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Pommes Dorres: An edible subtlety
Maredudd Angharad ferch Gwenhyfar

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Original Recipe

Pomme dorres

Harleian MS. 279 - Leche Vyaundez
xix. Pomme dorres. Take fylettys of Raw porke, & grynd hem wyl; do Salt and pouder Pepir ther-to; than take the Whyte of the Eyroun and throw ther-to, & make hem so hard that they mow ben Rosted on a Spete; make hem round as an Appil: make fyre with-owte smoke; then take Almaunde mylke, and y-bontyd flour, do hem to-gederys take Sugre, & putte in thin bature; then dore hem with sum grene thing, percely or yolks of Eyroun, to-geder, that they ben grene; & be wyl war that that they be nowt Browne; & sum men boyle hem in freysshe broth or they be spetid; & whan they ben so boylid, then they must ben sette an kelid, than Spete hem, & dore hem with the yolkys of Eyroun y-mengyd with the Ius of haselle leuys. 
Translation:  19. Pome dorres.  Take Fillets of Raw pork, & grind them well; put Salt and powdered Pepper thereto; the take the White of the Egg and throw thereto, & make them so hard that they might be Roasted on a Spit; make them round as an Apple: make fire without smoke; then take Almond milk, & sifted flour, put them together; take Sugar, & put in thine batter; then glaze them with some green thing, parsley or yolks or Egg, together, that they are green; & be well aware that they are not Brown; & some men boil them in fresh broth before they are spitted; & when they are so boiled, then they must be set and cooled, & then Spit them, & glaze then with the yolks of Eggs mixed with the juice of hazel leaves. (Renfrow. vol. one.)


Harleian MS. 279 – Leche Vyaundez

xxiij. Pome-Garnez. Take lene Raw Pork, & lene raw Flesshe of hennys, & raw eyroun, & rent the flesshe fro the bonys, & hew it smal; take thanne Salt, Gyngere, & Safroun, Salt, Galyngale, ther-of y-now, & caste it in a morter, & bray it smal; take than thin fleysshe, & caste it in-to that morter to the Spycery, & that it wyl y-grounde; thanne make ther-of pelettys, as it were Applys, be-twene thin hondys; loke thou haue  fayre panne sething ouere the fyre, & do ther-on thin pelettys, & late hem nowt sethe to swythe, & than lat hem kele; & whan they ben cold, gif hem a fayre spete of haselle, & be-twyn euery, loke ther be an ynche, & lay hem to the fyre: & than make thin baturys, the on grene, & that other yelow; the grene of Percely.

Translation:  23. Pome-Garnez. Take lean Raw Pork, & lean raw Flesh of hens, & raw eggs, & rend the flesh from the bones, & hew it small; take then Salt, Ginger, & Saffron, Salt, Galingale, thereof enough, & cast it in a mortar, & bray it small; take then thine flesh, & cast it into that mortar to the Spicery, & that it is well ground; then make therof pellets, as it were Apples , between thine hands; look thou have a fair pan seething over the fire, & put theron thine pellets, & let them not seethe too quickly, & when they are cold, give them a fair spit of hazel, and between every, look there be an inch, & lay them to the fire: & then make thine batters, the one green, & that other yellow; the green of Parsley. (Renfrow. vol. one.)


Harleian MS. 279 – Potage Dyvers

Cxxxviij. Pumpes. Take an sethe a gode gobet of Porke, & nogt to lene, as tendyr as thou may; than take hem vppe & choppe hem as smal as thou may; than take clowes & Maces, & choppe forth with-alle, & Also choppe forth with Roysonys of coraunce; than take hem & rolle hem as round as thou may, lyke to smale pelettys, a .ij. inches a-bowte, than ley hem on a dysshe be hem selue; than make a gode Almaunde mylke, & a lye it with floure of Rys, & lat it boyle wyl, but loke that it be clene rennyng; & at the dressoure, ley .v. pompys in a dysshe, & pore thin potage ther-on. An gif thou wolt, sette on euery pompe a flos campy flour, & a boue straw on Sugre y-now, & Maces: & serue hem forth. And sum men make the pellettys of vele or Beeff, but porke ys beste & fayrest. 

Translation:  138. Meatballs. Take and seethe a good gobbet of Pork, & not to lean, as tender as thou may; than take them up & chop them as small as thou may; than take cloves & Maces, & chop forth withal, & Also chop forth with Raisins of Corinth; then take them & roll them as round as thou may, like to small pellets, at two inches round, than lay them on a dish by themselves; then make a good Almond milk, & and mix it with flour of Rice, & let it boil well, but look that it be clean running; & at the dresser, lay five meatballs in a dish, & pour thine pottage thereon. An if thou wilt, set on every meatball a field flower, & above strew on Suger enough, & Maces: & serve them forth. And some men make the pellets of veal or Beef, but pork is best & fairest. (Renfrow. vol. two.)



Almond milk:
1 ½ c ground almonds (raw, skins on)
2 T dark brown sugar
4 c. hot water
2 ½ lb. bone-in pork chops or about 2 lb. dark meat chicken, or a combination
2 egg whites
½ t. salt
½ t. freshly ground pepper
1 t. ground cloves
1 t. ground mace
2 t. cinnamon
½ c currants (optional)
6 c broth or water

Parsley juice:
1 bunch parsley 
½ cup (approx.) water

Green Batter:
¼ c parsley juice
¼ c almond milk
2 egg yolks
½ c flour

Yellow Batter:
½ c. almond milk
2 egg yolks
½ c flour
1/8 t. ground saffron

Preparation Steps

  1. Make almond milk.  Grind almond meats to equal 1 ½ cups. Raw almonds in their skins improve the flavor. Place almonds in a heat-proof dish. Heat 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar and two cups water to boiling. Pour boiling water over ground almonds. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes or longer. Strain through four layers of cheesecloth; gather the corners up and squeeze the almonds to remove as much liquid as possible.  Return almonds to dish; repeat process with remaining water and brown sugar. 
  2. Make meatballs.  Bone and remove excess fat from the chops. Rinse the fillets to remove any remaining bone fragments. Cut into 2” strips; chop in food processor until fine. Transfer to a large bowl. Add egg whites, salt, spices and currants. Mix well, until the egg white is fully incorporated; the mixture will become less slimy. 

  3. Form into 2” balls. Drop balls into boiling broth or water. Be sure that the meatballs have plenty of room; they should not touch while cooking. Parboil for 20 minutes, to insure that they are cooked through. Remove from the boiling liquid. Refrigerate until cold. 
  4. Make parsley juice.  Rinse parsley well. Place entire bunch in food processor with ¼ cup water. Process until liquefied. Add more water if necessary to facilitate processing. Strain through four layers of cheesecloth, squeezing the ground parsley like you did the almonds. 
  5. Make batters for endoring.  Whisk together all ingredients. Freeze the rest of the parsley juice for future use.
  6. Endore the meatballs.  Skewer the cold meatballs about one inch apart on metal skewers. Suspend the skewered meatballs over a constant heat source such as a tabletop electric grill. Using a feather pastry brush, apply a thin layer of batter all around each meatball. Turn the skewers frequently; cook until the endoring is dry, but do not brown. Apply another layer of batter and cook as before. Build and sculpt areas to achieve the appearance of apples, lemons or pears. Repeat the process until the Pommes are smooth and solid in color and texture. Carefully remove the Pommes from the skewers and arrange on a serving plate. Sliced or wedges make a nice presentation. Garnish as you wish. 

Number of Servings

12 - 16.

Serving Size

One 2-oz. meatball.

Redaction Notes

These Pommes Dorres are based upon three recipes from the Harleian MS 279 (c. 1420) that have been published by Cindy Renfrow. Although the primary recipe is xix. Pomme Dorres, three recipes were combined to provide a combination of flavors which would be flavorful, and to achieve the goal of a beautiful and tasty spectacle food product. Comparison with similar recipes indicates that, as usual, considerable leeway is available to the cook in making such meatballs. (Hieatt, no. 28)

Subtleties or entremets began primarily as mere fillers in the middle of a meal. They were literally presented ‘between’ the ‘services’ and were generally simple foods designed to create a pause so that the diner’s palate not become jaded with a surfeit of delight and so that the dishes coming in the subsequent course(s) might be appreciated all the more (Scully p. 104). Beginning as a simple food, the dishes were first identified as entrements in Viander in about 1300. As time went on, cooks began to experiment with unusual colors and forms, such as a checkerboard pattern, perhaps with multiple textures and appearances. (Scully p. 106). By the beginning of the fifteenth century, the tradition developed into a grandiose spectacle. The most common festive subject is a representation in sugar of persons or objects. These later entremets were not edible or only partially edible.

These Pommes Dorres are completely edible. Constructed of ground meat, spices and a batter for the endoring, they represent green and gold apples. Another color you may want to experiment with is saunders or sandalwood, which will produce a rich dark brick red color. Grind the sandalwood to powder in your spice grinder and add to the basic batter. I’ve used sandalwood to create pomegranates.


  • Renfrow, Cindy. Take a Thousand Eggs or More. vols. one & two. 1991.
  • Hieatt, Constance B. and Butler, Sharon. Pleyn Delit; Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks. University of Toronto Press, Toronto and Buffalo, 1996. no. 28
  • Scully, Terence. The Art of Cookery in the Middle Ages. The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK, 1997. p. 104

Date Of Redaction

Text © Melanie A. Unruh-Bays, 1998

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