[Sca-cooks] Dredge?

Dragon dragon at crimson-dragon.com
Thu Aug 7 11:39:57 PDT 2008

Barbara Benson wrote:
>In doing research I came across the following recipe in The Good
>Huswife's Handmaid:
>To bake Peaches.
>TAke Peaches, pare them, and cut them in two peeces, & take out the
>stones as cleane as you can for breaching of the Peach: then make your
>pie three square to bake fowre in a pie, let your paste be verie fine,
>then make your dredge with fine Sugar, Synamon and Ginger: and first
>lay a little dredge in the bottome of your pies: Then put in Peaches,
>and fill vp your coffins with your Dredge, and put into euery coffin
>three spoonfuls of Rosewater. Let not your Ouen be too hot. &c.
>The "make up your dredge" thing implies to me a technique that they
>are not making terribly clear. "Filling up your coffins" with your
>dredge implies to me that there is a lot more going on here than
>sugar, cinnamon and ginger. There has to be more to it. There is only
>one more recipe in the manuscript that calls for a dredge and it is
>the next one:
>To bake pippins.
>TAke your pippins and pare them, and make your coffin of fine paste,
>and cast a little sugar in the bottome of the pie. Then put in your
>Pippins, and set them as close as ye can: then take sugar, sinamon,
>and Ginger, and make them in a dredge, and fill the Pie therewith: so
>close it, and let it bake two houres but the Ouen must not be too hot.
>Very similar. Has anyone stumbled across anything similar. It has to
>be some sort of additional filling or technique. Any thoughts would be
>greatly appreciated.
---------------- End original message. ---------------------

Actually, I think it is exactly as simple as it looks. The mixture 
used is called the dredge, in this case the sugar, cinnamon and 
ginger, in verb form it means to coat something in a dry mixture (as 
in to dredge in flour).

These recipes make fruit pies, the sugar cinnamon and ginger will 
combine with the juices from the fruit during baking to produce a 
flavorful syrup that will (hopefully) thicken and set from the pectin 
in the fruit as the pie cools. Modern recipes often add a starch to 
the dredge to improve the thickening action but if you have good, 
properly ripened fruit, it really should not be an issue.

I'd suggest a slight modification to the recipe instructions by 
coating the fruit in the dredge and then placing in the crust. It 
will be better distributed and should give a much better result.


  Venimus, Saltavimus, Bibimus (et naribus canium capti sumus)

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