Writings: Katira al-Maghrebiyya (aka Kay the Innocent of Bel Anjou)
Source: Recipe text provided for competition.
Original: Take goode honye & clarefie it on the fere, & take fayre paynemayn or wastel brede & grate it, & caste it into the boylenge hony, & stere it will tgyder faste with a sklyse that bren not to the vessell. & thanne take doun and put therin ginger, linge pepere & saundres & tempere it vp with thin handel; & than put hem to a flatt boyste & strawe theron suger, & pick therin clowes round about by the egge and in the myudes yf it plece you &c.
Using A Culinary Reference Manual published by the Madrone Culinary Guild, and the glossary in Curye on Inglysch published by the Early English Text Society, I translated the original recipe and created an ingredient list.
Translation: Take good honey & clarify it on the fire, & take fair white bread & grate it, & add it to the boiling honey, & stir it well with a flat-bottomed utensil to avoid burning, & take it off the heat and add ginger, black pepper & sandalwood, & mix it well with a thin handle; & then put it in a flat pan & sprinkle with sugar, & put cloves round about by the edge and in the middle if it please you
A gingerbread recipe from Harleian MS 279, similar to the above, appears in Take a Thousand Eggs or More, Vol. Two, and in Pleyn Delit. Using them as a reference, I began the process that, after several versions, produced the following result:
3/4 C clover honey
Mix crumbs, ginger, pepper and sandalwood. Boil honey and skim off any scum that accumulates. Remove from heat and stir in seasoned crumbs. Press mixture into a buttered 8" round cake pan Let it sit several hours or overnight. Turn onto a plate and sprinkle with sugar. Decorate with cloves. Slice and serve.
Note: To avoid an overly strong clove essence, do not add them too long before serving and remove them if storing leftovers.
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