Olde English Festival  XXV
Hosted by St. Batholomew’s Episcopal Church
September 8, 9 and 10, 2000
in Atlanta, GA

Medieval Chef Recipes by Nick Sasso (niccolo difrancesco)


12:00 pm Saturday : 14th and 15th Century Sweets
           Rissoles (fried fruit pastries)
           Flathonys  (sweet custard pie made with Ale)

4:00 pm Saturday:  Sauces of the Middle Ages
           Pomegranate Sauce (12 c. Persia)
           Mustard Sauce  (15th c. Italian)
           Black Pepper Sauce  (15th c. England)

1:00 pm Sunday: Meats and stews
           Egurdouce  (15th c. England)
           Pies of Parys  (15 c.)
           Lombard Pasties  (1393 Paris)

4:00 pm Sunday:  14th and 15th Century Sweets
           Rissoles (fried fruit pastries)
           Flathonys  (sweet custard pie made with Ale)

Cookbooks reference sources

Fruit Rissoles

Redaction by: Caitlin of Enniskillen (Catherine Hartley)
Serving Size: 12

1 apple                                   1 pear
1/4 cup raisin                          1/4 cup figs -- dried
1/2 cup walnuts                       1 tablespoon powder douce
1 teaspoon rice flour -- as needed (you can subst. corn starch if need to)
Pastry dough (see notes)

Roast apples and pears until cooked.  Core the apple. Mix the fruit together and add spices. Thicken with rice four if needed. Drop balls of filling into pastry dough and seal. Fry in oil at about 350 degrees until brown. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.

Yield: 12 pasties

Forme of Cury/Le Menagier de Paris

Primary Source:
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. (Forme of Cury recipe 190)

Translation: Take figs and raisins and pike them over and wash them in wine. Grind them up with peeled apples and pears that have been picked over. Add good powders and whole spices. Make into balls and fry in oil and serve them.

Rissoles au common: L'en es faits de figues, riosins, pommes hastees et noix peleees pour contrefaire le pignolat, et pouldre d'espices: et soit la paste tres bien ensaffraneee, puis soient frites enhuille. S'il y conveint lieure, amidon lie et ris aussi.

Translation: These are made of figs, raisins, roasted apples, and peeled walnuts to resemble pignolat, and spice powder; and the dough should be well flavored with saffron, then fried in oil. If they need thickening, starch will bind them so will rice.

NOTES: I have used pre-made wonton wrappers to make assembly quicker. I have also used phyllo pastry to wrap the filling in. They both work well. Also can use pie crust pastry rolled 1/8” thickness.  (These were a big hit!)

Per serving: 57 Calories (kcal); 3g Total Fat; (42% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; trace Sodium
Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates



Redaction by: niccolo difrancesco (Nick Sasso)
Serving Size: 8

1 cup milk                                      5 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar                                 1/2 cup dark ale or beer
1 teaspoon salt                                4 tablespoons unsalted butter -- melted
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar -- sprinkled on top (garnish)
1 pie crust  (9 inch)

Prebake pie shell, weighted, for 15 minutes at 425F.  Remove crust and reduce oven to 350 degrees F.

In saucepan, combine milk, sugar, ale and egg yolks.  Heat gently over medium heat, stirring constantly until steam begins to rise off the surface. Stir in salt and melted butter with whisk.  Pour into pie shell.
Bake 10 to 15 until top just sets.

Sprinkle sugar across top of tart and continue cooking until just set (it will continue to cook slightly after removing from the oven).

Serve warm (or at room temperature if necessary).

Yield: 1 pie

Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books

Per serving: 240 Calories (kcal); 16g Total Fat; (59% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 20g Carbohydrate; 153mg Cholesterol; 433mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 3 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates


Pomegranate Sauce

Redaction by: niccolo difrancesco (Nick Sasso)
Serving Size  : 1 tbsp


1/4 cup water                                   2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar                     1/4 teaspoon ginger -- ground
1 1/2 tablespoons almond -- ground
1/4 cup Pomegranate syrup (If you can't find the syrup at Middle Eastern Grocers: use juice, but boil a lot longer and omit the water)

Simmer these together in a small saucepan to blend and dissolve the sugar, about 15 to 20 minutes.

NOTES:  Simmer sauteed diced chicken or pork in this sauce for 15 minutes and serve over rice or couscous!!

  Libre del coch/The Original Mediterranean Cuisine by Barbara Santich

Primary Source:
Salçero Para Perdius O Gallines En Ast: Ametles belles e blanques e pcar-les has bé en un moter. E quant sien ben picades, destempra-les ab suc de magranes agres.  E aprés met in lo morter sucre polvorizat, canyella e gingembre, perqué la sua color e sabor vol tirar casi canyella. E no la cal passar per nengun cedáç.  E vet así tot fet.

Take fine white almonds and grind them well in a mortar.  And when they are well pounded, blend with the juice of sour pomegranates.  Then ass to the mortar powdered sugar, cinnamon, and ginger, because in the colour and flavour cinnamon should predominate.  And this sauce does not need to be strained.

Per serving: 164 Calories (kcal); 7g Total Fat; (36% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 25g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 5mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates


Red Mustard Sauce  (Sinapeum Rubeum)

Redaction by: niccolo difrancesco (Nick Sasso)
Serving Size: 1 tsp

1/2 cup mustard flour, yellow       3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup grape juice – white           2 tablespoons zante currants -- (raisins)
4 large dates – pitted                    1 toast slice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon                 salt -- to taste

Combine the two liquids and stir; set aside.

In mortar or food processor grind mustard flour, bread, raisins, dates and cinnamon until fine.  You may need to add a little of the liquid to loosen it. When ground, turn out into the mustard in large mixing bowl and add salt and add 3/4 of the liquid. Stir with a spoon or whisk until smooth.  Pass this mixture entirely through a fine mesh sieve. This will make a very smooth paste and remove fibrous material left from raisins and dates.

Let stand covered overnight.  Stir in more vinegar/juice liquid to desired consistency.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

  On Good Health and Right Pleasure, Platina translated by Milham

Primary Source:
Liber ovtavus, <14> :  Sinapeum Rubeum: Sinapum, passalas, sandalos, buccellas, pinas tostas, cinnami parum, seorsum autsimul conterito, vel molito.  Trita cum acresta aut aceto cum-que modico sapae dissolvito, in patinasque per setaceum transagito. Hoc minus praedicto concalefacit, ac sitim movet, nec incommode nutrit.

Book Eight, <14> Red Mustard sauce: Grind in mortar or mill, either separately or all together, mustard, raisins, dates, toasted bread, and a little cinnamon.  When it is ground, soak with verjuice or vinegar and a bit of must, and pass through a sieve into serving dishes.  This heats less than the one above and stimulates the thirst but does not nourish badly.

NOTES: This recipe is very strong after first made. It mellows with time.

Per serving: 275 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (3% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 71g Carbohydrate; trace Cholesterol; 142mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 3 Fruit; 0 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates


Black Pepper Sauce

Redaction by niccolo difrancesco (Nick Sasso)
Serving size 2 tablespoons

3 slices white bread, crusts removed          2 Tbl red wine vinegar
2 cups broth (or pan drippings + water)      1 tsp salt (to taste)
1 Tbl lard or olive oil                                 2 Tsp ground black pepper

When your roast is done and resting, pour off the drippings (deglaze pan with vinegar or broth) and add broth or water to top up to 2 ½ cups.  If on drippings, you can use canned or fresh broth.  Heat the lard or oil in a pan and fry the pieces of bread lightly until golden brown.  (You can use dried breadcrumbs instead – ½ cup) When done, transfer to stockpot and moisten with about 1/3 of the broth/liquid allow to soak for a few minutes.  Add remainder of broth and other ingredients.  Boil this sauce for 20 minutes or so.  The bread will dissolve gradually in the process.  Stir a break up pieces of bread with spoon.  You may want to blend this sauce, but it should be unneeded.

Yield: 3 cups

Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books

Primary source:
 Take brede and frye it in grece, draw it up wiþ broþe and vinegre; caste þereto poudre piper, and salt, sette on þe fire, boile it and melle it forþe

 Take bread and frye it in grease, moisten it with broth and vinegar; cast in powdered black pepper, and salt, set it on the fire, boil it, and serve it forth.


Egurdouce  (sweet and sour Pork/Lamb)

Redaction by niccolo difrancesco (Nick Sasso)
Serves 8 to 10

4 lbs lamb or pork in 1” cubes         1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbl Lard or oil                             ½ tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup zante currants or raisins      ½ tsp ground cinnamon
3 medium onions, chopped fine        ½ tsp black pepper
1 2/3 cup red wine
½ cup red wine vinegar

Heat lard or oil in pan and brown the meat.   When almost brown enough, add the currants.  Meanwhile, in pan, cover onions with water and bring just to the boil.  Drain and chop onions; add to meat.  Fry this all briefly.  In small saucepot, combine the wine, vinegar, sugar and spices.  Bring to a boil and add breadcrumbs and allow to thicken slightly, simmering 15 minutes.  Add sauce to meat and simmer covered for 30 minutes.

NOTES:  This recipes can also be used successfully with leftover roasted pork or lamb.  Simply cube the meat and braise in the sauce for 30 minutes.  It is a different dish, essentially, this way, but it is very close and quite good!)  Great with or over Saffron rice or even plain steamed rice.

Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books


Pies of Parys

 Redaction by: Caitlin of Enniskillen (Catherine Hartley)
 Serving Size: 20

 1 1/3 pounds ground beef 2/3 pound venison
 1 1/3 cups wine   1 1/3 cups broth
 1 egg    1 Egg Yolk
 2/3 teaspoon ginger  2/3 teaspoon salt
 2/3 teaspoon sugar  1/3 cup minced currants
 Pinch black pepper  Pinch clove -- ground

 Place wine, stock and Meat in pot. Bring to boil. Simmer for ten minutes.  Drain liquid and let cool.
 Beat egg and add some cool liquid. Add to stock.  Mix spices, stock and meat together and heat until
 thickened.  Add more egg if necessary.

 Fill pasties and bake at 350 - 400 for half an hour or until crust is done.

 Yield: 20 pasties

   Epilaurio, or an Italian Banquet…

 Primary Source:
 To Make pies of Veale, Capon, or any other flesh: To make Pies of Veale, Capon, Birds or any other
 fleshe. Take as much of the leanest part thereof as you think good, and mince it small, and take the
 suet, or fat of a calkf , mixed with the meat and spice it according to the common manner,that done,
 make your paste as you did fot teh pasties and bake then in an oven. And when they are baked, take
 the yols of two eggs, verjuice, a little saffron, and mix them with butter and water which pour into the
 pies. And if you cannot make the crust, then boil the meat so dress as aforesaid in a pan like a white
 pot, in such pies you may put one or two hens, capons, pigeons or any other fowles, either whole or

 Notes: I used other meat pie references from Two Fifteenth Century cookery books for some variation
 of flavors. (See Pies of Parys, among others...)

 Per serving: 132 Calories (kcal); 9g Total Fat; (67% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate;  65mg Cholesterol; 114mg Sodium
 Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates


Lombard Pasties

Redaction by niccolo difrancesco (Nick Sasso)
serves 6-8

2# boneless chicken breast       bacon or dried, cured ham
2 eggs, beaten                         lard
Verjuice or cider vinegar          flour
fine spice powder ¹                  ice cold water

As we do not enjoy eating whole chicks, I use boneless chicken breast.  Since the crust is so rich, a smaller pasty is sufficient.  Cut each breast in half and dip chicken pieces in egg wash made with eggs, a dash of verjuice/vinegar and a little spice powder.  Place these pieces in pastry made of lard, flour and water.  Place on each piece of chicken, a piece of lean bacon or dried ham Smithfield would be good as it seems it would approximate European bacon better).  Seal pastry together andBake until golden and chicken is cooked.

¹ FINE [SPICE] POWDER.  Take of white ginger and ounce and a dram, of selected cinnamon a quarter, of cloves and grains [of paradise] eash half a quarter of an ounce, and of lump sugar a quarter and reduce them to powder. (p. 298)

Yield: approximately 8 Pasties

(The Goodman of Paris c.1393; trans. Eileen Power)

Primary Source
ITEM in the Lombard manner when the chickens be plucked and prepared, take beaten eggs (to wit yolks and whites) with verjuice and spice powder and dip your chickens therein; then set them in the pasty with strip of bacon as above [large slices of bacon on the breast]


Cookery Books Sources:

Le Menagier de Paris, c. 1393 (The Goodman of Paris, circa 1393; translated by Eileen Power):  This is an actual surviving manual written by a loving Middle aged lesser noble in Paris for hos new 16 year old bride.  It contains everything he thought she would need to know to succeed in manging a busy manor/castle for the noble.  Written in medieval French.

Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books:  These are surviving manuscripts from c. 1435 London that contain elaborate menues for a duke's wedding feast, and some other elaborate feasts.  It also contains 300+ actual recipes from those menues. Written in Medieval English.

Forme of Curye: Another existing manuscript of recipes from late1300's to early 1400's England.  Written in medieval English.

On Good Health and Right Pleasure, Platina (translated by Milham):  A manual written in Medieval Latin by a physician in 1485 Italy about all manners of foods and cooking.  He includes hundreds of recipes by respected professional chefs of the times.

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