Thursday, April 8, 2010

Boke of Cookry: Compote of Pears

Copyright and Robert ShellI blogged HERE about Þe Bors Hede Boke of Cookry and the recipe for Frytor of Erbys. Here's another recipe...

Wardonys in Syryp

Middle English

Take wardonys an caste on a potte • and boyle hem till þey ben tender • þan take hem vp and pare hem an kytte hem in to pecys • take y-now of pouder of canel a good quantyte an caste it on red wyne • an draw it þorw a straynour • caste sugre þer-to an put it in an erþen pot an let it boyle • an þanne caste þe perys þer-to an let boyle to-gederys • an whan þey haue boyle a whyle take pouder of gyngere an caste þer-to • an a lytil venegre • an a lytil safron • an loke þat it be poynaunt an dowcet

—Harleian MS. 279.10, dated 1430

Modern Translation

Take wardon pears and boil them in a pot until they are tender; then take them out and pare them, and cut them in two pieces; take a good quantity of cinnamon and mix it in red wine, and draw it through a strainer; add sugar to this and boil it in an earthen pot then add pears to this and boil together a while longer; then add powdered ginger; a little vinegar, and a little saffron; be sure it is pungent and sweet.

Working Recipe

2 cups Red Wine
1/2 cup Sugar
1 2-inc Cinnamon Stick
4 Bosc pears, firm, pared, halved, cored
1/2 tsp Ginger, ground
1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 pinch Saffron, cumbled

Combine wine, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add pears. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Remove pears from pan, and place in serving dish. Remove and discard cinnamon stick. Add remaining ingredients to wine mixture in pan, and bring to a boil. Serve over pears.