A chewet pie.
Take the brawns and the wings of capons and chickens after they have been roasted, and pull away the skin; then shred them with fine mutton suet very small; then season it with cloves, mace, cinnamon, sugar, and salt;then put to raisins of the sun and currants, and sliced dates, and orange peels, and, being well mixed together, put it into small coffins made for that purpose, and strew on top of them good store of caraway comfits: then cover them, and bake them with a gentle heat, and these chewets you may make also of roasted veal, seasoned as before shown and all parts of the loin is the best.
-Markham,G. The English Housewife, Best ed, p. 103
Tags: 17th century, capon, caraway, chewet, chicken, coffin, comfits, crasins, currants, dates, Jimmy Kimmel, Markham, my little pie maker, orange, pastry, pie, raisins, recipe, suet, sugar, veal
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Mincemeat, in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, was in fact, minced meat. Usually beef, sometime mutton, occasionally veal. Not just the meaty bits we now buy – sometimes tongue as well. But meat alone isn’t mincemeat. It also had copious amounts of raisins (a/k/a ‘raisins of the sunne’) and currents and sometimes dates and prunes, as well as generous amounts of spices and sugar. The weight of the dried fruit might equal or exceed the weight of the meat, and in the 1620 the raisins were much more expensive per ounce then the meat was.
Suet isn’t something we cook much with any more, but fat is another component of the mince pie. The fat is what makes it rich. During the 1700′s butter starts to come in as the fat of choice, and by the 20th century seems to be more common.
If I were making this mincemeat at home (and I have) I would take three pounds of beef, one to one and a half pounds of butter, three pounds of dried fruit, all cut small and well mixed (and be grateful that I don’t have to pick stems off the raisins and take the stones out of them) with some orange peel (two or three oranges worth – well washed, preferably organically grown oranges). Salt, pepper, cloves (this can be strong – not too much) and mace (or nutmeg if you have that – they have a very similar flavor profile). Put it into pastry – you can use pie pans if you want, sprinkle more sugar on top and bake them in your oven.
If you want to risk idolatry, make little rectangle pies and have them symbolize the manger where the Christ child was born. If you don’t want to fall into idolatry, make little rectangle pies just because they’re fun. You could even use frozen puff pastry and ‘let your soul delight in fatness’. And if you want to be thoroughly superstitious, go out on each of the Twelve Days of Christmas to a different house and eat a mince pie in each one to have good luck for each of the twelve months in the year ahead.
So, back to Lumdardy tarts…..
If beets are as likely the leafy green, what is a lumdardy? Years later, even after an update and revision and going on-line, the closest the OED gets to Lumdardy is Lumbard – is this a case of close enough?
4.Cookery. [ellipt.: see B. 2.] Some kind of dish or culinary preparation. Obs.
1657REEVEGod’s Plea 130 The Hoga’s, and Olies, and Lumbards of these times.
Not terribly descriptive….but there’s more:
?c1390 [see LEACHn.1 2]. c1430Two Cookery-bks. 35 Leche lumbarde. 1452Reliq. Ant. I. 88 Frutour lumbert..Lesshe lumbert. 1466-7Durh. Acct. Rolls (Surtees) 91 Et in 2 lib. dell powderlomberd empt. de eodem, 3s. 3d. 14..Anc. Cookery in Househ. Ord. (1790) 438 Rys Lumbarde.Leche Lumbarde.
So on to Lumber-pie…
Also lumbar-pie. [See LOMBARDa. 2.]
A savoury pie made of meat or fish and eggs.
1656 MARNETTÈ Perf. Cook II. 1 To make a Lumbar Pye. Take three pound of Mutton [etc.]. 1663 in Jupp Acc. Carpenters’ Comp. (1848) 206 It is..ordered..that the provision be as followeth; vizt..Roast Turkey, Lumberpie, Capon, Custurd, and codling tart. 1688R. HOLMEArmoury III. 83/1 Lumber pie, made of Flesh or Fish minced and made in Balls..with Eggs..and so Baked in a Pye with Butter. 1694MOTTEUXRabelais (1737) IV. lix. 243 Lumber-Pyes, with hot Sauce. 17..E. SMITHCompl. House wife (1750) 150 To make a Lumber pye. Take a pound and a half of veal, &c. 1849W. H. AINSWORTHLanc. Witches III. ix, There were lumbar pies, marrow pies, quince pies [etc.].
Still unclear, but….one never knows what causes light to dawn over Marblehead….
Hit the books – check. Now it’s time to get back into the kitchen.
So, beets as a leafy green – check . Grated bread still seems to be breadcrumbs – check.
Cheese – what would cheese be????
One named cheese that comes up from time to time is variations of ‘Parmysent‘ – Parmesan? The same cheese I would shake over my spaghetti and meatballs at school lunch? The same cheese I now buy in wedges and save the rinds to add to my pasta fazoole? It would fit the pattern of the so-called ‘Old Cheese‘ that is also sometimes mentioned.
This combination of Swiss Chard, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese sounds vague familiar…what does it remind me of?
Lets cut some beets and go back to the kitchen…..
How to make Lumbardy Tarts
Take beets, chop them small, and to them put grated bread and cheese, and mingle them wel in the chopping. Take a few corrans, and a dishe of sweet butter, and melt it. Then stir al these in the butter, together with three yolkes of egges, sinamon, ginger, and sugar, and make your tart as large as you will, and fill it with the stuffe, bake it, and serve it in.
1588. The Good Huswifes Handemaide
And now my translation:
One bunch swiss chard
Grated Parmesan cheese
Currants or raisins
3 egg yolks
Pastry for a top and bottom for a 9 or 10 inch pie.
Wash and dry the Swiss chard carefully. Pull of any sad or buggy bits. Cut off the stems and save for a side dish. Chop the leafy parts very small, nothing larger then ½ square.
Melt 2 – 4 tablespoons of butter; when somewhat cool beat the 3 egg yolks. Toss the butter/egg yolk mix with the chopped Swiss chard. Add enough breadcrumbs so sop up all the liquid (two or three handfuls – it depends on the size of your eggs and the how juicy the Swiss chard). Add enough grated cheese to make it smell good (it depends on how strong your cheese and how much you like it). Add a handful of raisins. If you like things sweet add one or two more handfuls. Mix together ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger and ½ teaspoon sugar. Mix everything all together. Smell it and decide – more cinnamon? More ginger? Make it good!
Put this lovely stuff in a pastry lined pie pan and cover with a top crust. Cut some vents for the steam to escape. Bake in a 375 oven for ½ hour. Turn down the heat to 350 until it is done – the pastry should be golden brown-tan and the filling should be a darker, denser green and it should smell wonderful.
Cool on a rack. Serve at room temperature.
The minute the cheese and the Swiss Chard were mixed together it hit me – tortellini. It smelled like tortellini. If the cinnamon and ginger were nutmeg….Could Lumdary Tart be a giant early modern English tortellini? Oh, the mysteries of of food. Oh, the power of smell to invoke memory.
Here in Plymouth now, talk of tortellini means it must be getting close to Christmas…..and so it is.
Tags: 17th century recipe, bake, beets, butter, christmas, cinnamon, eggs, flour, garden, ginger, Jan Steen, lumber, Lumdardy, OED, pastry, pie, recipe, sugar, swiss chard, The Fat Kitchen
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To make a Pye of Humbles.
Take your humbles being perboiled, and choppe them verye small with a good quantitye of Mutton sewet, and halfe a handfull of hearbes folowing, time, margarom, borage, perseley, and a little rosemary, and season the same being choped, with pepper, cloves and mace, and so close your pye and bake him.
-Thomas Dawson . The good huswifes Iewell. p. 14
Perboiled is throughly boiled – it comes from a different root word then par, which is partial; sewet is suet – although why mutton and not some other….; thyme, marjoram, borage, parsley, and rosemary are the herbs; close your pie means you’ve made a bottom crust and now you’re putting on the lid.
The National Gallery of Art is home to great collections. Humble pie is essentially a sort of mince pie.
But what exactly ARE humbles? This next recipe is a little more explicit.
TO MAKE AN HUMBLE PIE
Take ye humbles of a deere, or a calves heart, or pluck, or sheeps heart; perboyle it, & when it is colde, shred it small with beefe suet, & season it with cloves, mace nutmeg, & ginger beaten small; & mingle with it currans, verges & salt; put all into ye pie & set it in the oven an houre; then take it out, cut it up & put in some claret wine, melted butter & sugar beat together. then cover it a little & serve it.
-Hess, Karen, ed. Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery. Columbia University Press: New York. 1981. p. 93, # C64.
Humbles are a collective of the inward bits, sometimes called numbles or umbles. Pluck is also organ meat. There are several painting that have lungs and heart hanging together, so I’ve always thought of them as more pluck-ish then other combinations, but I realize that might just be my emotional read on the situation, not a documented historical one.
And as for the phrase “to eat humble pie” meaning to be apologetic coming from some sense that the peasants had be eating humbles because they were in humble circumstances….totally confusing the numble of the inward parts with humility….here’s Queen Elizabeth I retrieving some humbles for a little pie of her own. Nothing peasant or humble here.
Tags: 17th century recipe, bake, borage, calf, cinnamon, claret, cloves, deer, ginger, heart, humbles, Karen Hess, marjarom, mutton, parsley, pastry, pie, pluck, Queen Elizabeth, rosemary, sewet, sheep, suet, Thomas Dawson, Willem Clausz Heda, wine
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To bake a Custarde or Dowset
To bake an excellent Custard or Dowset; you shall take good store of egges, and putting away one quarter of the whites, beate them exceeding well in a bason, and then mixe with them the sweetest and thickest creame you can get, for if it be any thing thinne, the Custard will be wheyish; then season it with salt, sugar, cinamon, cloves, mace, and a little Nutmegge; which done raise your coffins of good tough wheate paste, being the second sort before spoke of, and if you please raise it in pretty workes, or angular formes, which you may doe by fixing the upper part of the crust to the nether with the yelks of egges: then when the coffins are ready, strow the bottomes a good thicknesse over with Currants and Sugar; then set them into the Oven, and fill them up with the confection before blended and so drawing them, adorne all the toppes with Carraway Cumfrets, and the slices of Dates prickt right up, and so serve them up to the table.
-Gervase Markham, The English Housewife
FOR A 17TH CENTURY KITCHEN
“…yn take a quart of fine flower, & put ye rest of ye butter to it in little bits, with 4 or 5 spoonfulls of faire water, make ye paste of it & when it is well mingled beat it on a table & soe roule (2) it out.”
- Martha Washington’s Book of Cookery. Karen Hess, ed. pp130-1
A PIPPIN(3) TART
Take pippins of the fairest, and pare them, and then divide them just in the halves, and take out the cores clean: then, having rolled out the coffin (4) flat, and raised up a small verge of an inch or more high, lay in the pippins with the hollow side downward, as close to one another as may be: then lay here and there a clove, and here and there a whole stick of cinnamon, and a little bit of butter; then cover all clean over with sugar, and so cover the coffin, and bake it according to the manner of tarts; and, when it is baked, then draw it out, and, having boiled butter and rose-water together, anoint all the lid over therewith, and then scrape or strew on it a good store of sugar, and so set it in the oven again, and after serve it up.
 pastry;  roll;  A little apple;  the pastry case of the pie
- Markham, Gervase. The English Housewife.(1615/1623) Michael Best, ed. McGill-Queen’s Press: Montreal. 1986.
FOR A 21ST CENTURY KITCHEN
2 cups all purpose FLOUR
6 ounces (1 ½ sticks) BUTTER
½ teaspoon SALT
1 teaspoons SUGAR
6 tablespoon cold WATER
The high butter content in this pastry is going to make it rich and flavorful, and lets you handle it a much more then 21st century pie crust. This is fearless pie pastry! You really can’t handle it too much. It will be so meltingly tender instead of merely flaky.
Mix flour with salt and sugar. Work butter in until it’s crumbly. Add water and mix and mash until it holds together. Add a little more it it’s not holding together, but not too much. When it forms into a great big ball, divide into two parts, one larger then the other – one one-third and the other two-thirds.
Shape into 2 disks, cover with plastic wrap or put into a plastic bag so it doesn’t dry out and let it sit in the fridge for at least 10 minutes and up to overnight.
Meanwhile, make up the filling:
1 POUND APPLES (about 3 medium size one)
1 tablespoon SUGAR
½ – 1 ½ teaspoon CINNAMON
1 teaspoon BUTTER
1 teaspoon butter, melted and 1 teaspoon sugar for the topping
Cut the apples into quarter, peel and core.
Sprinkle a dusting of flour on your work surface. Take the pastry out of the fridge and remove the larger disk from it’s wrapping. This is going to be the bottom of your pie. Put some flour on your hands and dust your rolling pin. Swack the pastry disk with your rolling pin a few times. Roll it out to be and inch or two larger then your pie plate. Roll the pastry unto your rolling pin and transfer it to the pie plate. The high butter content in this pastry is going to make it rich and flavorful; it will be so meltingly tender
Put your cut apples in, round bumpy sided up. Sprinkle with cinnamon, sugar and dot with the butter. This is a flattest tart style pie, not one of the sky high variety.
Remove the smaller pastry disk from it’s plastic, put on your floured surface and swack and roll some more for the upper crust, or lid. Remember, the flour keeps things from sticking, so you should only need a dusting! Cut slits in the pastry, roll around your pin and transfer to the top of the apples.
Roll the edges of the bottom crust to meet the top crust and crimp and seal all around. The edges can be resting inside the pan, right on top of the apples.
Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes – it’ll smell great and be a lovely golden color. Take out of the oven, brush on the melted butter, sprinkle with rest of the sugar and put back into the oven. SHUT THE OVEN OFF. Leave the pie in the warm oven for at least 10 minutes or through supper so you can eat it warm for dessert.
OR make the pie up, pastry and apples and spice and wrap tightly in a foil and then plastic. Freeze for up two months.
TO BAKE A FROZEN PIE
Heat your oven to 475.
Unwrap the pie. Put the frozen pie in the hot oven. Bake for 20 minutes and then lower the heat to 350 for another thirty minutes. Again, don’t the timer rule you – use your senses! Does it smell done, is the pastry golden brown, not pale? (Of course, if your oven’s hotter, take it out sooner) Then brush the top with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar and put back into the shut off but still warm oven…
Apple Pie is good alone (Apple Pie is GREAT alone) and good for breakfast but also good with ice cream or whipped cream or sharp cheddar or…what do you like with apple pie?
Tags: 17th century recipe, apples, baking, butter, cinnamon, Clara Peters, flour, Markham, pastry, pie, Pieter de Hooch, pippin, recipe, salt, squirrel, sugar
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When you hear the extraordinary word CHEESECAKE, a lot of us think about New York Cheesecake with strawberries on top or a chocolate drizzle, or this place:
Yes… that place, the one where you eat until you hate yourself, and then you get 3 more slices for the way home.
You read that right, the way home. Apparently our cheesecake loving roots go way back, here in the Colonial Foodways Dept. we have quite a few 17th century cheesecake recipes, including this one…
To make Cheesecakes.
Take 6 quarts of stroakings or new milke & whey it with runnet as for an ordinary cheese, then put it in a streyner & hang it on a pin or else press it with 2 pound weight. then break it very small with your hands or run it through a sive, then put to it 7 or 8 eggs well beaten, 3 quarters of a pound of currans, half a pound of sugar, a nutmeg grated or some cloves & mace beaten, 2 or 3 spoonfuls of rosewater, a little salt. then take a quart of cream, & when it boyl thicken it with grated bread & boyle it very well as thick as for an hasty pudding. then take it from the fire & stir therein halfe a pound of fresh butter, then let it stand until it be almost cold, & then mingle it with your curd very well; then fill your coffins of paste & when they are ready to set into the oven scrape on them some sugar & sprinkle on some rosewater with a feather. If you love good store of currans in them, you may put in a whole pound, & a little sack If you please. & soe bake them.
-Hess, Karen. Martha Washington’s Book of Cookery. C 106.
This is very different from the “traditional” New York Cheesecake, but still absolutely delicious. According to Robert May in his book, The Accomplisht Cook, in 1685, these images below are how you could form your cheesecakes. No pie plates here, they would either be free-form pies, or they would have used a pie mold.
Being the daredevil I am, I chose the triangular option, because when making 17th century cheesecake why would you do it the old boring circle way? Next we need a special occasion to make this, because a treat like this would have been rare in 1627 New Plimoth. Thankfully Mary Warren and Robert Bartlett got married this past Saturday!
Here’s what it looked like coming out of the modern oven….
Our sources say that once presented and shown off you cut it up in lozenges sized pieces and eat!
A great time was had, and all had good belly cheer.
Tags: 17th century, 17th century recipe, bake, baking, bread, bride, bride-ale, butter, cheese, cheesecake, cinnamon, cooking, curds, eggs, feast, flour, ginger, Markham, native, new york, pastry, pie, pilgrim, pilgrims, plimoth, plymouth, recipe, ricotta, wedding
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A few weeks ago these little guys joined the cast of animals at Plimoth Plantation, as part of Captain Standish’s flock of sheep. They are still this cute.
Good Houswife Howland farced a young hen the other day, which is a chicken stuffed with a mixture of breadcrumbs, bacon, and ground spices, and is then stewed. YUM!
This is our future bake/brew house. The artisans are working hard on it, and the faster it’s done the faster they get pies. Not a bad trade. To learn more about them, and what they do, you can visit their blog The Riven Word.
Rumor around the village is that more baby goats and even a few chicks are on their way…. stay tuned!
Warden pie, or quince pie.
Take of the fairest and best Wardens, and pare them, and take out the hard chores on the top, and cut the sharp ends at the bottome flat; (We had 3# of Barlett pears. I stood them up around each other to get a sense of how big this pie was going to be. I also plunked them down into a stewing pot so I could get a sense of how much liquid I would need to poach them in.)
then boyle them in White-wine and suger, vntill the sirrup grow thick: (We used 16 oz of wine and 48 oz of water (for a total of 64 oz liquid). You could use all wine or half wine and half water. We added 1 cup (1/2 pound) sugar and set them on the stove. Brought to a boil and then simmered for about 30 minutes – or until tender.)
then take the wardens from the sirrup into a clean dish, & let them coole; then set them into the coffin (The coffin is the pastry. In the 17th century it was a stand-alone sort of thing; we’re using a cake hoop to hold it up during the baking. Pie plates are becoming more common starting in the 1640’s, so feel free to use a deep dish plate or a springform pan.The pears will be standing up and you’ll want a pastry that is tall enough to accomadate them.),
and prick cloues in the tops, with whole sticks of cinnamon, and great store of Suger as for Pippins ; then couer it, and onely reseue [reserve] a vent-hole, so set it in the ouen and bake it: (we set the oven at 400 and turned it down to 350 after 5 minutes. Total baking time: 35-40 minutes)
when it is bak’t, draw it forth and taste it, and take the first sirrup in which the Wardens were boyled, and taste it, and if it be not sweet enough, then put in more suger and some rosewater, & boile it again a little, then power it into the vent-hole, and shake the pie wel; then take sweet butter and rose-water melted,(2 tablespoons each butter and the pear syrup – ½ -1 teaspoon rosewater, depending on how rosy you like things. We spooned most of the pear syrup/butter mixture over the top of the pie.)
and with it anoint the pie-lid all ouer, and then strow vpon it store of suger, (We then used about 3 tablespoons of sugar for strowing. The butter/pear syrup mixture dribs we had left went into the pie via the vent, as did a little of the sugar. We did not shake.We are cowardly pie-wives. Shake at your own risk.) and so set it into the ouen againe a little space (about 25 minutes to dry up the anointing and color the sugar some),
and serue it vp. And in this manner you may also bake Quinces.
Gervase Markham, Covntrey Contentments, or, The English Housewife. London: 1623. p. 104.