Pastries from Cgm 384 II

Section II of Cgm 384 opens with a number of rather perfunctory recipes for pastries. Make coffin, insert food, bake.

Pigeons for pastries. Image courtesy of wikimedia commons.

1 If you would make a pastry, take a dough that has been rolled out and make a coffin of it (lit: a scherben, i.e. a bowl or shallow pan). Chop a young pigeon or chicken to pieces raw and cut bacon into cubes, then lay it into the coffin and season it well. Then lay another sheet of good eggs over it and bake it in an oven.

2 A Pastry

You also make a pastry of eggs, cheese, and other things, dry or wet. They also turn out well with figs or raisins. They are also made with good pears and spices. You also put in morels and all manner of spices.

3 A Pastry

You also make pastries of fish. Take whatever kind you wish and put in a little good broth, wine, fat, and spices. All kinds of birds, large and small, and ducks and geese are also good in it. You also put in veal, bacon and parsley, well chopped.

And yes, recipe #1 lacks a title in the original. Starting with #2, they have titles again. Obviously, there is very little to learn from these recipes. The word scherben for the pastry coffin is interesting because unlike the hafen used in other texts, it typically describes a shallow vessel. That is a pointer to the probable shape. Similarly, recipe #1 states clearly that these pastries are baked in an oven. Given that later recipes frequently call for a Tortenpfanne, a cooking vessel that functioned much like a Dutch oven, this is interesting. Finally, it describes the top crust as made of (or rather, with) eggs, pointing to a central ingredient in a dough that was likely intended to be edible rather than disposable.

Bound together with medicinal, veterinary, and magical texts, the culinary recipes of Munich Cgm 384 were partly published in 1865 as “Ein alemannisches Büchlein von guter Speise“. The manuscript dates to the second half of the fifteenth century. My translation follows the edition by Trude Ehlert in Münchner Kochbuchhandschriften aus dem 15. Jahrhundert, Tupperware Deutschland, Frankfurt 1999, which includes the first section of recipes not published earlier

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