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Elizabet-Fst-art – 1/15/06


An Elizabethian feast cooked by Baroness Minowara Kiritsubo (Kiri) including a list of references, her menu and her recipes. This feast was done in the Barony of Dun Carraig, Kingdom of Atlantia.


NOTE: See also the files: sugar-msg, feast-menus-msg, p-feasts-msg, p-menus-msg, feast-decor-msg, feast-ideas-msg, feast-serving-msg, 15C-Italn-fst-art, Coron-Fst-BP-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 09:54:49 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler1 at comcast.net>

    [updated address: 1/15/06 –Stefan]

Subject: Re: SC - help with Elizabethan feasts plans Requested


BJ of NZ wrote:

> I'm autocratng an Elizabethan feast for 100 and need decorative Ideas

> please sugest Places for me to look or things for me to do

> BJ



The following is a list of books that I have used to get ideas and recipes from

for my Elizabethan feasts.  I hope you find it useful.


The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby Opened, ed. Stevenson & Davidson, Prospect Books,



Epulario, or The Italian Banquet.  Falconwood Press, copyright 1990, Susan Evans


The Accomplished Cook by Robert May, Prospect Books, 2000


Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt Book by Hilary Spurling, Viking Penguin, 1986.


Dining with William Shakespeare by Madge Lorwin, Ateneum, 1976.  This one's out

of print, so you may have to try a college or university library.


A Taste of History.  by Peter Brears, et al. British Museum Press, 1993


All the King's Cooks by Peter Brears, Souvenir Press, 1999.


Fooles and Fricassees.  Catalogue of the exhibit of the same name, from the

exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC.


Most of the above books can be obtained from Devra, through her Poison Pen

Press.  However, as I indicated above, the Dining with William Shakespeare is no

longer available.  I got mine through a book search by the Haunted Bookshop.  The last one can be obtained by contacting the Folger Library bookshop.  I also

believe that Acanthus Press has a number of booklets that deal with many

different aspects of Elizabethan foodways.


The menu I served is as follows:








Mortis (Sweet Chicken Pate)

Sodde Egges (Eggs with Mustard Sauce)

Pickled Mushrooms

A Carrot Sallad

Bread and Butter






Roast Fillet of Beef

Lumbardy Tarts

Grand Sallet






Brawn of Pork with Mustard Sauce

Stewed Potatoes

Buttered Colle-floure

Escudilla de Esparragos Silvesteres


  (A Dish of Wild or Cultivated Asparagus)






Biskets of Almons          

Shewsbury Cakes





The recipes for all of these are in the Dining with Wm Shakespeare, Fooles &

Fricassees and A Taste of History.  If you want, I can send these to you

privately if you can't get these books. [These recipes are now included below - Stefan]


Good luck in your endeavor!





An Elizabethan Feast

Prepared by Elaine Koogler

April, 2000



A Carrot Sallad

From Dining with Willliam Shakespeare


Carrets boyled and eaten with vinegar, Oyle , and Pepper serve for a special good salad to stirre up appetite, and to purifie blood.

                                      --William Vaughan, Directions for Health


1 # baby carrots                                        

3 cups water

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp. chervil

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

4 tbsp. Salad oil

1/4 tsp. white pepper

1 lg. Sprig parsley


Scrub carrots and cut off green tops.  Bring water, salt, chervil to a boil in a saucepan.  Add the carrots, cover the pot, and cook until the carrots are tender but still crisp—about 10 minutes.


In a deep bowl, mix together the vinegar, oil and pepper. Drain the carrots, add them to the dressing and stir them until they are nicely coated.  Cover the bowl and marinate the carrots in the dressing for at least an hour.


Wash the parsley in cold water, shake off the moisture, and snip off the stems.  Make a rosette of the leaves in the center of a dinner plate.  Arrange the carrots around the parsley like a sunburst, and pour a little of the dressing over the carrots.




(Sweet Chicken Pate)

from A Taste of History


To make a mortis:  Take almonds and blanche them, and beat them in a morter, and boyle a Chicken, and take al the flesh of him, and beate it, and straine them together, with milke and water and so put them into the pot, and put in Suger and stirre them still, and when it hath boyled a good while, take it of, and set it a cooling in a payle of wate, and straine it againe with Rose water into a dish.

                              --Thomas Dawson, The Good huswifes Jewell, pt. 1


1/2 chicken (4 chicken breasts)

2 oz. Blanched almonds

1/4 pt milk

1/4 tsp. salt  (I added this)

1 tbsp. Sugar

1 tbsp. Rosewater


Put the chicken in a saucepan, cover with water (and a little salt) and boil until tender, about 45 minutes.  Drain and pick all of the meat from the bones.  While the chicken is boiling, grind the almonds and milk together to form a smooth paste.  Grind the cooked chicken into this paste, then place the mixture in a saucepan with the sugar, and cook over a gentle heat for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring continuously.  Cool the saucepan in a bowl of cold water, beat in the rosewater, and finally fork the resulting pate either down into a deep bowl, or into a symmetric shape on a plate ready for the table.



Sodde Egges

(Eggs in Mustard Sauce)

from A Taste of History


Seeth your Egges almost harde, then peele them and cut them in quarters, then take a little Butter in a fjying panne and melt it a little browne, then put to it in the panne, a little Vinegar, Mustarde, Pepper and Salte, and then put it into a platter upon your Egges.


4 eggs

1 oz. Butter

1 tsp. prepared mustard

1 tsp. vinegar (I used white wine)

pinch of salt

pepper to taste


Boil eggs for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, lightly brown the butter in a saucepan and allow it to cool a little before quickly stirring in the remaining ingredients.  Peel the eggs, quarter them and arrange them on a warm dish.  Reheat the sauce and pour it over the eggs immediately before serving.



Pickled Mushrooms

From Dining with William Shakespeare


Take a bushel of mushrooms, blanch them over the crown, barm them beneath; if they are new, they look read as a Cherry; if old, black; this being done, throw them into a pan oif boyling water, then take them forth and let them drain; when they are cold, put them up into your Pot or Glass, put thereto Cloves, Mace, Ginger, Nutmeggs, whole Pepper; Then take white wine, a little Vinegar, with a llittle quantity of salt, so pour the Liquor into your Mushrooms, and stop them close for your use all the year.


        --William Rabisha, The whole Body of Cookery Dissected


1/2 lb. Mushrooms about an inch in diameter

2 cups water

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. peppercorns

2 cloves

1 lg. Piece whole mace

1 thin slice fresh ginger

1/2  nutmeg, broken up

3/4 cup white wine

1 tbsp. Vinegar


Wash the mushrooms under cool running water.  Slice off the stems to within 1/2 inch of the caps.  Put the water, 1/2 tsp. salt, and the mushrooms and bring to a rapid boil.  Drain the mushrooms immediately and put them into a half-pint, screw-top jar with the spices and the rest of the salt. Pour the wine and vinegar over them.  If there is not enough liquid to cover the mushrooms, add more wine vinegar.  


Cover the jar with a piece of plastic before screwing down the top—otherwise the vinegar will corrode the metal.  Turn the jar upside down several times to distribute the seasonings.  Store in a cool place (but do not refrigerate) for 3 or 4 days before using.



Roast Fillet of Beef

From Dining with William Shakespeare


Take a fillet which is the tenderest part of the beef, and lieth in the inner part of the surloyn, cut it as big as you can, broach it on a broach not too big, and be careful not to broach it through the best of the meat; roast it leisurely, and baste it with sweet butter, set a dish to save the gravy while it roasts, then prepare sauce for it of good store of parsley, with a few sweet herbs chopped small, the yolkes of three or four eggs, sometimes gross pepper minced amongst them with the peel of an orange, and a little onion; boil these together, and put in a little butter, vinegar, gravy, a spoonful of strong broth, and put it to the beef.

                                      --Robert May, The Accomplisht Cook


1  2-pound piece of beef tenderloin

6 tbsp. Butter, melted

1/4 cup minced parsley

1/4 cup minced chives

1/4 tsp. thyme

1/4 tsp. savory

1/8 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. grated fresh orange peel

3/4 cup clear beef broth

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 egg yolks


NOTE:  if using dried parsley and chives, use less than 1/4 cup.


Turn under the thin tail of the tenderloin, if there is one, and tie the roast.  Heat the oven to 500 degrees.  Set aside two tablespoons of the butter for the sauce.  Brush the meat with some of the remaining butter and place it in an open baking dish.  Put the roast into the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 350 degrees.  Roast for 30 minutes, basting with butter every 5 minutes.


To make the sauce, put all of the remaining ingredients except the egg yolks into a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Low the heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Add 1/4  cup of the sauce to the egg yolks and beat until blended.  Return the egg yolks to the sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce begins to thicken.  Stir whatever gravy there is in the baking dish into the sauce.


Remove the string from the meat and slice it into 1/2 inch slices.  Arrange them on a heated serving dish and pour the gravy over them. Serve immediately.



Lumbardy Tarts

From Dining with William Shakespeare


Take Beets, chop them small, and put to them grated bread and cheese, and mingle them wel in the chopping, take a few Corrans, and a dish of sweet Butter, & melt it then stir al these in the Butter, together with three yolks of Eggs, Synamon, ginger, and sugar, and make your Tart as large as you will, and fill it with the stuff, bake it and serve it in.

        --John Partridge, The good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin


1 # fresh young beets

2 tbsp. Brown sugar

1 tsp. grated bread crumbs

3/4 cup grated mild Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup currants, parboiled

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ginger

3 egg yolks

4 tbsp. Butter, melted.


Peel the beets and grate them into a mixing bowl.  Add the sugar and stir until it melts.  Mix in the bread crumbs, grated cheese, currants, spices and egg yolks.  Then stir in the melted butter.


Spread the filling evenly in the dish and cover it with the top crust.  Seal the edges with the tines of a wet fork and trim off the surplus pastry.  Punch fork holes in the crust and brush it with egg white. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees.  Bake for 25 minutes longer.  Serve slightly warm.



Grand Sallet

From A Taste of History


Original recipe from The Second Book of Cookery, Anon.


For the Salad:

young leaves of lettuce, sorrel, mustard, cress, dandelion, spinach, radishes

8 oz. Capers

12 dates, sliced lengthwise

2 oz. Raisins

2 oz. Currants

2 oz blanched almonds

6 figs sliced

6 mandarin oranges, peeled and divided into segments


For the decoration:

5 small branches of rosemary

4 lemons

8 oz. Fresh or glace berries

6 hard-boiled eggs


Mix the contents of the salad together, reserving half of the capers, dates, almonds and oranges for decoration, and spread evenly across a wide shallow dish.  Spike each branch of rosemary into the pointed end of five half-lemons, and hang with cherries before placing one in the center of the salad and the remaining four equidistant around it.  Prick 4 half-eggs with the reserved almonds and dates, both sliced lengthwise and place these between the 4 half-lemons   Quarter the remaining eggs, and alternate with slices of lemon just within the brim of the dish.  Then decorate the brim with alternating orange segments and small piles of capers.



A Collar of Brawn and Mustard

(Pickled Pork with Mustard Sauce)

From Dining with William Shakespeare


To Sowce a Pigge

Take white Wine and a little sweet broth, and half a score nutmegs cut into quarters, then take Rosemarie, Baies, Time, and sweet margerum, and let them boyle altogether, skum them very cleane, and when they be boyled, put them in an earthen pan and the syrop also, and when yee serve them, a quarter of a pig in a dish, and the Bays and nutmegs on top.

                       --Thomas Dawson, The good Huswifes Jewell



1 1/2 # piece of boned loin of Pork

1/3 yard of cheesecloth

2 1/2  cups veal or chicken broth

2 cups dry white wine

3 bay leaves

1 nutmeg, broken up

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon rosemary

1/2 teaspoon marjoram

1 1/2 teaspoons salt


Remove all but a thin covering of fat from the pork.  Roll the meat up tightly in the cheesecloth and tie it as you would a roast, then make knot in the cheesecloth at each end.


Put the broth, one cup of wine and the seasonings into a two-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a boil.  Add the pork roll, lower the heat to simmer, and cook, covered, until a fork will easily penetrate the meat—2 - 2 1/2 hours.  Remove the meat form the cooking broth and put it into a glass or stainless steel bowl.  Pour the second cup of wine over it, add the herbs from the cooking broth, and as much of the broth as is needed to completely cover the roll.  Cover the bowl with a plastic bowl cover, set aside until cold, then refrigerate.


Marinate the pork for at least one week, turning it once a day.  To serve, remove the cheesecloth covering and slice the meat about 1/4 in thick.  Arrange in a shallow serving dish and pour a little of the sousing liquid over them, with some of the spices.  Serve with a sauce of prepared mustard to which a little vinegar has been added.


Note:  This is a festival dish, usually served during the Christmas/Twelfth Night season.  It was usually decorated and presented to the head of the household by servers.  According to the author of this book, all cookbook bills of fare



Stewed Potatoes

From Dining with William Shakespeare


Boyle or roast your Potatoes very tender, and blanch [peel] them; cut them into thin slices, put them into a dish or stewing pan, put to them three or foure Pippins sliced thin, a good quantity of beaten Ginger and Cynamon, Verjuice, Sugar and Butter; stew these together an hour very softly; dish them being stewed enough, putting to them Butter and Verjuice beat together, and stick it full of green Sucket or Orrengado, or some such liquid sweet-meat; sippit it and scrape Sugar on it, and serve it up hot to the Table.

        --Joseph Cooper, The Art of Cookery Refin’d and Augmented


1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes

1 pound tart cooking apples

5 tbsp. Brown sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ginger

4 tbsp. Butter, diced

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup candied orange peel, diced


Bake the potatoes in their dkins for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.  Peel them and cut them into thin slices.  Core and peel the apples and slice them thin.


Mix 3 tbsp. of the sugar with the cinnamon and ginger. Butter a casserole with one tbsp. of the butter and put a layer of sliced apples into it.  Sprinkle a little of the sugar-spice mixture and bits of diced butter over them.  Cover with a layer of sliced potatoes, sprinkle a little of the sugar-spice mixture and dot with butter.  Continue layering apples and potatoes as abofve until all are in the casserole.


Pour the wine vinegar over the top and sprinkle with the remaining two tbsp. of sugar.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until the potatoes and apples are tender.  Dot the dish with candied orange peel and serve hot.



Buttered Colle-floure

From Dining with William Shakespeare


Take a ripe Colle-floure and cut off the buddes, boyle them in milke with a little Mace while [until] they be very tender, then poure them into a Cullender, and let the Milke run cleane form them, then take a ladle full of Creame, being boylled with a little whole Mace, putting to it a Ladlefull of thicke butter, mingle them together with a little Sugar, dish up your flowers upon sippets, poure your butter and cream hot upon it strowing on a little slicst Nutmeg and salt, and serve it to the Table hot.

                              --John Murrell, A Booke of Cookerie


1 cauliflower about 5” in diameter

2 1/2 cups milk

1 large piece whole mace


The Sauce:

1/2 cup light cream

1 tbsp. butter

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. sugar

3 slices hot buttered toast, cut into triangles


Remove the green leaves and thick base of the cauliflower, rinse the head in cold water and separate into flowerets.  


Heat the milk to just below the boiling point and add the mace and cauliflowerets.  Lower the heat to simmer, and cook until the cauliflowerets are tender but still crisp—from 12 - 15 minutes.  While the cauliflower is cooking, bring the cream, butter, salt, nutmeg and sugar to a point just below boiling.


Arrange the toast in a heated serving bowl.  Remove the cauliflower from the milk with a slotted spoon and place them on the toast. Pour the sauce over them and serve hot.





-- To make a dish of wild or cultivated asparagus


Take the most tender part, cause it to boil in hot water until they seem tender, and finish cooking them with good broth of capon or of veal: and these want to be served with a little broth.  With the wild ones you can put raisins.  The cultivated ones can be served with orange juice, sugar, and salt.


note: orange juice would refer to the juice of sour oranges.  In The Medieval Kitchen, it is suggested that one can substitute the juice of two oranges mixed with the juice of a lemon.



Seville Orange Juice




Steam asparagus just long enough to be tender.  To serve, dress it with a sauce made of the orange juice, reconstituted with water and mixed with a little sugar and salt to taste.



Shrewsbury Cakes

From Dining with William Shakespeare


Take a quart of very fine flower, eight ounces of fine sugar beaten and cersed [sieved], twelve ounces of sweete butter, a Nutmegge grated two or three spoonefuls of damaske rose-water, worke all these together with your hands as hard as you can for the space of halfe an houre, then roule it in little round Cakes, about the thickness of three shillings one upon the other, then take a silver Cup or glasse some foure or three inches over, and cut the cakes in them, then stowe some flower upon white papers & lay them upon them, and bake them in an Oven as hot as for Manchet, set up your lid [keep the oven door closed] till you may tell a hundreth [count to one hundred slowly], then you shall see them white, if any of the rise up clap them downe with some cleane thing, and if your Oven be not too hot set up your led again, and in a quarter of an houre they will be baked enough, but in any case take heede your Oven be not too hot, for they must not looke browne but white and so draw them foorth & lay them one upon another till they be could, and you may keep them halfe a yeare, the new baked are best.

        --John Murrell, A Delightfull daily exercise for Ladies and



1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sifted unbleached flour

1 1/2 nutmeg

1/2 tsp. rosewater


Cream the sugar and butter together until fluffy.  Sift the flour with the nutmeg.  Add the rose water to the sugar-butter mixture and stir in the dry ingredients only  until just blended; then chill the dough, for ten minutes.  Sprinkle your work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it.  Pat the dough into a ball, then roll it out gently to 1/4 inch thick.


Cut out thecakes with a two- or three-inch round cookie cutter.  Place them on an unbuttered cookie sheet and inch apart and bake at 350 degrees until slightly brown around the edges—from 12 - 15 minutes. Cool on a wire grille and store in an airtight tin.




From Dining with William Shakespeare


Take two pound of almonds blanced and beaten in a stone mortar, til they begin to come to a fine paste, then take a pound of sited sugar, put it in the mortar with the almonds and make it into a perfect paste, putting to it now and then in the beating of it a spoonful of rose-water to keep it from oyling; when you have beaten it to a puff-paste, drive it out as big as a charger [serving platter], and set an edge about it as you do a quodling [apple] tart, and the bottom of wafers under it, thus bake it in an oven or baking pan; when you see it white, and hard, and dry, take it out, and ice it with rosewater and sugar, being made as thick as butter for fitters so spread it on with a wing feather, and put it into the oven again; when you  see it rise high, then take it out and garnish it with some pretty conceits made of the same stuff, tick long comfets upright in it, and so serve it forth.

                       --Robert May, The Accomplisht Cook


The Almond Paste:

1/2 pound blanched almonds

2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 tbsp. rose water

1 12-inch sheets of wax paper


The Base:

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg separated

1 1/4 cups sifted unbleached flour


The Icing:

1 tbsp. rose water

3 tbsp. sugar


Conceits to decorate the Marchpane:


Reserved Almond Paste

Green Food coloring

Whole Cloves with stems on

12 Candied Violets

1 oz. Candied ginger, cut into narrow strips


To make the paste, grate the almonds and remove any course bits of nuts.  Add 2 cups of confectioners sugar and mix until blended.  With your fingertips, work the nuts and sugar into a paste, adding a tsp. of rosewater at a time—stop working the paste as soon as it is blended; overworking makes an oily, tough paste.  Cover the paste and set it aside.


To make the base, cream the butter and sugar together until light.  Beat in the egg yolk, stir in the flour, 1/3 at a time, then refrigerate the dough for about 15 minutes.


Sprinkle a cookie sheet with flour and roll the dough out on it to a round approximately 9 inches in diameter.  Place a round 8” cake tin, open side down, on the pastry and cut around before lifting the tin. Brush the round with egg white.


Set aside 2 tbsp of the almond paste for the conceits. Sprinkle one of the sheets of wax paper with two tbsp of the confectioners sugar, place the remaining paste with the rest of the confectioners sugar, cover with the second sheet of wax paper and rollout the paste to a round 7” in diameter.


Slowly pull off the top sheet of paper and carefully turn the round of almond paste over onto the cookie base, then carefully pull off the other sheet of paper, leaving approximately an inch-wide border of the base free.  Turn this up and flute it with your fingers to make a raised border. Punch fork holes in the almond paste and bake at 375 degrees for 5 minutes, then lower the heat to 325 degrees and bake 15 minutes longer, or until the pastry is delicately browned…check after ten minutes.


While the marchpane is baking, mix one drop of the green coloring with the reserved almond paste until blended.  Divide the paste into 1/2 “ balls and form tiny apples or pears or bot, using the cloves to make stems and bases of the fruit.  Brush them with egg white and set aside to dry.


Remove the marchpane from the oven, and brush the top with the icing made by stirring the rose water and granulated sugar together.  Return the marchpane to the oven for 5 more minutes to glaze the icing.  Then remove the marchpane from the oven, and arrange the decorations into any pattern that pleases you.  Cool the marchpane on the cookie sheet.


To remove it to your serving dish, slide a long, narrow steel spatula carefully under the base and ease it onto the plate.




From Dining with William Shakespeare


Beate a quarter of a pound of double refined Sugar, cearse it with two or three spoonefuls of the finest, the youlkes of three new laid eggs, and the white of one, beate all this together in with two or three spooneflls of sweete cream, a grain of muske, a thimble full of the powder of dried lemond, and a little Annise-seede beaten and cearsed, and a little Rose-water, then baste Muskle-shells with sweete butter, as thinne as you can lay it on with a feather, fill your shells with the batter and lay them on the gridiron or a lattise of wickers into the oven, and bake them and take them out of the shells, and ise them with Rose-water & sugar.  It is a delicate bread, some call it the Italian Mushle, if you keep them any long time, then always in wet weather put them in your oven.

                       --John Murrell, A Daily Exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen


1/2 cup unbleached flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. ground anise seed

3 egg yolks

1 egg white

2 tbsp. whipping cream

2 tsp. rose water

1 tbsp. grated fresh lemon rind

1 drop essence of musk

2 tbsp. unsalted butter


The Icing:


3 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 tbsp. rose water


Sift together flour, sugar and anise seed.  Beat the eggs, cream, rose water, lemon rind and musk together, until blended.  Fold in the flour mixture a tablespoon at a time.


Butter a madelaine tin with the unsalted butter and dust lightly with flour.  Fill each depression half-full with the batter and bake in a 350 degree oven from 12 - 15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.  Gently loosen the edges with the tip of a paring knife and turn them out, ridged side up, on a wire cooling rack.


An hour before serving, mix the sugar and rose water together for the icing and brush the ridged sides of the cakes with it.  Return the cakes to a 350 degree oven just long enough to glaze.



To make Biskets of Almons very dainty, and knowne of few

Almond Cookies



p. 19, Mrs Sarah Longe her Receipt Booke [c. 1610] from Fooles and Fricassees:  Food in Shakespeare’s England (Published by the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, 1999)


Take a pound of Almons, blanch them, then beate them in a morter [;] then put in a little rosewater to them, that they may not turn to an Oyle in their beating; when they are beaten very small take them up and put them into a Dish [;] then take half a pound of sugar beaten very small and put to them the whites of 4 Eggs, with a little Quantity of musk, and Ambergrease [;] then beat it altogether a quarter of an hour, then put it upon papers in what fashion you will.  You must be carefull in the making of it, that it be not coloured to[o] much.


Redaction—Elaine Koogler  (makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies)


2 cups blanched almonds

1/2 teaspoon rose water

1 cup sugar

4 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon almond extract


1. Grind almonds in a mill or food processor.  Add the rosewater to keep them from getting oily.

2. Add sugar, egg whites and almond extract and blend thoroughly in the food processor.

3. Put teaspoonfuls of the batter onto a greased cookie sheet.

4. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.  Be very careful to check the bottoms of the

cookies as they tend to get too brown.  The cookies should be VERY lightly “coloured” as the recipe above states.



I added almond extract to intensify the almond flavor. This is a slightly perfumed taste and would, I believe, approximate the ambergris and/or musk the recipe called for.  I was unable to locate either of these ingredients.  Also, I’ve heard differing opinions on the safety of cooking with these ingredients so prefer to stay away from them.



                                   To Make Gumballs




p. 45, Mrs Sarah Longe her Receipt Booke [c. 1610] from Fooles and Fricassees:  Food in Shakespeare’s England (Published by the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, 1999)


To a pound of fine flower dryed in the Oven take a quarter of a pound of sugar, 2 yelks of Eggs, and one white, and thicke creame as much as will wett it, Corriander[,] fennell seed a good quantity[;] worke all together well then roll it into small rolls and cast into Knotts[;] Take heed the Oven be not too hott.


2 cups white flour

1/4 # sugar

2 egg yolks

1 egg white

Whipping Creme






Brears, Peter, Maggie Black, Gill Corbishley, Jane Renfrew and Jennifer Stead.  A Taste of History:  10,000 Years of Food in Britain.  London:  British Museum Press, 1993.


Lorwin, Madge.  Dining with William Shakespeare.  New York:  Atheneum, 1976.


Mrs Sarah Longe her Receipt Booke [c. 1610] from Fooles and Fricassees:  Food in Shakespeare’s England (Published by the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, 1999)


<the end>

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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org