Here are some recipes inspired by our Open Hearth Cooking program. Enjoy!
Frumenty (also spelled Furmenty)
|1 qt. water||1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon|
|3/4 c. milk||1/4 c. brown sugar|
|1/2 c. heavy cream||2 egg yolks|
|1/2 tsp. salt||optional: dried fruits|
The wheat must be soaked overnight. Not doing so causes you to boil and boil and boil your dish. Take four times the amount of water to the quantity of wheat, bring to a boil, and leave to soak overnight. Note on finding ingredients: Cracked wheat is usually available as hulled wheat in Indian groceries, and lasts for a long time.
Drain off excess water and add the milk, cream, salt, mace, cinnamon and brown sugar. [You can vary the richness of the dish by adding more eggs or cream.] Simmer, stirring occassionally, until liquid is absorbed (about 30 minutes). In a bowl, beat egg yolks and slowly stir 1/2 cup of the wheat mixture into the yolks. Then stir the yolk mixture int the pot, and continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve sprinkled with brown sugar on top, and consider adding some chopped dried fruit, like currants or dried figs.
A raised, standing, or coffin, pie has a built-up crust and is baked on a baking sheet, not in a pie plate. The crust is the container for the filling and is not edible if made very thick. These kinds of pies were made as a container for meat fillings and have their roots in Medieval cooking. Food historian Karen Hess* suggests the use of rye flour, and that it “must be well kneaded, and rolled out to a thickness of at least ½ inch.” She also notes that raising the crust is a “daunting procedure” and suggests using the pastry to line a suitable mold as “evenly and seamlessly as possible.”
Pastry Recipe from: Directions for Cookery in its Various Branches by Eliza Leslie. First published in 1828-29. Reprint of 1848 edition with an Introduction and Suggested Recipes by Louis Szathmary. New York: Arno Press, 1973.
Cut up half a pound of butter, and put it into a sauce-pan with three quarters of a pint of water; cover it, and set it on hot coals. Have ready in a pan two pounds of sifted flour; make a hole in the middle of it, pour in the melted butter as soon as it boils, and then with a spoon gradually mix in the flour. When it is well mixed, knead it with your hands into a stiff dough. Sprinkle your paste-board with flour, lay the dough upon it, and continue to knead it with your hands till it no longer sticks to them, and is quite tight. Then let it stand an hour to cool. Cut off pieces for the bottom and top; roll them out thick, and roll out a long piece for the sides or walls of the pie, which you must fix on the bottom so as to stand up all round; cement them together with white of egg, pinching and closing them firmly. Then put in the ingredients of your pie (which should be venison, game, or poultry) and lay on the lid or top crust, pinching the edges closely together. You may ornament the sides and tops with leaves or flowers of paste, shaped with a tin cutter, and notch or scallop the edges handsomely. Before you set it in the oven glaze it all over with white of egg. Bake it four hours. These pies are always eaten cold, and in winter will keep for two or three weeks, if the air is carefully excluded from them; and they may be carried a considerable distance.
Suggested Filling for Raised Pie: From: Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery, p. 87. Transcribed by Karen Hess, Columbia University Press, New York, 1971.
To Make a Chicken Pie
Season the chicken with a little pepper, some salt, nutmeg, and sugar and lay them in a round coffin with good store of marrow cut up in square bits bigger than dice; roll them up in egg yolks, and a little white wine and grated nutmeg, and put in some artichoke bottoms, boiled; and lay amongst the chicken some egg yolks, boiled hard. And if you would have it, a sweet relish, put in dates shredded, raisins and currants, and a little whole mace, and lay on a good store of butter. Make a sweet caudle of white wine and sack…and put it in when the pie comes out of the oven. But if you would have it a sharp relish, put a little verjuice (sour juice from unripe grapes or crab apples) to the white wine and juice of lemons.
*p. 81-82, Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery, transcribed by Karen Hess, Columbia University Press, New York, 1971