[Sca-cooks] irons for browning food

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Fri Jul 23 15:53:04 PDT 2010

Katherine said:
<<< Last weekend at a garage sale I found an iron
designed for burning the sugar on creme brulee.  Should be perfect to
experiment with! >>>

Oooh. Neat. What does this iron look like?

There are some period recipes that talk about browning the top of dishes, usually cheese ones I believe, with something like this. It would be nice to see this done more.

For instance, the rather common recipe for cheese-goo, Digby's Savory Tosted Cheese calls for this, but I don't remember anyone doing this or even calling for it in their redactions.

From the cheese-goo-msg file in the Florilegium:
<<< Savoury Tosted or Melted Cheese

[original recipe found in] Digby p. 228/177

Cut pieces of quick, fat, rich, well tasted cheese, (as the best of Brye,
Cheshire, &c. or sharp thick Cream-Cheese) into a dish of thick beaten
melted Butter, that hath served for Sparages or the like, or pease, or
other boiled Sallet, or ragout of meat, or gravy of Mutton: and, if you
will, Chop some of the Asparages among it, or slices of Gambon of Bacon, or
fresh-collops, or Onions, or Sibboulets, or Anchovis, and set all this to
melt upon a Chafing-dish of Coals, and stir all well together, to
Incorporate them; and when all is of an equal consistence, strew some gross
White-Pepper on it, and eat it with tosts or crusts of White-bread. You may
scorch it at the top with a hot Fire-Shovel. >>>

In rereading this, I also notice that the while pepper is just to be sprinkled on, but pretty much all the redactions I remember reading, including Master Cariadoc's redaction, stir the white pepper into the dish.

<<< la Varenne ramekins of cheese

Ramequins of Cheese [V#41, p221]
Take some cheese, melt it with some butter, an onion whole, or stamped, salt
and pepper in abundance, spread all upon bread, pass the fire shovel over it
red hot, and serve it warme. >>>

I was beginning to wonder if a fire shovel was used in both of these because it was supposed to be holding hold coals while being used, however, I suspect not since this recipe specifically calls for the fire shovel to be "red hot".

I thought I had some more recipes that browned food with a hot iron, but I can't seem to find them. There are some that call for warming something by sticking a hot iron in the liquid, but I'm assuming your iron is flat and not long and thin.

<<< Milk from which the butter has been taken and which has been heated well with a red-hot iron, if drunk, strengthens those who have inflamed livers or pain ...>>> from Das Kochbuch des Meisters Eberhard.

Eberhard-art (91K) 6/29/05 A 15th century German recipe collection translated by Giano Balestriere.


THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
   Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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