Tagged ‘pie’

Sweet! Potato Pie

November 24th, 2013 by KM Wall
Potato illustration from John Gerard The Herbal

Potato illustration from John Gerard The Herbal

To make a Potato Pie.
Boyl your Spanish Potaoes (not overmuch) cut them forth in slices as thick as your thumb, season them with Nutmeg, Cinamon, Ginger, and Sugar; your Coffin being ready, put them in, over the bottom, add to them the Marrow of about three Marrow-bones, seasoned as aforesaid, a handful of stoned Raisons of the Sun, some quartred Dates, Orangado, Cittern, with Ringo-root sliced, put butter over it, and bake them: let their lear be a little Vinegar, Sack and Sugar, beaten up with the yolk of an Egg, and a little drawn Butter; when your Pie is enough, pour in, shake it together, scrape on Sugar, garnish it, and serve it up.
- 1661. William Rabisha. The Whole Body of Cookery, Dissected. London.

John Gerard with potato flowers in the frontispiece of The Herbal

John Gerard with potato flowers in the frontispiece of The Herbal

Now, about this pie……

Although sweet potato pie is much more of a mainstay in the South, but pies made from potatoes go back to the 17th century in England.

And not a marshmallow to be found.

  1. Boil the potatoes. Last winter, in the Hardcore Hearth Cooking Workshop, we boiled five pounds of sweet potatoes. Boil them whole so that they don’t get waterlogged. Drain, cool, and peel.
  2. Slice them as thick as tour thumb…I took this to mean in one inch slices – larger chunks versus smaller bits. There’s still some cooking to come, and you don’t want paste.
  3. Powder your spices – nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, sugar – sounds an awful lot like pumpkin pie spice……
  4. Put the spices and sugared potato slices in a pastry lined dish, like this:
  5. Sweet potato, spices in pastry lined dish for pie - Debra Samuels  photo credit

    Sweet potato, spices in pastry lined dish for pie – Debra Samuels photo credit

  6. If you have marrow from marrow bones, add it now. If you do not have marrow, do not panic – add some generous dollops of butter.
  7. Add raisins of the sun without there stones (thank you seedless grapes that make seedless raisin!); quartered dates – it’s 5 pounds of potatoes, be generous.
  8. Orangeo, cittern and eringo root are probably not on your shelf…leave them out – a little grated orange rind or candied orange peel would not be amiss. Add a little more butter on the top to melt down   on the whole thing, put on the top crust and cut a vent in the center.
  9. Bake. Start at 450 and turn the oven down to 375 after 10 or 15 minutes (you know your oven better then I do). The top should be golden brown and the insides should smell GLORIOUS….but wait, we’re not done yet….this is the part that puts it over the top
  10. When the pie pan is cool enough to lift, beat and egg yolk with some sack wine, sugar, a little vinegar and drawn butter . Pour this lear into the vent hole, and shake it up . Another word for this is to shog it – sprinkle some sugar on the top, and serve.


Modern Sweet Potato Pie seems a little plain after the 17th century version...

Modern Sweet Potato Pie seems a little plain after the 17th century version…

Sweet Potato Pie - music to cook by?

Sweet Potato Pie – music to cook by?

Another group with an album Sweet Potato Pie

Another group with an album Sweet Potato Pie








Sweet Potato Pie - Brand New Day

Sweet Potato Pie – Brand New Day

Muster day Dude Food

October 27th, 2013 by KM Wall

On Friday, certain housewives were preparing….


1672 – John Josslyn “Cran Berry or Bear Berry…a small trayling plant that grows in Salt Marshes, that are over-grown with moss;…the Berries …red, and as big as a Cherry; some perfectly round, others Oval, all of them hollow, of a sower astringent taste; they are ripe in August and September…They are excellent against the Scurvy…They are also good to allay the fervour of hot Diseases. The Indians and English use them much, boyling them with Sugar for Sauce to eat with their Meat; and it is a delicate Sauce, especially for roasted Mutton: Some make Tarts with them as with Goose Berries. (65-6)


A Cheerrie Tart

Take the fairest Cherries you can get, and picke them cleane from leaves and stalkes; then spread out your coffin as for your Pippin-tart, (….then having rold out the coffin flat, and raysed up a small verdge of an inch, or more high...) and cover the bottome with Suger; then couer the Suger all over with Cherries, then cover those Cherries with Sugar, some sticks of Cinamon, and here and there a Cloue; then lay in more cherries, and so more Suger, Cinnamon and cloves, till the coffin be filled vp; then couvr it, and bake it in all points as the codling and pipping tart, and so serue it; and in the same manner you may make Tarts of Gooseberries, Strawberries, Rasberries, Bilberries, or any other Berrie whatsoever.

-         Markham, Gervase. Covntrey Contentments, or The English Huswife. London. 1623. p 106.

Cranberry tart

Cranberry tart

Cranberry tart, another

Cranberry tart, another

Cranberry tart, yet another

Cranberry tart, yet another



As well as beginning the roasting part of this…..

To make Fillets Gallentine

Take faire Pork, and take off the skin and roste it half ynough, then take it off the spit, and smite it in faire peeces, and caste it in a faire pot: then cut Onions, but not too small, and frie them in faire suet, and put them into the Porke, then take the broth of Beefe or Mutton, and put therto, and set them on the fyre, and put therto powder of Pepper, Saffron, Cloves and Mace, and let them boyle wel together.  Then take faire bread and Vinigar, & steep the bread with some of the same broth, straine it, and some bloud withall, or els Saunders, and colour it with that, and let all boyle together, then cast in a litle Saffron and salte, and then may you serve it in.-

Huswifes Handmaide.  f 43

Gallentine is a sauce made from sopped bread, spices and often blood.

Suet is fat, chiefly from beef, mutton

Saffron is an expensive (still!) spice that is warming and a distinctively yellow color.

Saunders was used to make things a red color.

Or, in other words:

Fillet galletine prep - the pork butt was half roasted and the skin removed; the onions are cut and ready to go

Fillet galletine prep, day 2  – the pork butt was half roasted and the skin removed; the onions are cut and ready to go


chine of pork pepper

bread                    clove

onions                  mace


Roast the chine until half done. Fry onions with a little pork fat.  Chop the pork into pieces and put in a pot with onions, some ground cloves, mace, pepper and salt. Put in enough water just to cover and bring all to a boil, cooking away much of the water.  Before serving, make the gallentine by take slices of bread and soaking them in vinegar with a little salt. Put in a pot or frying pan and add some of the cooking liquid to the bread and vinegar. Bring to a boil.  To serve place pork mixture in a bowl and pour over the gallentine..

 And then this morning…..

To Boyle a Rabbit with Hearbes on the French Fashion.

Fit your Rabbit for the boyling, and seeth it with a little Mutton broth, white Wine, and a peece of Mace: then take Lettuce, Spynage, Parsley, winter Savory, sweet Marioram : all these being pickt, and washt cleane, bruise them with the backe of a Ladle (for the bruising of the Herbes wil make the broth looke very pleasantly greene.) Thicken it with a crust of Manchet, being steeped in some of the broth, and a little sweet Butter therein. Seasono it with verges, and Pepper, and serve it to the Table upon Sippets. Garnish your Dish with Barberyes.

- Murrell, John. A Newe Booke of Cookerie. 1617. London: FW, p. 4.

Rabbit  boyled in the French Fashion

Rabbit boyled in the French Fashion


While someone else was….

To roast a Chine, Rib, Loin, Brisket, or Fillet of Beef.

Draw them with parsely, rosemary, tyme, sweet marjaoram, sage, winter savory, or lemon, or plain without any of them, fresh or salt, as you please; broach it, or spit it, roast it and baste it with butter; a good chine of beef will ask six hours roasting.

For the sauce take strait tops of rosemary, sage-leaves, picked parsley, tyme, and sweet marjoram; and strew them in wine vinegar, and the beef gravy; or otherways with gravy and juyce of oranges and lemons. Sometimes for change in saucers of vinegar and pepper.

-         May, Robert. The Accomplisht Cook. 1685 ed (Prospect Books), p. 113.

although it was porket ribs and not beef..



Ribs on spits

Ribs on spits

Mistress of the sauce for the roasting ribs

Mistress of the sauce for the roasting ribs


and yet another housewife was making….


The best Pancake.

To make the best Pancake, take two or three Egges, and breake them into a dish, and beate them well then adde unto them a pretty quantitie of faire running water, and beate all well together: then put in Cloves, Mace, Cinamon, and a Nutmeg, and season it with Salt: which done, make it thicke as you thinke good with fine Wheat flower: then frie the cakes as thin as may be with sweete Butter, or sweete Seame[1], and make them browne, and so serve them up with Sugar strowed upon them.  There be some which mix Pancakes with new Milke or Creame, but that makes them tough, cloying, and not so crispe, pleasant, and savorie as running water.

- 1618, Markham, Best ed. p. 66

[1] 1530    J. Palsgrave Lesclarcissement 269/1   Seme for to frye with, seyn de povrceau. 1691    J. Ray Coll. Eng. Words 131   Saime, which we pronounce sometimes Seame. It signifies not only Goose-grease, but in general any kind of Grease or Sewet or Oil, wherewith out Clothiers anoint‥their Wool.

 and then made pancakes even BETTER by….

To make Pancakes so crisp that you may set them upright.

Make a dozen or score of them in a little frying pan, no bigger then a Sawcer, & then boil them in Lard, and they will look as yellow as golde, beside the taste.

- 1615 Murrell, p. 30

There are no photos of the pancakes….but they were there, really!

A simple Salllet iof spinach (picked from Village Gardens!) also disappeared before it could be documented

A simple Salllet of spinach (picked from Village Gardens!) also disappeared before it could be documented




The Littlest Musketeer

The Littlest Musketeer





October 24th, 2013 by KM Wall

Fashion has the September Issue, but Thanksgiving is all about the November Issues….the stories and angles that magazines think will sell/mark/brand the Thanksgiving holiday in any given year.

The marketing of today is the myth of tomorrow…..

Other then only the briefest mention of Thanksgivukkah

Thanksgivukkah is a pop-culture portmanteauneologism given to the convergence of the American holiday of Thanksgiving and the first day of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah on Thursday, November 28, 2013 – wiki


The through line for 2013 seems to be:




Pi Pie

Pi Pie

And then they suggest all sorts of easy outs, like BUY PIE or make cake or have some one else bring it or…..

The real hangup, the sticking point, the detail that is the Devil, is the crust.

Butter v. Lard

Precise measure


Vodka even.


Don’t they know








Pie is not difficult – pie is easy . Our Early Modern English Housewife made pies all the time.

Without measuring cups.

Without refrigerators.

Without dread or whining.

Often the crust preparation was referred to as ‘paste’. Paste is easy. Really.

So from now through Twelfth Night, Fridays are Pie Days  – each Friday a little lesson in making pie.

Except for this Friday, which is the feast of Crispin Crispinian, and I’ve been waiting all year to go once more into the breech, dear friends.



Pudding Pie

August 31st, 2013 by KM Wall

To make the end of a month of pie, let us circle around to puddings. The Pudding Pie.

Which sounds like a cue for:

Georgie Porgie pudding and pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry
When the boys came out to play,
Georgie Porgie ran away.

This little rhyme  has eighteenth century origins, possibly, and most definitely  nineteenth century provenance  BUT there is some speculation that the aforementioned Georgie was none other then

George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham

George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham

His Grace George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham

28 August 1592 – 23 August 1628

The 1st Duke of Buckingham was most definitely a 17th century figure. Evidently, ‘Georgie’ was not only the favorite of James I, King of England, but (if novels are to be believed, the novel being The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas pere) also the Queen of France.

So that was a nice little side  trip to fanciful. Back to food.

Pudding Pie. Puddings, which had formerly been in guts, and then in guts and bags, are being moved into the oven, often with pastry. Hence, the Pudding Pie.

Pudding Pie – the best of both the pudding and the pie.

To bake a pudding pie.

Take a quart of the best cream, and set on the fire, and slice a loaf of the lightest white bread into thin slices, and put it into it, and let it stand on the fire till the milk begin to rise: then take it off, and put it into a basin, and let it stand till it be cold: then put in the yolks of four eggs, and two whites, good store of currants, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, mace, and plenty of sheep’s suet finely shred, and good season of salt; then trim your pot very well round about with butter, and so put in your pudding, and bake it sufficiently, then when you serve, strew sugar upon it.

1631. Gervase Markham. The English Housewife. Best ed. pp. 109-10


3 Musketeers candy bar, also good, but no Pudding Pie

3 Musketeers candy bar, also good, but no Pudding Pie

Turkey in the …..PIE

August 30th, 2013 by KM Wall

Friday August 30 2013 is Free Fun Friday – Thank you, Highland Street Foundation!

It’s a great day for a song…..perhaps a little Turkey in the Straw

Well, I had an old hen and she had a wooden leg,
Just the best old hen that ever laid and egg,
She laid more eggs than any hen on the farm,
But another little drink wouldn’t do her any harm.
Turkey in the hay, in the hay, hay, hay!
Turkey in the straw, in the straw, straw, straw!
Pick ‘em up, shake ‘em up, any way at all,
And hit up a tune called ‘Turkey in the Straw’.

Kelley's Straw bale Turkey - from the UK

Kelley’s Straw bale Turkey – from the UK

Or perhaps a Turkey in the woods


Or even a Turkey in a Pie

To bake Turkey, Chicken, Pea-Chicken, Pheasant-Pouts, Heath Pouts, Caponets, or Partridge for to be eaten cold.

Take a turkey-chicken, bone it, and lard it with pretty big lard, a pound and half will serve, then season it with an ounce of pepper, an ounce of nutmegs, and two ounces of salt, lay some butter in the bottom of the pye, then lay on the fowl, and put in it six or eight whole cloves, then put on all the seasoning with good store of butter, close it up, and baste it over with eggs, bake it, and being baked fill it up with clarified butter.

Thus you may bake them for to be eaten hot, giving them but half the seasoning, and liquor it with gravy and juyce of orange.

Bake this pye in fine paste; for more variety you may make a stuffing for it as followeth; mince some beef-suet and a little veal very fine, some sweet herbs, grated nutmeg, pepper, salt, two or three raw yolks of eggs, some boil’d skirrets or pieces of artichocks, grapes, or gooseberries, &c.

1674. Robert May. The Accomplist Cook.


  • This is a major contender in the ‘Either/Or” category.
  • Once again, the bird is boned. All those bones make for great soup.
  • Variations include our (old) new friend Skirrets. The grapes should be green, that is green not ripe, not green the color. Like gooseberries in their season, they’re to sharpen things up.


Eat Your Veggies ….in a PIE

August 29th, 2013 by KM Wall

Prithhee, mayhaps it be somewhat early for skirworts; they’re usually come round Michaelmas…. .

Sorry, I caught up in a little too much 17th century Englishspeak:

  • Skirwort. Skirret, skerwort, Skirret etc  are a root vegetable not  uncommon in early modern  English gardens and fairly uncommon in modern ones. (spellcheck wants to correct skirrets  to skirts; should you see skirts in the text, think skirret and tell me)
  • John Winthrop Junior brought seeds to grow them to the  Massachusetts  Bay Colony:  3 oz skerwort seed 3d. per oz
  • Skirrets are sometimes confused by modern writers with parsnips;  parsnips are often combined or used interchangeably with skirrets in the early modern period. Parsnips and skirrets are not the same thing.
  • The little cluster of rooty bits is the part you eat. For size, they’ve been compared to fingers. The neat thing is that you take the larger parts, and leave the rest to keep growing. And they will.
    from John Gerard  The Herbal

    from John Gerard The Herbal

    Skirrets a little larger then fingers - good loose soil and well separated when smaller

    Skirrets a little larger then fingers – good loose soil and well separated when smaller


    Parsnips - similar, but not the same with skirrets

    Parsnips – similar, but not the same as skirrets


  •  Michaelmas is the 29th of September, a quarter day on the Englsih calender and the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel.
    Guido Reni - 1636 - Saint Michael weighing souls - by the 18th century, many Protestant inages have him slaying evil in the form of a dragon.

    Guido Reni – 1636 – Saint Michael weighing souls – by the 18th century, many Protestant images have him slaying evil in the form of a dragon.

    A Skerret Pie.

    Take a quarter of a peck of Skerrets blanched, and sliced, season them with three Nutmegs, and an ounce of Cinnamon, and three ounces of Sugar, and ten quartered Dates, and the Marrow of three bones, rouled in yolks of Eggs, and one quarter of a pound of Ringo roots, and preserved Lettice, a sliced Lemon, four blades of Mace, three or four branches of preserved Barberries,  and a half a pound of Butter, then let it stand one hour in the oven, then put a caudle made of white Wine, Verjuyce, Butter, and Sugar, put into the pye when it comes out of the oven.

    1653. W.I. A True Gentlewomans delight. Falconwood Press. p. 57.

    Ringo root is preserved eringo root

    One flowering form of the Eringo or seas holly family

    One flowering form of the Eringo or seas holly family


    Ringo Starr - not to be confused with Ringo root - one is good IN a pie; one is good company WITH a pie

    Ringo Starr – not to be confused with Ringo root – one is good IN a pie; one is good company WITH a pie

Conies and rabets and hares (Oh, my!)

August 27th, 2013 by KM Wall

Coneys and rabbits and hares aren’t quite the same thing, although they might be used interchangeably.

Rabbits are technically baby conies.

Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh - his grown-up name should be Coney

Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh – his grown-up name should be Coney


Coney from Topsells History of Four-footed Beasts

Coney from Topsell’s History of Four-footed Beasts

Conies may be raised for food use (or for pelt use – rabbit was used to line cloaks, among other things). Hares are wild creatures that are caught (and therefore may have a more ‘gamey ‘ taste).

Hare from Topsell's History of Four-footed Beasts

Hare from Topsell’s History of Four-footed Beasts

How to bake Conies, Rabets, or Hares, with fruit or without fruit.

Season them with Pepper and Salte, Cloves and mace, and so laye them into your paste with Corance or Prunes, great Raisins and if you will: butter and a little vergious.

1591. A.W. A Book of Cookrye

Bunnies, in the 17th century, are bunions and not little woodland creatures at all.

Bugs Bunny - would have had a different name - or a different LOOK- in the 17th century

Bugs Bunny – would have had a different name – or a different LOOK- in the 17th century

“I’ll make mincemeat out of that mouse!”

August 26th, 2013 by KM Wall

is the famous cry of Klondike Kat, referring to his arch-enemy Savoir Fare.

Klndike Kat with a wanted poster of Savoir Fare

Klondike Kat with a wanted poster of Savoir Fare

Mouse is something I haven’t found in 17th century mincemeat. Beef, mutton, veale, neat’s tongue…but no mouse.

Thank goodness.

Mince pie has also become  associated with Christmas  by the early 17th century, so some of the other aliases are

Shred or Shrid Pie or

Christmas Pie (or allegedly by some Puritans – Superstition Pies – I just have this one on say so)

and then all the variations of mince/minced/minst/minc’d/mincemeat pies.

To make minst Pyes.

Take your Veale and perboyle it a little, or mutton, then set it a cooling: and when it is colde, take three pound of suit to a legge of mutton, or fower pound to a fillet of Veale, and then mince them small by them selves, or together wheather you will, then take to season them halfe an unce of Nutmegs, half an unce of cloues and Mace, halfe an unce of Sinamon, a little Pepper, as much Salt as you think will season them, either to the mutton or to the Veale, take viij (8) yolkes of Egges when they be hard, halfe a pinte of rosewater full measure, halfe a pound of Suger, then straine the Yolkes with the Rosewater and the Suger and mingle it with your meate, if ye haue any Orenges or Lemmans you must take two of them, and take the pilles very thin and mince them very smalle,   and put them in a pound of currans, six dates, half a pound of prunes laye Currans and Dates upon the top of your meate, you must take two or three Pomewaters or Wardens and mince with your meate, you maye make them ****** if you will, if you will  make good crust put in three or foure yolkes of egges, a litle  Rosewater, & a good deale of suger.

1588. The Good Houswiues treasurie. pp.7-8.


  1. This call for a leg of mutton or a fillet of veal. A Leg is quick a lot of mutton; I’m not sure how much a fillet of veal was, but pounds and pounds of meat. Mutton is  meat from sheep. Baa Ram Ewe. Lamb is fine.

    a ram from Edward Topsell History of Four-footed Beasts

    a ram from Edward Topsell History of Four-footed Beasts

  2. Suit is suet – that the fat you’ll be adding. Don’t cut too far back or it will be as dry as sawdust and tasteless to boot.
  3. Mincing would be done by hand, with a sharp knife, and it is easier to mince the meat and the fat separately because they cut differently. Then run though a second time to incorporate them. You might want to incite your friends and family and neighbors and maybe some total strangers to make a quicker go of it….. If you use a meat grinder, just don’t turn it all into mush. A little texture makes a world of difference.
  4. Unce  = ounce – this is a fairly conservative amount of spice. This recipe alone should put to rest the old “spice covered up the taste of rotten meat”, as if fresh meat were more expensive then the spicing….
  5. Hardboiled egg yolks (and why do they forever say yolkes of eggs as if they ever call for yolkes of anything else?? ) are a good medium to get the rosewater mixed into everything and not drip out the bottom while the pie bakes.
  6. Orange or lemon peel  – VERY GOOD.
  7. Pomewater is a kind of apple, warden is a sort of pear.
  8. ****** is a word I can’t for the life of me make out, between 16th century spelling and typeface, and photocopy  fuzzyness.
  9. ‘a good deal of suger’  – hard to go wrong.

Sorry for the earlier recipe re-call – so many buttons……

Bartholmew Fayre!

August 24th, 2013 by KM Wall

It’s today! and for two weeks in Smithfield in 17th century London. It’s not just a play by Ben  Jonson….

Ben Jonson by Abraham van Blyen

Ben Jonson by Abraham van Blyen


Title page of the play

Title page of the play

There really was a Bartholomew fair. It was suppressed in the 19th century for encouraging debauchery. St Bartholomew is the patron saint of butchers (among other things)

Saints John and Bartholomew - many of the images of Bart show him being flayed alive, hence the butcher patronage

Saints John and Bartholomew – many of the images of Bart show him being flayed alive, hence the butcher patronage.


In re-reading this play, and might I add when I read this in college I never for one minute thought that someday I’d have a job where I’d have to read it again, or I’d have paid more attention to the class that was essentially English playwrights who weren’t Shakespeare who had the great misfortune of working at the same time as the Bard, I remembered

U R S L A, A Pig-Woman.

On first reading I THOUGHT it said


but that just shows you that I have PIE on the brain…anyhow,

By Pig-Woman, did Jonson mean :


Tannakin Skinker, from A Monstrous Shape, or a Shapelesse Monster, 1640

Not quite – he meant a woman who cooked pigs, and sold pigs, and otherwise encouraged the eating of pig.

Swine in Edward Topsell History of Four Footed Beasts

Swine in Edward Topsell History of Four Footed Beasts – these are grown up pigs

To bake a Pigge.

Take your Pig and flea it, and draw out all that clean which is in his bellye, and wash him clean, and perboyle him, season it with Cloves, mace, nutmegs, pepper & salt, and so lay him in the paste with good store of Butter, then set it in the Oven till it be baked inough.

1591 .A.W  Book of Cookrye.


For to bake a Pigge.

Flea your Pigge, and take out all that is within his bellie cleane, and wash him well, and after perboyle him, then season it with Pepper, Salt, Nutmegs, Mace, and cloues, and so lay him with good store of Butter in the paste: Then set it in the Ouen till it be baked ynough.

 1597.The good Huswifes handmaide for the Kitchin



Cheesey interlude…

August 23rd, 2013 by KM Wall

I know I said no cheesecakes in the Pie-wise Time, but I’m always a little confused between Cheesecake,which is no cake, and Boson Cream Pie, which is no pie, but in the end it’s ….

As You Like It

As You Like It

Which would be the name of the little cafe I would run, if I had the Time and the Money and the Inclination, which I really don’t…..and the sign on the door would read:

Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table

 (Act II, scene 7 Duke Senior to Orlando)

where there would be pies….and Boston Cream Pies

Boston Cream Pie (really a cake)

Boston Cream Pie (really a cake-ish)

and cheesecakes

Cheesecake with raspberries...rather pie-ish

Cheesecake with raspberries…rather pie-ish

and 17th century goodies to serve with coffee and tea and chocolate beverages that aren’t in Plimoth Colony (or much of England) for the first half of the seventeenth century. No gin, either. However did they manage?

By goodies, I mean jumbles and Shrewsbury cakes  and Oxfordshire cakes and Peach Pie and of course, 17th century cheesecake.


Cheesecake from the Warren House August 2013 - photo by Makla Benjamen

Cheesecake from the Warren House August 2013 – photo by Malka Benjamen – very Vermeer-ish

To make Cheesecakes.

Let your paste be very good, either puff-paste or cold butter-paste, with sugar mixed with it, then the whey being dried very well from the cheese-curds which must be made of new milk or butter, beat them in a mortar or tray, with a quarter of a pound of butter to every pottle of curds, a good quantity of rose-water, three grains of ambergriese or musk prepared, the crums of a small manchet rubbed through a cullender, the yolks of ten eggs, a grated nutmeg, a little salt, and good store of sugar, mix all these well together with a little cream, but do not make them too soft; instead of bread you may take almonds which are much better; bake them in a quick oven, and let them not stand too long in, least they should be to dry.

Robert May The Accomplist Cook


  1. If you buy packaged puff paste the work is half done – cut circles and fold the edges over to make this shape. These are not necessarily deep dish cheesecakes…. think more like cheese danish
  2. Ricotta make a good stand in for fresh cheese curds
  3. This is an Italian style cheesecake, not a New York style one.
  4. almonds are MUCH better the bread crumbs
Cheesecake design from Robert May

One of many cheesecake designs from Robert May


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