An Odd Recipe from the Innsbruck MS

It is for pasteten, but what these are is quite unclear:

Fritter serving bowls shaped around a reed. We may be looking at something similar here.

49 If you would make a pastry (pasteten), make a dough of eggs as though you wanted to make hare’s ears (hasenorel, a type of fritter). Then roast that and shape it over a bowl (mach ez über ein schussel) and fry it in a pan. Prepare a taig (dough lid? filling?) for it or put in birds in a ziseindel sauce, or fish, but with the best spices you can get. Close it on the top. If you wish, (prepare? serve?) it in a pot. This is also good etc.

This is the kind of recipe that gives me headaches. There is clearly something quite sophisticated going on here. A dough of some kind is shaped over a bowl and deep-fried into shape. There are a few recipes for a similar process that produces edible serving dishes. Then, it is filled with strongly seasoned poultry or fish. A ziseindel is a savoury sauce based on onions or fruit, so it fits in with what we think of as a Pastete. But the details are hazy.

A dough of eggs as though for hasenorel would describe a fritter dough, probably something stretchy and solid. The mention of ‘roasting’ it may suggest a choux paste, something that was known at the time. I have yet to find a recipe for hasenorel from the time, so I cannot draw on that. The next question is the taig to be made. Aichholzer reads this as a dough covering, but the same word is also used elsewhere for an egg-based pastry filling. Finally, I do not understand the role that the pot is supposed to play. Could itz merely indicate that cooking the same filling in a pot would produce equally appealing results? Are we talking about a pot used to shape the pastry case? Or is there another cooking stage so familiar it does not need detailing? I am simply not sure about this one, but it was too interesting to just omit.

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

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