Cherry sauce and trysenet from Cod Pal Germ 551

11 To make electuary of tart cherries

Take a quarter or a kolb (korb?) of tart cherries and let them abplaten (take off the stems?) in a wooden vat (schaff) and mash (most) and crush them in a bowl. Afterwards put that in a large colander (durchschlag) or a tight sieve and pass it through so that the stones and the coarse skins stay out. Then take that same liquid and boil it in a cauldron on a trivet. Stir it with a broad flat spoon (schaufel) and do not stop stirring so that it does not burn. And when it has boiled (thick) enough, add two or three maß of honey to it, depending on how the tart cherries are (i.e. how they taste), and boil it again. Then add one or two lot of pepper to it, depending on whether you like it spicy, and this stays good for two or three years. When it is all boiled and thick and you wish to eat of it, soften it in wine and stir it with a spoon. Put it in a small bowl and strew cinnamon or trysenet (spice mix) on it, it is good that way.

We used frozen tart cherries (season is already over here) and slowly cooked them. After they had softened enough, we pureed them and added honey and pepper to taste. After reducing the mixture by about half – you need to stir it regularly towards the end or it will burn – it gelled to a solid, very sticky consistency on a plate.

Dissolving it was quite a challenge, but it produced a very satisfactory sauce to go with the stuffed roast beef. Yet before we got there, we still needed the trysenet. Fortunately, Cod Pal Germ 551 had a recipe for that, too:

1 If you would prepare a good triesenet (spice mixture)

Take two pounds of sugar, pound it, and searce it through a sieve. Afterwards, take four lot of ginger, four lot of cinnamon, three lot (each?) of mace and nutmeg, one and a half lot of cloves and half a lot of galingale and pound each separately. Searce the ginger, the cloves and the galingale through a sieve together. You must not searce (? on account of oiliness or fibrousness?) the cinnamon and mace. If you would have it stronger (?), make it as it seems good to you.

This is one of relatively few medieval German recipes that gives quantities, so of course we tried to approxiomate them. A combination of 1kg of sugar with 120g each of ginger and cinnamon, 90g each of mace and nutmeg, 40g of cloves and 15g of galingale produced something vaguely akin to Zimtzucker, but distinctly stronger. It went well with the sauce and seems perfectly suited to dishes like rice pudding or pancake.

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