[Sca-cooks] Period Recipe Fail.
selene at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 29 20:16:28 PST 2012
Chronicled for future edification.
Recipe: NUHUD AL-ADHRA [Virgin's breasts]
found in KITAB WASF AL-AT 'IMA AL-MU 'TADA, The Description of Familiar
published in MEDIEVAL ARAB COOKERY
translated by Charles Perry
"Knead sugar, almonds, samid [semolina] and clarified butter, equal
parts, and make them like breasts, and arrange them in a brass tray.Put
into a bread oven until done, and take it out.It comes out excellently."
So that's what I did. Almonds ground in food processor, conventional
table sugar, fine semolina and ghee.
Two shape versions: one in small balls in muffin tins, the other
free-standing ovoids on a flat baking pan.
Everything collapsed. The ones in the muffin pans crawled up the sides
and over the edges. If these were in individual pie tins they might
have made an interesting crust for a fruit tart. The ones in the flat
pan just flattened out. Somebody is going to get a tasty if
non-cohering baked treat in his lunchbox for a few days, anyway.
Two things I'm considering here. Firstly "semolina" might have been too
coarse, or maybe a better translation might be flour. I'm not sure that
would help, this mix has much too high a proportion of butter to flour
and almonds. Compare with my usual shortbread formula: 2 parts
butter, 1 part sugar, 3 parts plain white flour, 1 part rice flour.
Secondly the "brass tray". I recall having seen specific brass trays
with round depressions for serving of condiments or sweetmeats. Could
this be the kind of tray they meant?
Your comments, questions and alternate redactions are invited.
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