[Sca-cooks] Dredge?

Dragon dragon at crimson-dragon.com
Fri Aug 8 11:29:38 PDT 2008

Nick Sasso wrote:

>Are we assuming a large coffin?  Is there a dimension somewhere that I
>missed?  If we assume a rather shallow one with dimensions rather tight to
>our fruit in question, then it ain't so much as we think.  And "fill" may be
>taken a bit too literally.  I've seen this as a general instruction in a few
>other recipes, and took it to mean to add a fair quantity . . . rather than
>"fill all remaining air space available, to the brim".  On the other hand,
>pippins and peaches (at least modern ones) seem to be rather juice throwing
>fruits when baked.  There would be prodigious syrup made.
>On looking at the online reference, though, I found a big clue a few recipes
>up.  It gives specific directions to Fill almost full . . . though again no
>dimensions are given.  If we follow this trend, then we are to add great
>amounts of sugar (if grated and fluffy or fine and dry) to the pie to make
>some serious thick syrup to serve in.
>To bake Peares, quinces, and wardens.
>YOu must take and pare them, and then coare them: then make your paste with
>faire water and Butter, and the yolke of an Egge, and sette your Orenges
>into    <<26a 1597>>
>the paste, and then bake it well: Then fill your paste almost ful with
>Sinamon, Ginger and Sugar: also apples must be taken after the same sort,
>sauing that whereas the core should be cut out they must be filled with
>butter euerie one: the hardest apples are best, and likewise are Peares and
>wardens, and none of them all but the Wardens may be perboiled, and the ouen
>must be of a temperate heat, two houres to stand is enough.
---------------- End original message. ---------------------

Niccolo makes some very good points here and I too actually thought 
about most of these things after I had posted my original missive.

I suspect that the idea is to use a coffin that would be fairly close 
packed with fruit and while it is still quite a bit of sugar, it 
won't be as much as you might think. Just as in modern fruit pies, I 
would suspect the emphasis in a period fruit tart to be the fruit and 
the size of the coffin used would be a reflection of the quantity of 
fruit used.

Also, pectin is not the only thing at work in thickening the 
resultant syrup. The cooking of the sugar plays a role in that as 
anyone who has ever made candy would be well aware of. Or even if you 
have ever made a simple syrup and let it simmer for 15 to 30 minutes 
then cooled it, you would see it thicken considerably as it cools.

I'd expect that the sugar syrup would be verging on the soft ball 
stage after cooking for two hours in a "temperate" oven. I'm going to 
guess that what is meant there is something in the range of 300F to 
325F. Does anyone have a better read on what temperature this might 
equate to? This just seems about right for everything to cook that 
long without burning.


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

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