[Sca-cooks] Sca-cooks Digest, Vol 46, Issue 27

Claire Clarke angharad at adam.com.au
Thu Feb 11 02:53:40 PST 2010


Message: 3
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2010 16:33:22 -0500
From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>
To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Question about pie crust
Message-ID: <8A1C9A12-DBBA-4246-AB65-DD366B78103A at verizon.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

On Feb 10, 2010, at 4:04 PM, Jennifer Carlson wrote:

> I was checking a recipe in Forme of Cury, and had a question - if you were
to make a tarte on a fish day, how would you shorten the paste?  Would oil
have been used in England at this time, in lieu of animal fat?  And if so,
would it have been olive oil, or another kind?

The only specific Lenten substitution I remember seeing is to use almond
milk instead of eggs, with no mention of additional shortening. I suspect
that their flour was somewhat softer than modern AP, and then it often
contained sugar, which is a tenderizing agent, and a certain amount of
almond oil in the almond milk.

They may have used something like olive oil in England, but I suspect if
they did, it's not really well documented and probably not very common.

More likely the potential toughness of dough might have been addressed with
almond milk, egg yolks where permissible, sugar, soft wheat flour, and then
let's not forget the really important one: realistic expectations.


Yeah, I can't say I've seen any (pre-16th century) period recipe for dough
(where they actually describe the dough) mention shortening. Sometimes there
are eggs (which are not permitted in Lent, but are on some other fast days)
and/or almond milk. This could be because 'everyone knew' how to make normal
pastry so the only time they described it was when it was different, but I
suspect it was mostly flour and water paste (it's not that unpleasant), with
almond milk and eggs for more delicate cases (if you'll excuse the pun). 


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