Dried Pear Puree from the Innsbruck MS

Another short recipe, I’m tired onight. This one is interesting because of how widespread it is:

Modern dried pears (Kletzen or Hutzeln) courtesy of wikimedia commons

15 If you would make a puree of dried pears (klotzenpirn), wash them in warm water, cut off the stalks and the cores, and boil them or let them soften in water. Pound them and pass them through, and add toasted bread and wine and honey. Season it well and salt it lightly etc.

Dried pears appear very frequently in the German corpus of recipes. Thes seem to have been a kind of stable, with many inventive ways of preparing them recorded. However, the puree is the most common preparation we encounter, and it has already made this blog twice. Once from Heidelberg Cod Pal Germ 551:

62 Of dried pears (Hutzeln)

If you would make a side dish of dried pears, wash the dried pears and boil them nicely, pound them small and pass them through (a cloth) with a little wine. Then boil them well and add good honey, enough cloves, and if it turns out too thin, grate bread into it. Put it into a pot and it stays good for you for five or six weeks.

Another from the Königsberg MS, which is clearly related to the previous:

[[18]] Wilthu ein grunefl von Huzellen machenn:

If you want to make a green (dish) of dried pears

Wash the pears nicely and pound them finely. Pass them through a sieve with wine, boil them well and add good honey and enough spices. If it is too thin, add ground breadcrumbs. If you put it into a pot, it will last for 4 to 6 weeks. It can be served cold or hot. Sprinkle it with sugar and cinnamon.

Compared to this degree of similarity, the Innsbruck MS is obviously out of the direct transmission chain, but this is clearly still the same recipe. The parallels also suggest that this puree is meant to have good keeping qualities, though given how well dried pears last if stored properly, it is rather hard to see why that would have mattered.

The Innsbrucker Rezeptbuch is a manuscript recipe collection from a South German/Austrian context. It dates to the mid-fifteenth century and survives as part of a set of medical and culinary texts bound together. The editor Doris Aichholzer published it together with two related manuscripts and drew attention to the less elaborate, more practical recipes. The manuscript is of unknown provenance, but has been owned by the Habsburg emperors since at least the early sixteenth century. It is now held at the Nationalbibliothek in Vienna. An edition, German translation and commentary can be found in Doris Aichholzer: Wildu machen ayn guet essen… Drei mittelhochdeutsche Kochbücher, Peter Lang Verlag Berne et al. 1999

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 *