The Stewpot Recipe Gallery
The Making of Furmente
Elaina de Sinistre
A Noble Boke off Cookry, 1467
To mak furmente tak whet and pik it clene and put it
in a mortair and bray it till it hull then wenowe it and wefshe it and
put it unto the pot and boile it till it breft then fett it down and play
it up with cow mylk till yt be enoughe alay it with youlks of eggs and
kep it that it byrn not, colour it with saffron do ther to fugar and falt
it and ferve it.
1 lb. of cracked wheat
A little less than 1 gallon of milk
sliced fresh fruit (optional -- peaches and strawberries work especially
raisins, currants, or other dried fruit (optional)
saffron or sandalwood for color (optional)
To make my furmente I use approximately one pound of
cracked wheat (which you can buy in the health food section of most grocery
stores) to a little less than a gallon of milk. Start by pouring
the milk in a large pot. Heat it over a low fire until it is quite
warm. Add 1 cup of honey, and then slowly add the cracked
wheat - stirring constantly. At this point the wheat will sit in
the bottom of the pot like sand. Keep stirring - this is the most
important part of making good furmente! If you don't stir
it constantly it will burn and/or the milk will boil. You want to
keep the milk at just below the boiling point, and the wheat fairly constantly
in motion. Furmente takes a long time to cook, so you may
want to recruit a back-up stirrer or two. Very slowly, the wheat
will begin to expand. Your furmente is done when you have
a solid porridge with no milk floating at the top.
Serve the furmente warm with sweetened cream and sliced fresh
fruit (peaches and strawberries work especially well), or you can add raisins,
currants, or other dried fruit to the furmente while it is cooking.
If you like, you could add a little saffron or sandalwood for color.
Number of Servings
At the recent Robin Hood Tourney, several of you were so good
as to complement the dessert served, and to ask that I publish the recipe.
The dessert was a furmente of wheat served with fresh fruit and
sweetened cream. Most period cookbooks make reference to a furmente
as either a sweetened or savory porridge of wheat or other grain.
There are recipes for furmentes with pork, with beef, with various
vegetables, and even with fish or porpoise, but I have too often seen savory
served at table and sent back to the kitchen uneaten - modern palates are
simply not ready for something that looks like oatmeal with a little fish
stew mixed in. However, sweet furmente is almost always well
The original recipe printed here is from A Noble Boke off Cookry.
It was first printed in 1467, but contains many earlier recipes -- some
of them identical to those published in The Form of Cury which was
compiled about 1390 by the cooks of Richard II's household.
Noble Boke off Cookry, 1467.
Date Of Redaction