The Austin Manuscripts, on Making Quynade

Cxv. Quynade – Take Quynces, & pare hem clene, caste hem on a potte, & caste þer-to water of Rosys; do it ouer þe fyre, & hele – . [Cover. ] it faste, & let it boyle a gode whyle tyl þey ben neysshe; & if þey wol not ben neysshe, bray hem in a Morter smal, draw hem þrow a straynoure; take gode Mylke of Almandys, & caste in a potte & boyle it; take whyte Wyne & Vynegre, an caste þer-to þe Mylke, & let it stonde a whyle; take þan a clene canvas, & caste þe mylke uppe-on, & with a platere stryke it of þe cloþe, & caste it on þe potte; gedyr uyppe þe quynces, & caste to þe creme, & do it ouer þe fyre, & lat boyle; take a porcyon of pouder of Clowys, of Gyngere, of Graynys of Perys, of Euery a porcyon; take Sugre y-now, with Salt, & a party of Safroun, & alle menge to-gederys; & when þou dressyst forth, plante it with foyle of Sylver.

The Austin Manuscripts, c. 1440

Via The Foods of England Project, here’s a recipe for a quince and almond milk based, saffron-coloured, spiced, um… broth of some sort? Let’s see if we can un-pick it.

Put them in a pot with rosewater, put the pot on the fire and cover it. Boil until they are soft (neysshe seems to be a version of neshe) and if they won’t soften, grind them up in a mortar. Strain them. Put almond milk into the pot and boil. Add white wine and vinegar (presumably white wine vinegar), and let it stand a while (to thicken?). I’m really not sure what the next bit is referring to, seems to suggest you should pour the almond milk onto a canvas cloth, then strike it off the cloth with a platter? (Some sort of lost medieval technique, or is there a modern equivalent?) Anyhow, then you put the almond milk and quince mixture back into the pot and boil it again over the fire. Then add cloves, ginger, ‘Graynys of Perys’ (grains of paradise?), a portion of each. Add enough sugar, with salt, and a portion of saffron, and mix it all together. Dress it with silver foil and, presumably, serve it forth.

Anyone brave enough to try this one? If you do, please do let me know how it turns out, either via the comments below, or by sending descriptions and photos by email.

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