During the process of creating my pie for KASC, I had to not only do a lot of test cooking, but I also had to do a ton of close reading. Reading a medieval recipe is a complex and nuanced endeavor. Here is an example of my process of interpreting a recipe.
Marzipan is delicious, relatively easy to make (if you allow yourself modern cheats), vegan and gluten free, historical, and fancy: these factors combine to make it my top choice when planning a feast. You can sculpt it, add colors, or arrange some other sweets (I’m partial to dried fruits and candied ginger as shown here) to serve:
My basic marzipan recipe that I’ve been using for years:
- One part by weight blanched slivered almonds
- One part by weight sugar
- Rose water
Grind the almonds and sugar together in a food processor until the almonds are very fine. Add rose water a spoonful at a time, grinding continuously, until the marzipan forms a paste. Continue grinding until it is a smooth and uniform as possible.
Marzipan is also wonderful to take to events for a sweet treat or to share at a potluck.
Yesterday I made the marzipan pictured above as desserts for an Italian feast. It all got devoured and I even caught a friend of mine filling his napkin with it to take home!
My Laurel, Master Refr, is the head cook for a feast on Saturday, and I’m helping him with a couple of things. Somewhat humorously, Refr HATES making pie crust, so I am (not surprisingly) helping with that part. Here is the pie recipe he is working from, which is from book five of Scappi:
“165. Various ways to make tuna pies en croute