Recipes from the 24th Annual Festival of Maidens Dessert Revel

which served 100 gentles
by Hildegarde Stickerin



Hot Mulled Cider

Hot Cloved Pomegranate Drink






Bread with honey and herb butters

Raw Vegetables

Zabarbada (cheese-coriander dip)

Olive Nut Spread

Marinated and Pickled Vegetables


Tart de Bry (brie quiche)

Tart in Ember Day (onion/currant/cheese quiche)

Spinach Tart (spinach/cheese quiche)




Fresh Fruits and Nuts

Tartys in Applis (Apple/Fig Pie)

Leche Fryed in Lenton (Apple/Pear/Dried Fruits)

Tart of Almonds (Almond/Rosewater Pie)

Damson (Plum/Currant Pie)

Honey/Almond Cheesecake


Hais (sugar-coated date-nut candy)

Panforte di Siena (peri-oid Italian chocolate)

Payn Ragoun (pine nut fudge)

Pear Latwergen (pear leather)

Cream Cheese Mints (not period, but well-loved)

Candied Walnuts (penuche-flavored walnuts)

Candied Orange Peel

Apricot Balls

Chocolate Chip Cookies (not period)

New York Cheesecake (sorta period)


Royal and Scribal Lunch scaled for about 18 servings

silver trays: 4 (2 for meat/cheese, 2 for fruit & coleslaw bowls), silver bowls: 6 (2 each for fruit, coleslaw and rolls); 2 wooden bowls for lettuce, put on meat/cheese trays

Meat and Cheese Tray (1.5 lbs each of pastrami, roast beef, turkey breast;
0.75 lbs each of provolone, cheddar and swiss, all thinly sliced)

Bowl of Rolls (2 dozen: 6 pumpernickel, 6 sesame seed, 6 whole wheat, 6 white)

Shredded Lettuce (one head, for sandwich making)

Medieval-oid Coleslaw

Bowl of Fruit (assortment of about 7 pieces to each room: oranges, apples and pears)

Pottage of Oniony Lentils and Rice (in a crockpot, sent to the Royal room only)

Cheese Pasties (sent to the Royal room only)

paper plates, styrofoam bowls, plastic silverware

The night before, precook in a skillet: heat 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet until butter melts. Add 2 cups of sliced onion and cook slowly about 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to moderate at the end to brown the onions. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring 5 cups of water and 1 cup lentils to boiling, cover the saucepan and reduce heat. Simmer about 20 minutes. Drain the lentils. Put the onions and lentils in a ziploc bag and stick it in the fridge.
At the event, once you've got the need-refrigeration items iced down, get the crockpot out. Fill with 3 cups water and the amount of chicken, beef or vegetable bouillon granules suggested on the package for broth. Plug in the crockpot. Dump in the lentils and onions from the ziploc bag, add 1/2 cup rice, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover the crockpot and cook on high until lunchtime. It's done when the rice has absorbed water and cooked. On high, it will be done 3-4 hours after putting in the rice.

Do this the night before and refrigerate. In a small bowl, mix together 3/4 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup wine vinegar, 1/3 cup dry white wine, 2 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, pepper, 2 1/2 teaspoon caraway seed, 1/4 teaspoon crushed coriander, 3 sliced green onions, and 1 teaspoon sugar. In a largish tupperware, dump in a bag of shredded cabbage and pour the sauce over. Put the lid on and shake well until all the cabbage is well coated.

Equipment needed on site besides table decorations:

21 silver trays 5 wooden bowls
16 silver bowls 9 glass pitchers
3 large crockpots 1 crockette
dish detergent half dozen dish towls
couple of potholders dishwashing gloves
dish sponge paper towels
wax paper for lining trays saran wrap and ziploc bags and plastic grocery bags for wrapping up at the end
sharpie marker measuring cups and spoons
ladle for cider and ladle for pottage 2 butter spreaders
2 pie servers bread knife
2 chef knives 2 cutting boards
hand mixer for butter slotted spoon for marinated veggies
spoon for dip rubber spatula for transferring butter from mixing bowl to serving bowl
bag(s) ice coolers as needed


Hot Mulled Cider
modern recipe: 1/2 gallon

2 quarts apple cider 2 tablespoons orange flower water or orange-flavored liqueur
1/2 cup raisins 1 orange, sliced, unpeeled
1 apple, quartered, cored, unpared 1 lemon or lime, sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed 5 pieces star anise (optional)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole allspice 8 whole cloves

In a 5-qt crockpot, combine everything (double above amounts). [Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.] Plug in crockpot at least 1/2 hour before serving time. Ladle into mugs to serve hot. (don't forget the to pack the ladle. I recommend prepping this by putting all the spices together ahead of time in a ziploc or small tupperware for a helper to just dump in.)

Note: This is the only recipe in the Miscelleny that is based on a modern source: A Book of Middle Eastern Food, by Claudia Roden. Sekanjabin is a period drink; it is mentioned in the Fihrist of al-Nadim, which was written in the tenth century. The only period recipe I have found for it (in the Andalusian cookbook) is called "Sekanjabin Simple" and omits the mint. It is one of a large variety of similar drinks described in that cookbook-flavored syrups intended to be diluted in either hot or cold water before drinking. from Cariadoc's Miscellany. The Miscellany is Copyright (c) by David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook, 1988, 1990, 1992. on the web at With comments interspersed by Hildegarde...

Dissolve 4 cups sugar in 2 1/2 cups of water; when it comes to a boil add 1 cup wine vinegar.
Simmer 1/2 hour. Add an ounce of fresh mint (which you can buy at Schnucks), remove from fire, let cool. Dilute the resulting syrup to taste with ice water (5 to 10 parts water to 1 part syrup). The syrup stores without refrigeration. In my opinion, the best dilution for this is 3/4 inch of syrup in the bottom of the pitcher, fill to an inch and a half from the top with water, and add ice.

Pomegranate Drink
Syrup of Pomegranates: Andalusian p. A-74 Take a ratl of sour pomegranates and another of sweet pomegranates, and add their juice to two ratls of sugar, cook all this until it takes the consistency of syrup, and keep until needed. Its benefits: it is useful for fevers, and cuts the thirst, it benefits bilious fevers and lightens the body gently. from Cariadoc's Miscellany. The Miscellany is Copyright (c) by David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook, 1988, 1990, 1992. on the web at

Use equal volumes of sugar and pomegranate juice (found in some health food stores). Cook them down to a thick syrup, in which form they will keep, without refrigeration, for a very long time. To serve, dilute one part of syrup in 3 to 6 parts of hot water (to taste). This would probably be much more potable at a dilution of 1 part syrup to 16 parts water. We served it at a dilution of 6 parts water to 1 part syrup, which was commented as being too strong. In other words, one third of the resulting syrup making a gallon of liquid would probably be more tasty.

AMOUNTS TO SERVE 50 - catering standards
1 6-oz serving beverage2 1/2 gallons (= 10 quarts = 40 cups) beverage
1 8-oz serving iced tea3 gallons iced tea


Bread with honey and herb butters
HONEY BUTTER: (2 tablespoons honey per stick of butter)
1 cup (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter, very soft room temperature
1/4 cup wildflower or lavender or cranberry or buckwheat honey
In small bowl of electric mixer, beat butter and honey with electric mixer until smooth. Pack into serving dish and serve at room temperature. Honey Butter will keep in refrigerator about 1 week, covered.

HERB BUTTER: 1 tablespoon combined basil, thyme, rosemary, tarragon to 1 cup of butter (1/2 tbsp herbs per stick of butter) Or, just get the fine herbes mix.

WALNUT BUTTER: Beat 1 cup butter, softened, and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Cover and refrigerate no longer than 48 hours. About 1 hour before serving, remove from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature. (about 1 1/4 cups)

1 to 1/2 pats butter 1 to 1 1/2 pounds butter
2 thin slices of bread 7 pounds (4 1/2 to 5 loaves) bread (for sandwich)
2-3 slices quick bread (nut, etc) 5 loaves, 4x9 inch size

Zabarbada of Fresh Cheese
Andalusian p. A-13 Take fresh cheese, clean it, cut it up and crumble it; take fresh coriander and onion, chop and throw over the cheese, stir and add spices and pepper, shake the pot with two tablespoons of oil and another of water and salt, then throw this mixture in the pot and put on the fire and cook; when it is cooked, take the pot from the fire and thicken with egg and some flour and serve. from Cariadoc's Miscellany. The Miscellany is Copyright (c) by David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook, 1988, 1990, 1992. on the web at

8 ounces farmer's cheese. cubed 1 cup loosely packed chopped green coriander = 1 oz
2 onions = 6 oz, chopped small 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon water 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg 2-3 tablespoons flour

Mix together cheese, green coriander, onion, and spices. [Put oil, water and salt in a large frying pan or a dutch oven; shake to cover the bottom. Put in the cheese mixture and cook on medium-high to high about 3 minutes, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture becomes a uniform goo. Remove from heat, stir in egg, sprinkle on flour and stir in, serve forth. It ends up as a sort of thick dip, good over bread. It is still good when cold.] You can do this on site in a crockette... prep the ingredients ahead of time into ziplocs or tupperwares. I forgot the egg and flour, but it was pretty thick without it, so you can probably omit it with no problem. I just heated the oil and water and salt in the crockette, then put the rest of the stuff after mixing it on top, and heat it from 1/2 hour before the revel to melt it and keep it heated during.

Olive-Nut Spread
modern recipe: makes 1 cup (scaled for twelve)
1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
1/4 cup finely chopped pimento stuffed olives
2 tablespoons milk

Raw Vegetables
We made up three trays, one of which never even left the kitchen. Next time, decrease the amounts so it fits on 2 trays. What was bought for three trays was:
3 1-lb bags of washed and peeled baby carrots
1 bag of broccoli florets
1 bag of cauliflower florets
1 bag of celery, washed and cut into sticks
3 bunches of radishes, deleafed, washed and halved
2 bunches of scallions, with the roots and most of the green tops cut off

1 to 2 pieces of a raw veggie 2 pounds raw vegetable (example: celery)

A variety of cheeses cut into cubes. I bought a pound each of pepper jack, edam, muenster, jarlsberg, and cheddar.

Marinated and Pickled Vegetables
I marinated two cans of artichoke hearts according to the 'Marinated Vegetables' recipe given. Also on the tray, straight from can/jar: 2 cans pitted large black olives, 1 jar green olives (stuffed with pimento), 1 jar of midget dill pickles, and 3 10-oz packages of fresh mushrooms marinated to the 'Spanish Mushrooms' recipe.

Marinated Vegetables
modern recipe
1 clove garlic, pressed
3/4 teaspoon basil leaves OR oregano
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Spanish Mushrooms
Makes approximately 5 lbs of mushrooms:

60oz of fresh mushrooms

1/4 cup olive oil

2/3 cup red wine vinegar 2/3 cup cider vinegar
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar 1/3 cup lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, sliced 3 Tbsp dried basil, or a handful of fresh basil
salt water  

Boil the mushrooms for about 10 minutes in salt water, drain and put in storage container. Mix all other ingredients, pour over mushrooms. Cover and store in cool place overnight (I use the fridge).

Savory Tarts

We made and froze all the tarts a month before the event.

Tart de Bry
Tart de Bry. Take a crust ynche depe in a trape. Take yolkes of ayren rawe and chese ruayn and medle it and the yolkes together. And do thereto powdor gynger, sugar, safron and salt. Do it in a trape, bake it, and serve it forth.
[Brie Tart: Take a crust an inch deep in a baking dish. Take raw egg yolks and "ruayn" cheese (a fine-quality fatty cheese made from the milk of cows that had grazed on the autumn grasses of hayfields after the harvest) and mix it and the yolks together. Add powdered ginger, sugar, saffron and salt. Put it into a baking dish, bake it, and serve it forth.]
from Lorna J. Sass To the King's Taste, p. 48-9

This tart didn't seem to freeze very well.

1 pound brie cheese (at room temperature) 6 eggs, lightly beaten (I used whole eggs, rather than just the yolks as in the King's Taste recipe)
1/8 teaspoon saffron 3/4 teaspoon light brown sugar
3/8 teaspoon powdered ginger salt
pie shell (not deep dish - I used 9" but the recipe states 8")  

Bake pie pastry at 425 for 10 minutes. Let cool. Remove rind from Brie. Cut Brie into pieces (1/2" cubes) to make it more manageable. Combine Brie with remaining ingredients in a blender or with an egg beater (or just be patient using a hand mixer). Add salt to taste. Mixture should be smooth. Pour liquid into a pastry shell. Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes or until set and brown on top. As it cooks it will puff up dramatically, but will deflate as it cools.

Tart in Ymbre day
Tart in Ymbre day. (Curye on Inglysch, Forme of Cury recipe # 173, page 136) Take and perboile oynoun & erbis & presse out the water & hewe her smale. Take grene chese & bray it in a morter, and temper it up with ayren. Do therto butter, safroun & salt, & raisouns corouns, & a litel sugur with powdour douce, and bake it in a trap, & serue it forth.
[Take and parboil onion[s] and herbs, and press out the water, and chop them small. Take green cheese and grind it in a mortar, and temper it up with eggs. Add butter, saffron, and salt, and currants, and a little sugar with powder douce, and bake it in an open crust, and serve it forth.]
Tart on Ember-Day. (Ancient Cookery 356, 448/38c) Parboyle onions, and sauge, and parsel, and hew hom small, then take gode fatte chese, and bray hit, and do therto egges, and tempur hit up therwith, and do therto butter and sugur, and raisynges of corance, and pouder of ginger, and of cannell, medel all this well togedur, and do hit in a coffyn, and bake it uncoveret, and serve hit forthe.
[Parboil onions, and sage, and parsley, and cut them small, then take good fat cheese, and grind it, and add eggs, and temper it up with them, and add butter and sugar, and currants, and powdered ginger, and cinnamon, mix all this well together, and put it in a crust, and bake it uncovered, and serve it forth.]
from Angharad ver' Rhuawn (see

This recipe makes 2 tarts.

4 onions 4 eggs
3 tablespoons butter 1/2 pound havarti cheese, grated
1/2 pound muenster cheese, grated 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup currants 1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/3 cup parsley 2 pie shells (9" deep dish)

Parboil onions (about 10 minutes). Remove onions from heat, drain, and chop. It turns out to be easier to chop the onions, then parboil them, then drain them. Chop parsley. Grate cheese. Add butter to thoroughly drained onions, then mix in the rest of the ingredients. Pour into pie shells. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes (top will be brown; a knife inserted into the top should come out clean).

Spinach Tart
Goodman p. 278/23 -"A Tart" (GOOD)
To make a tart, take four handfuls of beet leaves, two handfuls of parsley, a handful of chervil, a sprig of fennel and two handful of spinach, and pick them over and wash them in cold water, then cut them up very small; then bray with two sorts of cheese, to wit a hard and a medium, and then add eggs thereto, yolks and whites, and bray them in the cheese; then put the herbs into the mortar and bray all together and also put therein some fine powder. Or instead of this have ready brayed in the mortar two heads of ginger and onto this bray your cheese, eggs and herbs and then cast old cheese scraped or grated onto the herbs and take it to the oven and then have your tart made and eat it hot.
from Cariadoc's Miscellany. The Miscellany is Copyright (c) by David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook, 1988, 1990, 1992. on the web at

This recipe makes two tarts. This tart in my opinion was the best looking savory tart on the table.

1/3 pound spinach, chopped 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons chervil, dried 1 teaspoon fennel seed, ground in a mortar
5 eggs 1/2 pound cheddar cheese (Cariadoc has 2/5 pound)
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese (Cariadoc has 2/5 pound)

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt 2 pie shells (9") (Cariadoc shows one, but it made enough filling for two pies)

Bake pie crust for 10 minutes at 400. Chop or grate spinach and parsley Grate cheese Mix filling ingredients in a bowl. Put filling in crust and bake about 40 minutes at 350.


Fruits and Nuts

I bought a 5 pound bag of navel oranges, a 3 pound bag of apples, about 3 pounds of pears, 2 bunches of green grapes and 2 bunches of seedless red grapes. We used some of the big fruits for the royal/scribal lunch, and split what left into 2 fruit bowls. We removed the grapes from their stems and made two bowls of mixed green and red grapes. Even though the amount of fruit seems modest, of the big fruits, we still had apples and oranges return to the kitchen. The grapes were pretty well devastated though.

I bought about a pound each of walnut halves, roasted hazelnuts, roasted cashews, roasted almonds and pistachio nuts, and figs. These were mixed together and split into two bowls. I'd recommend buying only half that in the future... only one bowl was needed for the entire evening.

Sweet Tarts

Tartys in Applis

Tartys in applis. Tak gode applys & gode spycis & figys & reysons & perys, & wan they arn wel yrayd colour wyth safroun wel & do yt in a cofyn, & do yt forth to bake wel. (Diuersa Servicia)
[Apple tarts. Take good apples and good spices and figs and raisins and pears, and when they are well arrayed, color well with saffron and put it in a pie shell, and set it to bake well.]
from Siobhan ni hEodhusa (see

3 pound bag of tart apples, less four apples (you could also substitute a few of the apples for pears) 1/2 cup dried figs, stoned and chopped
1/3 cup raisins 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon mace 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves pinch saffron
6 tablespoons butter (approximately) 2 pie shells

This makes 2 tarts.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel and core the apples. Chop the apples, figs, raisins in pieces about the same size (i.e. much smaller than the pieces used in a normal apple pie today). Put the chopped fruits in the prepared pastry shell (half in each shell). Mix the sugar and spices and spread them over the fruit. Cut the butter in pieces and spread those pieces over the tops of the pies. Cover the tart with a piece of aluminum foil; bake about 45 minutes at 375, removing the foil cover towards the end of the cooking time.

Leches Fryed in Lenton (Slices Fried in Lent)
Leches Fryed in Lenton. Drawe a thick almande mylke with water. Take dates and pyke hem clene, with apples and peeres and mynce hem with prunes damsyns. Take out the stones out of the prunes, and kerve the prunes a two. Do thereto raisons, sugar, floer of canel, hoole macys and clowes, gode powdors and salt. Color hem up with sandres. Meng thise with oile. Make a coffyn as thou didest before, and do this fars thereinne, and bake it wel and serve it forth.
[Fruit Slices Fried for Lent: Make a thick almond milk with water. Take dates and pick them over. Take apples and pears and mince them with damson prunes. Take the stones out of the prunes and carve the prunes in two. Add raisins, sugar, cinnamon powder, whole mace and cloves, good spices, and salt. Color them with sandalwood. Mix these with oil. Make a coffin as you have done before, and put the stuffing inside, and bake it well and serve it forth.]
from Lorna J. Sass To the King's Taste, p. 96-7

3 tablespoons butter 4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced thin 2/3 cup dates, chopped
1/3 cup raisins 2 cups prunes, pitted and halved
1/2 cup almond milk 1/2 teaspoon saunders (red sandalwood powder): substitute a couple drops red food coloring
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon mace 1/2 teaspoon crushed aniseed
pinch nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar pie shell (10" specified, 1 used a 9" deep dish)

Bake pie pastry at 425 for 10 minutes. Peel, core, slice apples and pears; pit and chop dried fruits. Melt butter in heavy skillet. Toss apple and pear slices in butter and fry about 5 minutes. Stir in the dried fruits. Blend almond milk and sandalwood. Stir this into the fruit mixture. Stir the remaining ingredients into the fruit mixture. Place fruit mixture in pie pastry. Bake pie at 350 for about 35 minutes or until the fruit is soft.

Tart of Almonds
(Cook 130 pamphlet: To the Queen's Taste, p. 103)

1 1/2 cups almonds, blanched, coarsely ground (a coffee grinder is wonderful for this)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons rose water
pie shell, (8" specified)

Bake the pie shell at 425 for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake 5 minutes. Let cool. Combine almonds, cream, sugar and rosewater in a heavy saucepan. Boil gently about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens to the consistency of pudding. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Just before serving, if you like, spread a thin layer of strawberry or cherry preserves on top.

Damson (Plum and Currant Tart)
(Cook 130, Fabulous Feasts p. 91)

3 tablespoons butter 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar 2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup heavy cream 1 cup fresh purple plums, cut in eighths with peels on (1/2 to 3/4 pound)
2/3 cup currants pie shell (8" specified)

Preheat oven to 400. Cut plums into 8ths. Cut butter in 12 even pieces. Add salt and sugar to beaten eggs. Stir in cream. Lay plum pieces neatly on their sides in the pie shell. Sprinkle the currants evenly over the plums. Pour the cream mixture over the fruit. Arrange pieces of butter evenly around the surface of the tart. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the fruit custard is set and the pastry shell is browned.


I made the following crustless honey/almond cheesecake in muffin tins lined with paper cupcake liners.

Honey/Almond Cheesecake

This started out as a recipe in "How to Cook Forsoothly", by Mistress Katrine de Baillie du Chat, OL. It may have changed from that form over time.

1 cup sugar 1/4 lb butter
1 lb cream cheese 1/4 cup flour, sifted
1/4 cup honey 5 eggs, separated, whites beaten stiff not dry
1/2 cup half and half 1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup almonds, ground (a coffee grinder works wonders for this) 1 can gooseberry pie filling (optional)

Cream butter and sugar until well blended. Add cream cheese until mixture is fluffy. Blend in flour and honey. Blend in the egg yolks. Beat well. Add cream and extract. Lightly fold in egg whites. Fold in ground almonds with a few strokes. Pour into well buttered 9" springform or lined muffin tins, set on a low rack in preheated 325 oven. Bake 1 hour. Turn off heat & allow to cool in oven with door closed for one hour. Remove from pan and chill. Serve with berries (topping of your choice). I generally serve it with canned gooseberry pie filling drizzled over each slice. The tartness of the gooseberries cuts the cloying richness of the cheesecake nicely.


Should you do a candy fest to let lots of people contribute to the making of candies, keep in mind that the stirring phase for each sweet is going to be done by one person for about 20 minutes, and if that person becomes inattentive or doesn't recognize when the syrup has hit soft-ball it could be ruined... candy is more precise than even baking. The chopping before the cooking, and the rolling and sugaring afterwards would lend themselves to having helping hands, but I don't see how the cooking itself would.
Whatever candies you choose, be sure to include the cream cheese mints... the guests couldn't get enough of these (and they're dead easy to make... don't require cooking to soft ball) I would also recommend Hais as it is also very easy if you have a good food processor or blender.

To make gingerbrede. Take goode honye & clarefie it on the fere, & take fayre paynemayn or wastel brede & grate it, & caste it into the boylenge hony, & stere it well togyder faste with a sklyse that it bren not to the vessell. & thanne take it doun and put therin ginger, longe pepere & saundres, & tempere it vp with thin handes; & than put hem to a flatt boyste & strawe theron suger, & pick therin clowes round about by the egge and in the mydes, yf it plece you, &c. (Sloan ms. 121)
[To make gingerbread. Take good honey and clarify it on the fire, and take good everyday bread or leftover bread and grate it, and cast it into the boiling honey and stir it well together quickly with a spatula (?) so it doesn't scorch. Then take it off the heat and add ginger, long pepper and sandlewood, and knead it; and then put it in a flat box and sprinkle sugar on it, and stick cloves around the edge and in the middle, if it pleases you, etc.]
from Siobhan ni hEodhusa (see

4 cups honey
1 pound breadcrumbs (a loaf's worth - use cheap bread)
1 tablespoon ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon white pepper
whole cloves
sugar to sprinkle on top, colored with powdered spices if desired (e.g. cinnamon, turmeric, mint)
Boil the honey, skimming any foam that forms. Throw in the breadcrumbs and stir constantly, until the bread has soaked up all the honey. Stir in the ginger, cinnamon and pepper. Turn it out and knead it until it is smooth, adding a little flour if necessary if the dough is too sticky. Then put it in a square pan. Set whole cloves in the top in a pattern, then sprinkle the colored sugars where desired.
Curye on Inglysch p. 154 (Goud Kokery no. 18)
To make gingerbrede. Take goode honey & clarifie it on + e fere, & take fayre paynemayn or wastel brede & grate it, & caste it into + e boylenge hony, & stere it well togyder faste with a sklyse + at it bren not to + e vessell. & + anne take it doun and put + erin ginger, longe pepper & saundres, & tempere it vp with + in handes; & than put hem to a flatt boyste & strawe + eron suger, & pick + erin clowes rounde aboute by + e egge and in + e mydes, yf it plece you, &c.
from Cariadoc's Miscellany. The Miscellany is Copyright (c) by David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook, 1988, 1990, 1992. on the web at

This is the version I did... it was tasty but mushy and sticky and didn't go over well because of the tidyness problem.

1 c honey
4 c breadcrumbs
1 t ginger
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t saunders
1 T sugar
30-40 whole cloves (~ 1 t)
(or 5 t sugar, pinch powdered cloves)

Bring honey to a boil, simmer two or three minute, stir in breadcrumbs with a spatula until uniformly mixed. Remove from heat, stir in ginger, pepper, and saunders. When it is cool enough to handle, knead it to get spices thoroughly mixed. Put it in a box (I used a square corning-ware container with a lid), squish it flat and thin, sprinkle with sugar and put cloves ornamentally around the edge. Leave it to let the clove flavor sink in; do not eat the cloves. An alternative way of doing it is to roll into small balls, roll in sugar mixed with a pinch of cloves, then flatten them a little to avoid confusion with hais. This is suitable if you are making them today and eating them tomorrow.

Hais (sugar-coated spiced date-nut candy)
al-Baghdadi p. 214/14 (GOOD)
Take fine dry bread, or biscuit, and grind up well. Take a ratl of this, and three quarters of a ratl of fresh or preserved dates with the stones removed, together with three uqiya of ground almonds and pistachios. Knead all together very well with the hands. Refine two uqiya of sesame-oil, and pour over, working with the hand until it is mixed in. Make into cabobs, and dust with fine-ground sugar. If desired, instead of sesame-oil use butter. This is excellent for travellers.
from Cariadoc's Miscellany. The Miscellany is Copyright (c) by David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook, 1988, 1990, 1992. on the web at

2 2/3 cups bread crumbs (soft)
2 cups (about one pound) pitted dates
1/3 cup ground almonds
1/3 cup ground pistachios
7 tablespoons melted butter or sesame oil
enough sugar

We usually mix dates, bread crumbs, and nuts in a food processor or blender. For "cabobs," roll into one inch balls. Good as caravan food (or for taking to wars). They last forever if you do not eat them, but you do so they don't.
NOTE: Beware... many quality blenders have had their engines burned out by this recipe.
Premix the ingredients, then process in about 4 batches in the food processor. You'll have to let it process for about a minute before the dates are ground up enough for the balls to stay together.

Candied Citrus Peel
modern recipe: makes 3 cups

3 oranges
3 lemons
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

Cut peel of each orange and lemon into 4 sections with sharp knife. Remove peel carefully with fingers. Scrape white membrane from peel with spoon (back of peel will appear porous when membrane is removed). Cut peel lengthwise into strips about 1/4 inch wide. Heat peel and enough water to cover to boiling in 1 1/2 quart saucepan; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 30 minutes; drain. Repeat simmering process.
Heat 1 1/2 cups sugar and 3/4 cup water to boiling in 1 1/2 quart saucepan, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissoved. Add peel. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes; drain in strainer. Roll peel in 1/2 cup sugar; spread on waxed paper to dry. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature no longer than 1 week.

Panforte di Siena
Traditionally, anyhow, Panforte di Siena in one form or another fortified the Crusaders on their long journeys. While I have no documentation for this particular recipe, there is an interesting file on Compuserve in the Living History library showing Middle Italian texts and translations (by Baroness Viviana di Castelloza [Vian Lawson]) of chocolate recipes in A.S.F. Carte Bardi II A.116.
This recipe downloaded from Living History library on Compuserve (PANFORTE.TXT)

This is my FAVORITE candy from this feast.

1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned 1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup candied orange peel soaked in brandy 1/4 cup cocoa powder (best quality)
1/2 cup cake flour 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey powdered sugar

Turn oven on to 350 and toast hazelnuts until golden - about 15 minutes. Return oven to 300 after toasting. Line a pie plate with parchment paper so that the paper comes up the sides too. This is crucial. Maybe wax paper will work. PAM both the plate before the paper and then the paper. This is a major sticker. Drain orange peel if you have soaked it in brandy. Combine well all ingredients except honey and sugar. Stir. Stir. Stir. Heat honey and sugar until soft ball stage, 240 degrees F. Careful. It gets there real fast so watch for scorching. Turn out to a large bowl and add the dry ingredients. Combine. You have a dense mass difficult to combine which is why you need a large bowl. Place in lined pie plate and spread - shouldn't be more than 3/4 inches high. Wet your hands to spread and smooth it out. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and then turn it out to an oiled plate and remove paper. When cool, cut into small squares. I then shake the totally cooled pieces in a bag with powdered sugar (to which cinnamon can be added). Cocoa powder is good, also, for shaking in. Store in air tight container. Keeps forever. Note: This is not a "dessert" but more adult candy. Good for snacking with a glass of wine or brandy. Stuff keeps for weeks in an air-tight container which is why the Italian Crusaders brought it to their wars in the Middle East.

Payn Ragoun (Candy Loaves)
Payn ragoun. Take hony and sugar cipre and clarifie it togydre, and boile it with esy fyre, and kepe it wel fro brennyng. And whan it hath yboiled a while, take up a drope therof with thy fyngur and do it in a litel water, and loke if it hong togydre; and take it fro the fyre and do thereto pynes the thriddendele & powdour gyngeuer, and stere it togyder til it bigynne to thik, and cast it on a wete table; lesh it and serue it foth with fryed mete, on flessh dayes or on fisshe dayes. (CI. IV. 68)
from Maggie Black The Medieval Cookbook, p. 121 and Pleyn Delit

This is kind of like a white pine-nut non-chocolate fudge

2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons honey
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup pine nut kernels, ground
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Put the sugar, honey and water in a deep pan and cook over low heat until a sugar thermometer placed in it registers 230-235 degrees F. At once turn the syrup into a chilled bowl and beat it hard for 2-3 minutes. Beat in the remaining ingredients. Turn the mixture into a wetted shallow tin and leave to harden. Cut into small pieces to serve.

Pear Latwergen
Steam them in a pot. Crush thereafter with a spoon. Set thereafter in a small kettle on a tripod over a small fire. Thereafter [have] good embers. Stir. Put honey and spices therein. Still stir it much. Put coarsely ground cloves, ginger and nutmeg therein. Still stir it much, and reduce the fire until the spices heat up well, and take it from there. Pound it out on a wide plate or board. Roll it like a krapfen dough. Let it cool well. Thereafter cut pieces therefrom and keep.
Von Speisen, Naturlichen vnd Kreuter Wein, Aller Verstandt
Good latwergen from people-pears and other good pears
Redaction from class handout by Caterina Sichling von Nuremberg (c) 1996 Alia K. Atlas

This candy is like a fruit leather.

1 cup steamed pear puree (2 or 3 soft pears)
1/2 cup honey
1/16 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and core pears. Quarter them and place in a baking dish with a tight cover. If it leaks too much steam, the pears might burn; if this is your only option, you can add a little water (1/4 cup) or make a paste of flour and water and seal the lid on, leaving a space unfilled, so that air can escape. Cook the pears at 350 for an hour. Remove the pears from the oven, let cool, and puree. They will be extremely soft. For a smooth texture, use a food processor, or a lot of patience. This should produce 1 cup of pureed pears. Put the pear puree in a pot on a high heat with a candy thermometer. Add the honey. Cook until thermometer reads 260 degrees, or the mixture reaches hardball. This will take about 20 minutes, and the mixture may splatter, as the water is boiled out. Add the spices, keeping the mixture at 260 degrees, and cook for another two minutes. Remove from the stove. Oil a cutting board, marble is highly recommended. Let the pear mixture cool slightly, and then pour onto the cutting board. Using a spatula, smooth the mixture out to between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. Once it has cooled so that it isn't sticky, you may mold it in oiled molds, or cut it into pieces. Let fully cool and store.
Wear gloves when simmering and stirring the pear puree. The burns from this are painful. It splatters all over as the water boils out.

Cream Cheese Mints
modern recipe: makes 8 dozen mints

1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1/4 cup soft butter
2 pounds powdered sugar
few drops food coloring
1/2 teaspoon peppermint, wintergreen or lemon extract

Combine cream cheese and butter in heavy bottomed saucepan. Stir over low heat until cheese is soft, butter is melted, and the mixture is thoroughly blended. Add the powdered sugar and stir until well combined. Add your choice of food coloring and flavoring. If desired, you may divide the whole batch to make 2 or 3 color choices, adding extract to taste. Roll into 1 inch balls. Place on a sheet of waxed paper. Press with fork, or stamp with decorative cookie stamp to form design on top. Let stand, uncovered, about 4 hours or overnight until mints are firm and outside is dry, but inside is still moist and creamy. I found that I had to freeze them for about 10 minutes when I used molds to get them to pop out. I did not have luck getting them out of plastic sheet molds unless they were round (medallions or strawberries).

Candied Walnuts
modern recipe: makes 3 cups

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
dash salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups walnut halves

Combine brown sugar, granulated sugar and sour cream in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until it boils. Continue to boil until mixture reaches soft ball stage (240 F) or until it forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water. Stir in salt and vanilla. Pour hot candy mixture over walnuts in a mixing bowl. Mix until walnuts are evenly coated. Spoon out onto waxed paper. Separate walnuts. Allow to cool and set. When dry, store in airtight container.

Apricot Balls
modern recipe

1 pound dried apricots, ground fine
1/4 cup orange juice
grated rind of one orange
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup nuts, finely chopped

Cook all ingredients except nut meats in double boiler 30 minutes, stirring often. Add nut meats. Cook 5 minutes more. Cool. Form into small rolls or balls and roll in powdered sugar. If first sugar is absorbed too much, sift more over the balls later.

Cookies (chocolate chip)
It's not period, but people really go for them.

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Updated December 2, 1998