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Pipefarces
by
Arwen Southernwood


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Original Recipe

Pipefarces

[Le Menagier de Paris (The Goodman of Paris), 1393]
PIPEFARCES. Take egg yolks and flour and salt, and a little wine, and beat together strongly, and cheese chopped in thin slices, and then roll the slices of cheese in the batter, and then fry in an iron skillet with oil in it. This can also be made using beef marrow. 


Redaction

Ingredients:

6 egg yolks
5 tablespoons white wine
1/2 cup unbleached flour
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lb cheese (recommended cheeses include provolone, mozzarella, muenster, farmer cheese, and brie)
vegetable oil for frying

Preparation Steps

Cut the cheese into sticks approximately 1/4" x 1/4" x 3".  If using brie, place it in the freezer for ten minutes before cutting to make it firmer and easier to cut.  Cover cheese to keep it from drying out, and set aside; if using brie, return it to the freezer until ready to cook.

Sift the flours and the salt together.  In another bowl, combine the egg yolks and white wine, and whisk together until well blended.  Gradually whisk in the flour mixture, whisking until well blended.  (If the mixture seems too thick, add a little more wine.)

Heat 1" of oil in a deep skillet, or use a deep fryer, filled with oil to the recommended level.  Dip the individual cheese sticks into the batter, then drop gently into the hot oil.  Fry until golden brown.  Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on layers of paper towel to drain.  Serve hot.

Yield

Approximately 36 cheese sticks.

Redaction Notes

The oil should be hot enough to sear the batter and keep the cheese from leaking out, but not so hot that the batter starts to burn before the cheese is melted through.

All of the cheeses listed above worked well with this recipe.  If the brie is not kept chilled, however, it is impossible to slice and dip in batter.

The batter was very thick and yellow, and I was afraid that with so much wine in it, it would have an unpleasant flavor.  However, the slight bitterness of the wine cooked out in the oil, leaving a crust that was pleasantly tasty.  At some point, I plan to try this recipe again using whole eggs rather than just egg yolks, to see if there is an appreciable difference.  Whole eggs would be more economical to use.

References

  • Anonymous, Le Menagier de Paris (The Goodman of Paris), 1393.  Translated by Janet Hinson, available online at http://www.best.com/~ddfr/Medieval/Cookbooks/ Menagier/Menagier.html. 

Date Of Redaction

April 21, 2002.


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