Mostaccioli for Petrona’s Vigil

Transcription of original recipe taken from Opera dell’arte di cucinare by Bartolomeo Scappi (1570)
Per fare morselletti, cioè mostaccioli alla Milanese.
Cap CXLII. Sesto libro folio 420.
Piglinosi quindeci uove fresche, & battanosi in una cazzuola, & passnosi per lo setaccio con due libre & mezza di zuccaro fino fatto in polvere, & mezza oncia di anici crudi, overo pitartamo pesto, & un grano o due di muschio fino, & mettanosi con ese libre due & mezza di farina, & battasi ogni cosa per tre quarti d’hora, di modo che venga la pasta come quella delle frittelle, & lascisi riposare per un quarto d’hora, & ribbattasi un’altra volta, poi si habbiano apparecchiati fogli di carta fatti a lucerne onti, overo tortiere altre di sponde con cialde sotto senza essere bagnate di cosa alcuna, & dapoi mettasi essa pasta dentro le lucerne, o tortiere, & non sia d’altezza piu che la grossezza d’un dito, & subito si spolverizzino di zuccaro, & ponganosi nel forno che sia caldo, overo quelle delle tortiere, cuocanosi come le torte, & come tal pasta sarà sgonfiata, & haverà in tutto persa l’humidità, & sarà alquanto sodetta, cioè sia come una focaccia tenera, cavisi della tortiera o lucerna, & subito si taglino con un coltello largo & sottile, a fette larghe due dita, & lunghe a beneplacito, & rimettanosi nel forno con fogli di carta sotto a biscottarsi, rivoltandoli spesso, però il forno non sia tanto caldo come di sopra, & come saranno bene asciutte, cavinosi, & conservinosi perche sono sempre migliori il secondo giorno che il primo, & durrano un mese nella lor perfettione.

Translated recipe by Louise Smithson (known in the SCA as Mistess Helewyse de Birkestad, OL)
To make little morsels, that is “mostaccioli” in the Milan style
Take fifteen fresh eggs and beat them in a casserole and pass through the sieve with two and a half pounds of sugar fine and powdered, and half an ounce of raw aniseed or partly crushed (aniseed) and a grain or two of fine musk, and put with this two pounds and a half of flour and beat everything for three quarters of an hour, so that it becomes like the pasta for fritters and let it rest for a quarter hour and rebeat it another time. Then one takes a sheet of paper put into a “lucerne” and greased, or a ‘tortiere’ with wafers beneath that have not been bathed in such a way (not greased) and then put this paste into the ‘lucerne’ or ‘tortiere’ (specific pan types) until it is not higher than the thickness of a finger and immediately powder with sugar and put it into the oven that is hot, or the tart pan, and cook it like a tart and when this pasta is cooked (not wet) and will in all lose the humidity and it will be enough cooked, that is like a tender focaccia, pull out the ‘lucerne’ or ‘tortiere’ and immediately cut with a large thin knife, cut in slices as large as two fingers, and as long as one pleases, and put them in the oven with pieces of paper beneath the biscuits, turn them enough, ensure that the oven is not as hot as the one above (second baking is at a lower temp than first), and when they are well dried, pull them out and save them because they are always better the second day than the first and they will keep for a month in their perfection.

N.B. A pound is not a pound the world around during the 16th Century. In Rome, the pound is 12 ounces not 16. So this recipe is 15 eggs, 30 ounces sugar, 30 ounces flour, 1/2 ounce aniseed.

My recreation

Mistress Helewyse indicated to use a 9×9 pan for doing a 1/3 batch, but I needed to make enough for a vigil so I wanted a 9×13’s worth, so I went for a half-ish batch using 8 eggs.

8 eggs of largish size (from my backyard flock) (15 7/8 oz by volume)
16 oz sugar
16 oz AP flour
1 Tbsp aniseed

  1. Whisked eggs and added to stand mixer
  2. Grind the aniseed in a spice grinder
  3. Added sugar and aniseed to blender and pulsed until superfine
  4. Added sugar/anise mixture to the stand mixer and stirred to combine
  5. Slowly added flour until incorporated
  6. Mixed for 15 minutes in the stand mixer (not the 45 minutes by hand indicated in Scappi) and it looked like smooth and like fritter batter
  7. Let it sit for 15 minutes
  8. Mixed for another 15 minutes
  9. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan (I used a non-stick spray)
  10. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes
  11. Cool bar for 15 minutes
  12. Cut into 1 inch strips
  13. Return to oven at 300 F for 30 minutes on each side

What I learned.

  • I could have used 7 eggs and 14 ounces each sugar and flour for the 9×13 pan.
  • My aniseed needs to be replaced, because it seems little weak.
  • I probably need to have the oven at a lower temp and for longer for the second bake. They feel a little softer than I want them, but hopefully they will dry out more overnight. I didn’t to leave them in any longer because they were becoming too brown. They taste fine, but they texture isn’t quite right.

Spice Mixtures from Le Ménagier de Paris

Powder Douce

Original   Le Ménagier de Paris, J. Hinson (trans.) HIPPOCRAS. To make powdered hippocras, take a quarter-ounce of very fine cinnamon, hand-picked by tasting it, an ounce of very fine meche ginger and an ounce of grains of paradise, a sixth of an ounce of nutmeg and galingale together, and pound it all together. And when you want to make hippocras, take a good half-ounce or more of this powder and two quarter-ounces of sugar, and mix them together, and a quart of wine as measured in Paris. And note that the powder and the sugar mixed together make “duke’s powder”.

My recreation

All the spices are ground before measuring
1 Tbsp Ceylon Cinnamon
4 Tbsp Ginger
4 Tbsp Grains of Paradise
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Galingale
10 Tbsp Sugar

Powder Fine

Original   Le Ménagier de Paris, J. Hinson (trans.) FINE POWDER of spices. Take an ounce and a drachma of white ginger, a quarter-ounce of hand-picked cinnamon, half a quarter-ounce each of grains and cloves, and a quarter-ounce of rock sugar, and grind to powder.

My recreation

All the spices are ground before measuring
3 Tbsp Ginger
2 tsp Ceylon Cinnamon
1 tsp Grains of Paradise
1 tsp Cloves
2 tsp Sugar

Genovese Tart for Genoveva’s vigil

Original  Valoise Armstrong’s translation of Das Kuchbuch der Sabina Welserin

30 To make Genovese tart

Take eighteen ounces of chard or spinach, three ounces of grated cheese, two and one half ounces of olive oil and the fresh cheese from six ounces of curdled milk [2]. And blanch the herbs and chop them small and stir it all together and make a good covered tart with it.

My recreation

I didn’t have the time to make my own fresh cheese, but I could not find quark as recommended in the footnotes of the translation. I found a few website that indicated that you could replicate quark by adding sour cream to ricotta, the proportions varied wildly so I just added a couple tablespoons of sour cream to the ricotta

18 oz frozen spinach
3 oz grated Munster cheese
2.5 oz extra virgin olive oil
6 oz of ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 pre-made deep dish pie crust

  1. Thaw the spinach and squeeze it the excess water out of it
  2. Mix the ricotta, sour cream, and olive oil until smooth in a large bowl
  3. Add the spinach to the mixture
  4. Distribute the grated Munster cheese over the bottom of the crust
  5. Pour the spinach mixture into the crust over the cheese
  6. Bake at 375 F for about 40 minutes, or until the mixture is set and the crust is golden brown

Cream Tarts for Genoveva’s vigil

Original  Valoise Armstrong’s translation of Das Kuchbuch der Sabina Welserin

122 To make a cream tart

For three tarts, which should each be about a foot wide, take one quart of the best cream that you can find, and put it in a pan over the fire. And put two eggs, which are well beaten, into it, and when it begins to boil, then take six more eggs and let them be well beaten and put them into it, and some good flour and pour it slowly into the pan. And one should stir it constantly, so that it does not burn. After that, when the eggs have been poured in, throw a quarter of a pound of fresh butter into it and let it simmer together, until it becomes thick. Afterwards let it cool, and when it is cold, then put it into three pastry shells, each of which is a foot wide. And let it bake in the tart pan. If you would put it straight away on the table, then sprinkle a quarter pound of sugar over all three, together with a little rose water. And one should serve it forth while it is yet warm. This recipe was given to me by the elder Bernhard Meiting, I have not yet prepared it.

My recreation

NOTE:I learned my lesson about stick to the letter of the recipe with the cherry tarts. I did not put any flour in the cream mixture because I understand that the cooked egg will tighten up the mixture and not require flour to thicken, so I omitted it. I also tempered the eggs, which the recipe did not call for.

1 qt whipping cream
8 eggs they were from my backyard flock so there were large-ish
1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 pre-made deep dish pie crusts
1/4 lb sugar
2 Tbsp rose water

  1. Put the cream in a heavy sauce pan
  2. Add two well beaten eggs to the cream, and whisk together
  3. Crack the additional 6 eggs, beat well, and set aside
  4. Heat the mixture over medium heat, whisking gently and continuously
  5. Once the cream mixture is simmering, ladle some of the hot cream mixture into the remaining eggs while whisking
  6. Add the eggs into the pan of simmering cream, whisking continuously
  7. Continue to heat the cream mixture, whisking continuously, until it “coats the back of the spoon” (aka Put a wooden spoon into the mixture. Remove, and run your finger through the middle of the cream mixture on the back of the spoon. If a clear path is left and remaining does not run into the path, the mixture is ready.)
  8. Remove the custard from the heat and let if cool to room temperature
  9. Divide the custard between two 9″ deep dish pie crusts the recipe says it will divide between three 12″ tart pans, there is not nearly enough custard for that
  10. Bake at 375 F for 35 minutes, or until the edges of the crusts look golden brown whichever comes first
  11. When the tarts come out of the oven, sprinkle with the sugar and rose water
  12. What actually I did was mix the sugar and rose water together, then sprinkle over the warm tarts. This sounded smarter than it was, it was hard to get distributed over the tops. I ended up taking half the mixture in my hands and rubbing my palms over the top of the tart. It worked-ish. I will try a different delivery method next time.

Cherry Tart for Genoveva’s vigil

Original  Valoise Armstrong’s translation of Das Kuchbuch der Sabina Welserin

123 To make a very good sour cherry tart

Take a pound of sour cherries and remove all of the pits. Afterwards take a half pound of sugar and a half ounce of finely ground cinnamon sticks and mix the sugar with it. Next mix the cherries with it and put it after that in the pie shell made of good flour and let it bake in the tart pan.

My recreation

NOTE: I had doubts about this holding together because there was no binding agent and cherries are not rich in pectin, but I followed Sabina’s directions for my first attempt. I baked the tarts as long as possible and pulled them before the crust started to burn. There will be a binding agent in future attempts because the filling was very loose, inciting many comments about “loose tarts.”

1 lb frozen tart cherries
1/2 lb sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon (Ceylon Cinnamon)
1 pre-made vegetarian deep dish pie crust

  1. Thaw and drain the cherries
  2. Thoroughly mix the cinnamon and sugar
  3. Toss the cherries in the cinnamon-sugar mixture
  4. Pour mixture into prepared pie crust
  5. Bake at 375 F for 25 minutes.

I used pre-made pie crusts because I was make several tarts for the vigil and I wanted a product that I knew was going to be reliable. There were already enough variables

Bratwurst for Genoveva’s vigil

Original  Valoise Armstrong’s translation of Das Kuchbuch der Sabina Welserin

25 If you would make good bratwurst

Take four pounds of pork and four pounds of beef and chop it finely. After that mix with it two pounds of bacon and chop it together and pour approximately one quart of water on it. Also add salt and pepper thereto, however you like to eat it, or if you would like to have some good herbs , you could take some sage and some marjoram, then you have good bratwurst.

My recreation

I halved the recipe so that there are only five pounds of meat

2 pounds beef
2 pounds pork
1 pound bacon, cut into small pieces
2 cups water
1.5 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
3 tsp marjoram
1.5 tsp sage

  1. Coarsely grind the beef, pork, and bacon together.
  2. Add the water and mix well; this step works best done with your hands.
  3. Add the spices and mix well to distribute them through the meat mixture.
  4. Form into balls (I use a 2 tbsp scoop) and bake at 375 F for 18 minutes.

Medieval-esque Sandwich Cookies

The recipe for my gingersnaps with bourbon buttercream filling

Adapted from the Joy of Cooking

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground grains of paradise

Preheat oven to 325 F.
Cream butter with sugar. Beat in eggs, molasses and vinegar.
Sift together and add flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and grains.
Mix until blended.
Form dough into 3/4-inch balls. (I use a tablespoon disher)
Bake on a greased cookie sheet for about 12 minutes. As the ball melts down the characteristic crinkled surface.
Makes about 10 dozen 2-inch cookies.

Bourbon Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 pound icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat butter until creamy. Add half of the icing sugar and beat, followed by the cream and bourbon and vanilla. Mix until blended. Add the remaining sugar and beat until thick and smooth.

Assemble the cookies

Pies of Paris

I attempted a recreating of Pies of Paris, but Meijer let me down and were out of veal so I made it with all pork because pork loin was 1.69/pound. I also made a stab at making a free standing pie but it was being uncooperative and was not structurally sound. In my frustration, I also used whole eggs when all the medieval recipes called for egg yolks.

So my eventual recipe:

  • 6 lbs of pork loin
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups sweet white wine
  • 6 eggs (it should have been just yolks but we will see)
  • a handful of currants
  • two handfuls of dates, chopped
  • tsp sugar
  • tsp salt
  • tsp ground ginger

pastry for a double-crust pie (in my 14″ tart pan)

Remove the fat cap and any silver skin from the pork loin.  Cut into 1″ cubes.  Place in a large cooking pot with broth and wine and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 20 minutes, skimming any scum, as necessary.

Cooking the pork

Remove the meat.  Reserve a cup of the liquid.  Let meat cool until it is comfortable to handle.  Whisk the eggs into the reserved liquid.
Place the meat in the pie crust, and arrange it so it is level.  Evenly distribute the currants over the meat, then evenly distribute the chopped dates.   Mix the sugar, salt and ginger and sprinkle the mixture over the meat and fruit.

Pies of Paris filled

Pour the mixture of the cooking liquid and eggs over the meat. Then cover with the remaining pie crust.

Pies of Paris coveredP

Cook in a 350°F oven until the crust is golden brown.  About an hour. This took about 65 minutes.


Experiment in supportive techniques

So, at a fitting workshop taught by Mistress Juliana Peri da Novellara, she suggested that I try making my supportive lining as its own layer. So it looks like I need to make a supportive underdress using my existing dress pattern, as well as a Lemberg bra for comparison. This also means I need to make a middle layer gown which does not have a supportive lining to wear over it.

Let the experimentation begin.

2015 Pentathlon planned categories

Early preparation for the 2015 A&S Faire and a run at pentathlon.  These are my planned entries for next year:

Division II: Textile and Needle Arts
Costume: Children
Costume: 1451-1600 c.e

Division III: Technological Sciences
Armor: Non-Metal

Division IV: Studio Arts and Sciences

Division V: Domestic Arts and Sciences
Cooking: Single Dish

These items are subject to change


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