Friday, September 16, 2011

~ Plummy Medieval Sweet ~

Tomorrow evening at Fields of Cloth and Gold there will be a dessert potluck. Although any kind of dessert is welcomed, I decided to try to find a somewhat authentic dish to bring. This is my take on a period 14th century recipe for "Chireseye"; only I, finding cherries no longer in season, substituted fresh farmers-market plums instead.

I found the recipe at the fantastic resource, Gode Cookery. This particular recipe called for simple ingredients that I had on hand, except for, of course, the cherries. The original instructions call for preparing this dish during the Feast of St. John the Baptist, which was in late June - cherry season! Since we are now into the latter parts of September plums are just finishing up their season so are readily available.

I pitted and chopped three plums and cooked them in a tiny bit of water and a sprinkling of sugar over low heat until the fruit was soft enough to mash. I mashed it as best I could with a potato masher and then stirred in a little bit of butter and a splash of red wine. I didn't have any homemade white bread on hand so crumbled up 8 slices of cheapy Wal-Mart-brand white sandwich bread and stirred that in too. I added a tiny bit more sugar and cooked it all over low heat for just a minute or two. Then I poured it into a buttered bowl and baked it at 350 for about an hour. The unbaked mixture was thick and gloopy but since I won't be serving this until tomorrow evening, I figured that baking the mixture was a better way of preserving it. Who wants to eat thick, cold, gloopy plum pudding? It baked into the consistency of bread pudding, with a crust on top and still a bit gloopy on the bottom. However, the bottom is protected by the crust on top. I finished it off by "strewing thereon sugar". The boys ate the scrapings left in the bowl and fought over the spoon. It's amazing how just a few simple ingredients can become something so tasty!

What is even more amazing is making a recipe that is over five hundred years old. It is a connection to the past that hits me even more that sewing period clothing. It's awesome. :) Speaking of period clothing though, I finished refitting my kirtle yesterday and here it is with the new apron and coif.

I like it much better in this version. The issues I had with the old version are almost completely gone (wrinkling along the torso and at the back; pulling at the neckline, too-poufy sleeves, plus the whole lack of support for the bosom that got worse as I lost weight.) I can't wait to wear it tomorrow!



  1. Oh it's beautiful! And Chireseye looks really yummy! Have a delightful weekend!

  2. Oh, yum, yum! Plums are wonderful.
    Have a good time tomorrow,

  3. Sounds very yummy. I make a German dessert called 'dumpfnudeln' that is stewed plums with big sweet yeast dumplings on top. I wonder how old that recipe is? I was shown how to make it by an Austrian woman who is in her 80s now and her mother made it for her. One of the things I love about making and drinking mead is its connection to the past. It's a really neat way to make history feel real.

    You look so lovely in your revamped outfit. Great job!

    1. Evidently dampfnudeln goes back to the 1600's. And the first printed recipie was in a cookbook in the early 1800's.

  4. Yumm!

    I love your kirtle, so lovely.

  5. It looks absolutely delightful! MMMMmmmm... You look beautiful in that photo. Perfectly posed.

  6. That's lovely! I've been planning to make me a medieval dress for a while now but I still haven't got around to start with it.. in the meanwhile I'm sticking with 18th century...


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!