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!

  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!