The Stewpot Recipe Gallery
Elaina de Sinistre
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
Remove from the heat and stir in two cups of bread crumbs. Let cool
to room temperature.
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
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
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.
Le Menagier de Paris (translation not noted).
Date Of Redaction