Tayle or Figgy Pudding (Fig Pudding)
Winner of Purgatorio Wooden Spoon Competition - 15th C recipe
August 23, 2003 being AS XXXVIII

My Recipe:
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups dried figs, chopped
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup dates, chopped
2-3 tablespoons sugar (depending on dryness of the wine)
1/4 teaspoon each - ginger, black pepper, long pepper, nutmeg

Make almond milk from the wine and almonds. Add the fruit, spices, sugar, and almond wine to a pan. Bring to a boil. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed and a pudding is formed - about 10 - 15 minutes. Serve at this point.

Can easily be reheated by steaming in a heatable bowl or double boiler.



The Recipe from the Original Text:

Take a lytyll milke of almondes darwyn up with wyn & do hit in a pott; do thereto figes, reysens, & dateys cut, and sygure & good poudyrs. Boyle hit up; colour with safron & messe hit forth.

The Recipe by the Book's Author:
Fig pudding
2 oz (1/2 cup) ground almonds
1 cup white wine
1 cup dried figs, quartered
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped dates
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice powder

optional - pinch of saffron

Draw up an almond milk with the wine. Add fruits and seasoning and bring to a boil. Sir over moderate heat for about 5 minutes, or until thick and well blended; if it seems too thick, add a little water.
This is best served warm, but can also be eaten cold.

The Source:
Hieatt, Constance B. An Ordinance of Pottage: An Edition of the Fifteenth Century Culinary Recipes in Yale University's MS Beinecke 163. Published by Prospect Books. 1988. ISBN 0 907325 38 6. Pages 57, 161.

Major Decisions Made in Developing this Recipe:

Red Wine - red wine was in common usage and goes well with dried fruits. The amount is to moisten the fruits and get them to meld, so I chose as small an amount as I felt I could get away with and still sufficiently meet the need.

Fruit amounts - the pudding is a fig pudding, so I chose to include more figs than the other types mentioned. The flavor of raisins melds with that of figs, but dates maintain their own flavor so I chose to use fewer dates to keep a balance.

Sugar - the dried fruits are sweet and need little addition. Thus, I presume the sugar is to balance the wine.

Spices - the recipe merely says good poudyrs. A number of recipes with dried fruit include pepper and ginger, including one of the other figge versions. Some of the variations of "fine spice" include ginger, long pepper, black pepper, and nutmeg. The first 3 brightens the flavors and the nutmeg adds a sweetness.

Saffron - I chose not to add the saffron. If the saffron is added for color, as indicated in the
Harleian MS 279, then the red wine can serve the same purpose. If the saffron is to add flavor, then it would compensate with the fine spice powder mix, and I chose not to add it.


Other versions of the recipe consulted

62 For to make fygey. Nym figes & boille hem in wyn, and bray hem in a morter wip lied bred. Tempre hit vp wyp goud wyn; boille it. Do perto goud spicere & hole resons. Dresse hit; florisshe it aboue wip pomme garnetes.

Recipe 62 from Diuersa Servicicia Book II MS Cosin 14th Century Menus

91 Fygey. Take almaundes blaunched; grynde hem and drawe hem vp with water and wyne, quarter fyges, hole raisouns. Cast perto powdour gynger and honey clarified; seep it wel & salt it, & serue forth.

Recipe 91 from Form2 of Cury - Book IV MS Cosin 14th Century Menus

Hieatt, Constance B. and Sharon Butler. Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth-Century (Including the Forme of Cury). Published for The Early English Text Society by the Oxford University Press, 1985. ISBN 0-19-722409-1.

Harleian MS 279 page 24 Cookery Book I
Ciij Fygeye -- Take Fyges, an sethe hem tylle pey ben neysshe, pan bray hem tylle pey ben smal; penne take hem vppe an putte hem in a potte, & Ale per-to; pan take Bred y-gratyd, an Pynes hole, & caste per-to, & let boyle wyl; & atte pe dressoure, caste on pouder Canel y-now, & serue forth: & sif po wolt colour yt in .iij maners, pou myst, with Saunderys, Safroun, & of hym-self, and ley on ouder y-now, & serue forth.

Harleian MS 4016 page 94-95 Cookery Book II
Ffygey. Take figges, and caste hem in a potte, And cast there-to wyne or Ale, and lete hem boile, And take hem Vppe, and bray hem in a morter; An pen take brede, and stepe in pe same licour, and cast thereto, And drawe hem porgh a streynour, and caste hit in a faire potte with wyne or ale; and pen take figes, and kutte hem smale, pynes, saundres, pouder of peper, a litutt saffron and salt, and cast per-to, and serue hit stonding.

Laud MS 553 page 113 (Bodleian Library)
Figee-- Nym figes, & boille hem in wyn, & bray hem in a morter with lied bred; tempre vp with goud wyn/ boile it/ do therto good spicere, & hole resons/ dresse hit/ florisshe it a c-boue with pomme-garnetes

Austin, Thomas, ed. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 (a.b 1430) & Harl. MS. 4016 (ab. 1450), with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1439, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. Published by Oxford University Press for The Early English Text Society. Unaltered reprint in1996 of the 1888 text. ISBN 0 85991 849 1.

Harl. 4016 recipe also printed and redacted with recipe in Hieatt, Constance B., Brenda Hosington, and Sharon Butler. Pleyn Delit: Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks. Published by University of Toronto Press. 1976. ISBN 0-8020-7632-7. Recipe 122 - pages 142-3

43 To make a fig pudding

Put wine in a small pot, and when it begins to boil, then put in grated Lebkuchen and grated Semmel. Put saffron, almonds, raisins, figs and some fat into it.

Cook Book of Sabrina Welserin - translated

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Robin Berry being Sabrina de la Bere in the SCA