[Sca-cooks] Pie dough - the elusive footnote

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Sat Feb 13 09:44:29 PST 2010

  I did some searching in my files this am and then
  emailed this on to Master A.
We think this is the elusive post about the pastry.
It's in a footnote to Le Menagier.

As he is in the midst of his New Year's preparations, he asked that I  
post it.

See below


> From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"
> Date: February 17, 2004 8:35:37 AM EST
> To: Cooks within the SCA
> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Standing crust
> Reply-To: Cooks within the SCA
> Also sprach Alex Clark:
>> At 11:34 PM 2/16/2004 -0500, Doc wrote:
>>> Cut the shortening into the flour, mix in water a bit at a time,  
>>> roll out. . . .
>> Does anyone know of any period documentation for cutting fat into  
>> dry ingredients like this? The earliest pastry recipe that I know  
>> of with cut fat is from Digby, and the fat is mixed into the dough,  
>> not into the dry ingredients.
> There's a French pastry recipe in verse, I think from the late  
> fourteenth century, here:
> http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/menagier/menagier11.html#English
> My own English translation of it is, at best, an alpha version, but  
> it speaks of the dough being a bit rough ("Les croutes, un poi  
> rudemont"), which might argue in favor of fat being broken or cut  
> in. Elsewhere in the recipe there's a reference to diced fat bacon,  
> but it's not absolutely clear to me whether this is an ingredient in  
> the pastry of in the filling of the pastry.
> I believe there's a recipe in Markham, which, while late, is earlier  
> than Digby, anyway, for making rough coffins (essentially preserving  
> containers) for meats, out of rye. I'll see if I can find it.
> Adamantius

On Feb 13, 2010, at 9:26 AM, Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius  
explained earlier--

> I think there's one 14th-century French description of a pie dough  
> being
>> made with little bits of lard (probably unrendered). I remember  
>> getting into
>> an... erm... animated, respectful discussion... here on this list  
>> several
>> years ago on a point of translation, with someone whose French is a  
>> lot
>> better than mine.    However, I'm not aware of any specific  
>> suggestions on what to do in Lent
>> when lard or other animal fat is out.
>> Adamantius
> and then later
> Maybe the whole discussion is in the Florilegium. As I say, I'm not  
> 100% certain (as in, I cannot currently prove) that it actually took  
> place, but my recollection, such as it is, is that somebody produced  
> a piece of contemporary 14th or 15th C. verse that had in turn  
> appeared in a footnote for somebody's later edition of Taillevent or  
> le Menagier. As I recall the lard was in the dough. snipped
> Adamantius

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