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Tailles
by
Elaina de Sinistre


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Original Recipe

TAILLIS to serve in Lent

Le Menagier de Paris
TAILLIS to serve in Lent.  Take fine raisins, boiled milk of almonds, scalded, cakes and crusts of white bread and apples cut into small cubes and boil your milk and add saffron to colour it and sugar and put all in together until it is thick enough to be cut.  It is served in Lent, instead of rice. 


Redaction

Ingredients:

5 apples, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 cups of coarsely chopped almonds
4 cups of water
a pinch of saffron (however much you can spare)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup of raisins or currants
5-6 cups of bread crumbs

Preparation Steps

  1. Make your breadcrumbs in the blender, about a cup at a time, using stale wheat bread of various kinds.  Although it is not period, you can add some stale pound cake or angel food cake to make it a little sweeter, if you choose.
  2. In a saucepan, pour the water over the almonds and add the saffron.  Heat over a medium fire to boiling.  Simmer very gently for about 20 minutes, then set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Pour the liquid off of the almonds through a cheesecloth, and then squeeze the almonds in the cloth to get out all the liquid possible.
  4. Return your almond milk to a saucepan and add the sugar, apples, and raisins.  Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the raisins are soft and the apples are soft but still have some consistency (not reduced to mush). 
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in two cups of bread crumbs.  Let cool to room temperature.
  6. Turn the mixture into a large bowl and start adding breadcrumbs, 1/2 a cup at a time, mixing well after each additions, until you have a stiff dough.  You will need to do the last mixing with your hands, as with bread dough.
  7. Form the dough into a log about ten inches long on a sheet of wax paper.  Wrap the log in the wax paper and store overnight in the refrigerator.  Half an hour to an hour before the feast, slice the log into 16 to 20 slices and arrange them on a plate.  Cover the plate with a damp towel until ready to serve. 

Number of Servings

16-20.

Serving Size

One slice.

Redaction Notes

I use dried raisins or currants rather than fresh grapes.  The word for grape in French is raisin, which confuses the issue somewhat as it can mean either fresh or dried grapes (known in English as raisins) depending on the context.  The first translation of this recipe that I used called for raisins and I found the results very appropriate.  I’d like to hear results from anyone who has tried this with fresh grapes.

Although ‘cakes’ in period would have been sweetened yeast cakes or shortbreads, I go ahead and use some pound cake or angelfood cake in my breadcrumbs for the additional sweetness.  Leave these out if you choose, or if you object to the leavening in them.

I have tried leaving the almonds in rather than straining them out, but do not like the grainy texture that this gives to the finished product.

This makes a nice, make-ahead dish for a feast.  The slices are moist, but hold their shape.  The flavor is mild and pleasant - rather reminiscent of a slice of Christmas pudding but less rich and less spicy.

References

  • Le Menagier de Paris (translation not noted).

Date Of Redaction

None given.


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