Almond Milk Tartlets

Another one from the Kuenstlichs und Fuertrefflichs Kochbuch:

58 To make small pastries (Bastecklein)

Take blanched almond kernels. Pound them and grind them as finely as you can. Make milk with them that is to be thick, so take all the more almonds. Let it stand in a pot for a day or two so it separates out a little (ein wenig schottet werd) or hang it up in a bag. But it should stand a day and a night before it is dried or poured off. Take this and grind fine white sugar into it. Let it be thick. Take a pastry base (blatz) as though for gewolne küchlein and make a deep bowl (degelein). Put milk into this and bake it in the dough like a May Cake. You must not use fat for this but bake it like bread.

This is an interesting recipe and I suspect it is an iteration of something usually done with regular milk. Compared to some of the complex and refined recipes for almond tarts found about the same time in documents from the same region, they are surprisingly simple, just almond milk and sugar. I am not sure the taste will be much to write home about, but playing with almond milk this way does tempt me.

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.

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