.22 pounds butter
- 0.17 pounds of powdered sugar
- one egg, a pinch of salt
Make the dough for the crust which should be enough to both line the tin and make a lid; so we may need to adjust the recipe. Then boil the quinces in the wine for an hour (or until done). Then peel the quinces and grind them into a paste, expulsing excess liquid. Add currants, raisins, almonds and pine seeds. If we want, we can then add two eggs we’ve mixed together. Line the cake tin with the dough and sprinkle some cane sugar, cinnamon, cloves on the bottom. Then spread bonemarrow over it. Add the quince mixture, making sure it doesn’t pile up too high. On the top, add more cane sugar, cinnamon, some nutmeg and some clumps of butter, then add the lid. Put in the oven at a mild temperature and bake for 45 minutes or until done with bottom heat (we baked it at 350 F for probably 1/5 hours). Serve cold.
Taillés (serves 8)
- 0.55 pounds of dried figs
- 0.33 pounds of raisins
- 1 liter almond milk
- Crumbled crust of one small baguette
- Two crumbled eschaudés (choux pastry buns)
- Two crumbled galettes (similar to a thick pancake!)
- Saffron for color, cane sugar for taste
Boil all of the above together until it forms a thick pudding. Once it cools, it should be easy to cut.