[Sca-cooks] Single quince recipe?

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 27 13:32:31 PST 2007

Adamantius wrote:
>There's a 15th-century English recipe for quinces that might work if
>the quince is large-ish.
>  .xxj. Quyncis or Wardouns in past. -- Take & make fayre Rounde
>  cofyns of fayre past; (th)an take fayre Raw Quynces, & pare hem with
>  a knyf, & take fayre out (th)e core (th)er-of ; (th)an take Sugre y-
>  now, & a lytel pouder gynger, & stoppe (th)e hole fulle ; &
>  cowche .ii. or .iij. wardonys or quynce3 in a cofyn, & keuer hem, &
>  lat hem bake ; & for defaut of Sugre, take hony ; but (th)en putte
>  pouder Pepir (th)er-on, & Gyngere, in (th)e maner be-for sayd.?
>  -- Harleian Ms 279, ~1420 C.E. "Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books"
>  ed. Thomas Austin, pub. Early English Text Society, printed by
>  The Oxford University Press, 1888, reprinted 1964 and 1996
>  XXI. Quinces or wardens in paste. -- Take and make nice round
>  piecrusts of good pastry, then take good raw quinces, and peel them
>  with a knife, and neatly take out their cores. Then take enough
>  sugar, and a little powdered ginger, and stuff the core holes full;
>  and lay two or three wardens or quinces in each piecrust, & cover
>  them, and let them bake; and if you have no sugar, take honey; but
>  then put powdered pepper on them, and ginger, in the same manner as
>  above.

I made a similar recipe with 3 fall pears 
(wardens) - which are softer and cook more 
quickly than quinces - in each crust for my very 
feast in 2000 (i attended my first event in May 

When the crust was as baked as it could stand 
without burning, the pears were still rather too 
hard within the crust. I didn't realize this, 
however, because we brought out the baked fruit - 
which looked golden half crowns, what with the 
three tall standing pears - and served the dishes 
whole. However, it became clear that the pears 
were still hard when the dishes from the dessert 
course came back to the kitchen.

So I would suggest baking or boiling or steaming 
the fruit whole until it is soft enough (but not 
too soft), then enrobing the fruit with the dough 
and baking.

Here's what i did:

Paste's de Poires Crues
Le Viandier de Guillaume Tirel dit Taillevent, 15th c. ed.

Mise sur bout en paste', et emply le creux de 
sucre a trois grosses poires comme ung quarteron 
de sucre, bien couverte, et dore'e d'oeufz, ou de 
saffran, et mis au four.

Translation from The Medieval Kitchen by Redon, Sabban, and Serventi:
Stand three pears in a pie and fill the gaps with 
about a quarteron of sugar, cover well, and glaze 
with eggs or saffron, and put in the oven.

Pies of Whole Pears
Makes 10

10 prepared double crust pie crusts
30 large pears
6-1/4 cups sugar
5 eggs beaten
10 disposable aluminum foil loaf pans

1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Generously butter, then flour loaf pans
3 a. Take 1 and 1/2 prepared crusts, knead 
together briefly, then roll into rectangle to 
line a loaf pan with enough overhanging dough to 
fold over the filling; it should be just under 
1/4 inch thick. Test one so that it fits.
3 b. Noting that it doesn't fit, make more pie 
dough, because the pre-made crusts are not enough.
3 c. Repeat process with augmented crusts and pans.
4. Peel pears, leaving the stems attached.
5. Arrange 3 side by side in each pan.
6. Fill the space between the pears with 1/2 cup 
plus 2 Tablespoons granulated white sugar.
7. Fold the dough over the pears and seal well, letting stems protrude.
8. Glaze the tops with eggs.
9. Bake about 90 minutes, until golden. Do not burn.
note that we took the pies out of the oven after 
a bit over an hour, because the crusts were done.
10. Let cool completely.
11. Unmold carefully by placing each pan on 
serving plate and cutting the thin aluminum pan 
away from the pie with a kitchen shears.

In the end, the pies looked wonderful - like 
crowns or mountain ranges - golden and crispy. 
The pie dough was lovely and flaky and tasted 
marvelous, thanks to my intrepid kitchen crew. We 
didn't cook the pies the full 90 minutes because 
the crusts were cooked before that time, but the 
pears were not quite cooked enough. Perhaps the 
pears needed to be briefly parboiled before being 
baked. But this is worth trying to get right. 
Each pie looks so impressive and the taste is a 
blend of the light sweetness of the pear and the 
richness of the crust and melted sugar.

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list