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3-Span-Sweets-art - 4/26/01


Three Spanish sweet dishes from de Nola: the Torta Genovesa, Frutas de Mazapan, and the Burnia de Higos entered by Vicente (Vincent Cuenca) in the Queen's Prize Tourney in Dun Ard, Calontir.


NOTE: See also the files: fd-Spain-msg, desserts-msg, pastries-msg, cookies-msg, pies-msg, fruit-pies-msg, fruits-msg, sugar-msg, marzipan-msg, nuts-msg.





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, 30 Jan 2001 21:06:03

From: "Vincent Cuenca" <bootkiller at hotmail.com>

Subject: SC - A&S entry (long)


This past weekend, I went to the Queen's Prize Tourney in Dun Ard, Calontir.

Queens' Prize is a combination A&S showcase and competition intended for

novice-level entrants.  Each entrant is sponsored by GoA- or PoA-level

artisans (Calon Lily for arts, Silver Hammer for Sciences), who supply small

prizes for other entrants.  Everybody wins something.  I entered three sweet

dishes from de Nola: the Torta Genovesa, Frutas de Mazapan, and the Burnia

de Higos.


"Torta a la Genovesa

Una libra de almendras mondadas; y otra de piñones, y otra de avellanas

tostadas; y majarlo todo junto en un mortero y después de majado dejarlo

aparte, y tomar una olla con agua y sal y aceite, y esto sea en día de

carne; y cátalo que esté bueno de sal, y tomar media libra de pasas sin los

granillos; y tres onzas de dátiles mondados de los cuescos, y hechos cuatro

partes; y tres o cuatro manzanas agras o dulces; y hacerlas cuartos y

quitarles el corazón y las pepitas, y echarlo en la olla porque cueza; y

desque haya bien hervido, las manzanas serán cocidas, y después sacarlas de

la agua; y majarlas con los dátiles y pasas y almendras y con las avellanas

y piñones; y después de bien majado todo desatarlo con el dicho caldo; y si

es dia de carne puedes echar en el mortero una docena de huevos majados con

las sobredichas cosas, y después pasarlo por un cedazo; y hecho esto, tomar

masa que sea buena y bien sobada, y has de ella un tajadero tan grande como

fuere el suelo de la sartén que tuvieres; y hacerle sus orillas como a una

empanada sin cobertor; empero que sea del tamaño de la sartén ni más ni

menos, y ponla dentro de la sartén y desque esté dentro échale un poco de

aceite debajo porque la masa no se pegue en la sartén; y después echarás

toda aquella salsa o manjar dentro de la empanada; y ponla sobre buenas

cenizas calientes, y después tomar una cobertera que sea tan grande como la

sartén, que la cubra bien, y ponle buen fuego de carbón arriba y abajo y al

derredor y desque esté así un poco, quitarle sotilmente la cobertera de

encima; y echar dentro en la torta dos onzas de azúcar, y otra de canela

molida, y despues tórnala a cubrir con su cobertera, y cueza dos horas hasta

que la masa se aparte de la sartén; y entonces es cocida; y sácala en un

plato así como si fuese una tortilla de huevos; y ponla en la mesa así como



Genovese Torte

        One pound of shelled almonds; and another of pine nuts, and another of

toasted hazelnuts; and grind them all together in a mortar and once they are

ground set them aside, and take a pot with water and salt and oil, and this

should be on a meat day, and taste it for saltiness, and take half a pound

of raisins without the little seeds; and three ounces of dates with the

stones removed, and cut into four parts; and three or four tart or sweet

apples; and cut them into fourths and remove the core and the seeds, and put

them in the pot so they can cook; and when they have boiled for a while, the

apples will be cooked, and then take them from the water; and mash them with

the dates and raisins and almonds and with the hazelnuts and pine nuts; and

when it is all ground together thin it with the aforementioned broth; and if

it is a meat day you can add a dozen eggs to the mortar mixed in with the

aforementioned things, and then pass it through a strainer; and when this is

done, take dough that is good and well mixed, and make from this a flat

piece the size of the bottom of the frying pan that you have, and fix up the

edges as for a pasty without a cover, but it should be the size of the pan,

no bigger or smaller, and put it in the frying pan and when it is in add a

little fine lard so that the dough does not stick to the frying pan; and

then add all this sauce or dish to the pasty; and place it over good hot

coals, and then take a lid which is as big as the frying pan, which will

cover it well, and put good burning charcoal above and below and around it

and once it has been like this a bit, gently remove the cover from on top;

and add to the torte two ounces of sugar, and another of ground cinnamon,

and then cover it again with its lid, and cook it for two hours until the

dough comes away from the pan; and so it is cooked; and turn it out on a

plate as if it were an egg omelet; and place it on the table as if it were a



This is a lengthy recipe, but not all that complex.  I reduced the

proportions by fourths:

4 oz almonds

4 oz hazelnuts

4 oz pine nuts

2 oz raisins

3/4 oz dates

1 apple

3 eggs

After blanching and toasting the nuts, I ground them to a coarse meal in an

electric food grinder.  The fruits were cooked in salted water, then forced

through a china cap with a pestle.  I mixed the nuts with the pureed fruits

and eggs then poured the mixture into a torte pan lined with the pâte a pâte

recipe from "The Medieval Kitchen". For effect, I made a fretwork of dough

strips on the bottom of the pan.  I baked the torte at 350 degrees for ten

minutes, then scattered 1/4 oz cinnamon mixed with 1/2 oz sugar over the top and

continued with the baking until the filling was set.  As directed, I

inverted the torte onto a plate.



Burnía de Higos

        Muy buenos higos pasados tomarás, bien melados; y allanarlos bien uno a

uno; y quitarlos lo duro de los pezones; y tomar una aljafana o plato hondo

que sean nuevos y muy limpios, y pon al suelo de la aljafana un lecho de

rosas coloradas, quitando el blanco de ellas con unas tijeras, y sobre las

rosas un poco de azúcar y después un lecho de los higos y desta manera

haciendo un lecho de las rosas y azúcar, y otro de los higos, enchir la

aljafana o plato y hecho esto atapar bien la aljafana, porque esté asi

quince o veinte dias, y después comer destos higos; y es muy gentil manjar.


Burnia of Figs

        Take dried figs, very sweet; and flatten them out one by one; and remove

the hard part of the stems; and take a washbasin or platter which should be

new and very clean, and place on the bottom of the plate a layer of red

roses, removing the white part with scissors, and scatter a little sugar

over the roses and then a layer of the figs, and fill the plate in this

manner, with a layer of roses and sugar and a layer of figs, and once this

is done cover the basin very well, for it will sit for fifteen to twenty

days, and then eat the figs; and this is a very remarkable dish.


This dish is hard to classify, but easy to interpret.  It does not fit into

the usual categories of confit or preserved fruit, or any other confection.  

For visual effect, I alternated Black Mission figs with white Greek figs,

removing the stems, pressing them flat with a cleaver, and arranging them in

layers alternated with rose petals and sugar.  After the time recommended in

the recipe, the rose petals were dried and nearly odorless, and not very

appetizing.  This is in keeping with the recipe, which clearly states that

the figs, and not the rose petals, are eaten.  The white figs took the

flavor of the roses better than the black ones.


Fruta de Mazapan

        Tomar almendras blancas muy bien majadas; y como se fueren majando ir

echando azúcar; y para una libra de almendras otra libra de azúcar; y

majarlo todo junto y como se vaya majando irlo cebando con agua rosada, y

sea lo más molido que pueda; y después tomar harina muy cernida, y amasarla

con huevos y manteca; y un poco de vino blanco, y hacer unas tortillas; y

echar aquella pasta en ellas, y poner una sartén con manteca, y después de

bien caliente echar la fruta dentro; y fríase de su espacio; y después en el

plato échenle miel y azúcar y canela.


Marzipan Rissoles

        Take well ground white almonds; and while grinding them add sugar; and for

a pound of almonds another pound of sugar; and grind it all together and

while grinding sprinkle it with rose water, and it should be as well milled

as possible; and then take very well sifted flour, and make a dough with

eggs and lard; and a little white wine, and make some little cakes; and put

the paste in them, and set a frying pan with lard, and when it is very hot

toss in the cakes; and fry them with plenty of space between them and not

too quickly; and then add honey and sugar and cinnamon on the plate.


        De Nola uses the phrase fruta de sartén (lit. “fruit of the frying pan”) or simply fruta to indicate rissoles or pancakes, whether sweet or savory.  

These sweet rissoles bear a certain comparison to the caliscioni found in

Martino’s Libro de Arte Coquinaria, although these are fried rather than

baked.   The recipe is quite simple to follow: one pound of blanched

almonds, one pound of sugar, ground together and moistened with rosewater,

then wrapped in a dough of lard, flour, eggs and wine and fried.  As an

experiment, I used an unrefined Mexican sugar called piloncillo to more

closely approximate period sugar.  This stuff comes in rock-hard cones.  I

had to break it apart with a hammer, then grind it in a mortar to make it

useable.  I ground a pound of almonds with an electric grinder, ground an

equal measure of sugar by hand, then mixed them together with enough

rosewater to make a paste.  It was not as fine-textured as modern marzipan,

with a much more pronounced flavor of molasses from the sugar.  I used the

same dough recipe as for the Genovese torte, substituting white wine for the

water.  I cut out small rounds of dough, then filled the rounds with

spoonfuls of marzipan paste and folded them over to make a crescent shape.  

I fluted the edges with a fork, then fried them in oil until they were

golden, then drizzled them with syrup of thinned honey mixed with cinnamon

on top.




The judges were quite taken with the complexity of the dishes, and the

display.  I put the rissoles in a copper bowl lined with a white napkin, and

the torte and figs on silver plates, all on a simple white tablecloth.  I

lost a few points on documentation, because I didn't make a big deal about

how hard it was to blanch the hazelnuts and grind the sugar by hand.  The

torte was greatly appreciated by all, the figs were nibbled, then wolfed

even by those who don't like figs, and fights broke out over the marzipan

rissoles.  I had to set aside a couple at risk of life and limb to give to

Her Majesty.  (She took one bite and immediately hid them from her retinue.)

  I got lots of compliments, requests for recipes, and a few ounces of

grains of paradise as my prize.  I was also informed (not asked, but

INFORMED) by several Laurels that I WILL be entering Kingdom A&S this year.  

I had a blast, in spite of a case of the barking laryngitis.  Next time I'll

bring more copies of the documentation, more food, and plenty to drink.  

Maybe I'll try some cold meat dishes, or pasties. Hmmm....



(giddy with the possibilities)


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org