Piped Fritters

Predictably, again from the Kuenstlichs und Fuertrefflichs Kochbuch.

44 Piped Fritters (Spruetzen Kuechlein)

Item take half a seidlein of blue (plae) milk into a pan and let it boil. When it is boiling, add flour so that it turns thick. Then cook (roeste) this well in the pan so it does not become stinking. It should be thick. Then, beat it well in a bowl. Set eggs atop the oven so they become warm, beat them nicely in a pot, salt them, leave out the birds (i.e. strain them) and always pour in a little egg and then beat it (the dough) thoroughly again. You must prepare it so no lumps (puetzlen) remain in it and thicker than for pruete Kuechlein. Put the dough in a syringe and press it out into the fat. Move it about in small circles (fare fein gerings). Moisten the syringe with water beforehand or the dough will not come out. It is thick. You must press them out quickly. Lay them in the fat hot, like pruete kuechlein, and move about with the syringe. If you have a broad pan, you can make them all the better, as wide as the pan. If you want to make them smaller, take a smaller pan. Turn them about carefully and do not break any of them.

This is an interesting recipe, basically choux pastry piped through a syringe into rings. The finished dish very likely would have looked like piped crullers or round churros. The rise a good choux pastry – known in German today as Brandteig or Brühteig, cognate of the pruete kuechlein mentioned here – produces likely obliterated any surface detail on the finished fritter. I have seen several varieties of this recipe and really want to try this.

The syringe in the kitchen is interesting in its own right. Hans Sachs lists it in a poem on good housekeeping as needful for fighting fires, no doubt a concern where live embers, hot fat, and plenty of timber architecture met. Yet it is clear that the instrument quickly found other uses – or possibly had them from the beginning. Kitchen syringes are found in antique stores and flea markets all over Germany, most of them not suitable for any kind of firefighting, though twentieth-century cooks tended to favour meat grinders (Fleischwolf) for the purpose. Large supermarkets still occasionally sell small models with discs for extruding dough at Christmastime. Specialised mechanically operated syringes with a variety of nozzles known as Gebäckpressen – some of the newer ones electric – are also still popular seasonal items. Today’s Spritzgebäck is usually baked rather than deep-fried, though.

The short Kuenstlichs und Fuertrefflichs Kochbuch was first printed in Augsburg in 1559 and reprinted in Nuremberg in 1560 and subsequently. Despite its brevity, it is interesting especially as it contains many recipes for küchlein, baked or deep-fried confections, that apparently played a significant role in displaying status. We do not know who the famous cook referenced in the title may have been or if he ever existed.

I plan to go on a long excursion to see the exhibition on Islamic cultural influence in medieval Europe in Hildesheim tomorrow and therefore will not be able to post a recipe. Apologies in advance.

This entry was posted in Uncategorised and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *