The second part of Saturday’s experiments from the Mondseer Kochbuch, plus one pie. We served a varied and rather heavy dessert, and I was slightly surprised that all recipes worked out well. Much food was taken away again.

First, there were the recipes for Fastenkrapfen from the Mondseer Kochbuch:

54 Fritters (krapphen) of nuts

Take entire kernels of nuts and cut as many apples into that in cubes, Fry (röst) them well with a little honey and mix it with spices. Place it on the (dough) sheets (pleter) that are prepared for the fritters and let them fry, and do not oversalt it.

55 Fritters (Krapfen) with Italian raisins (wehlischen weinpern)

Take Italian raisins and take as many apples with them and pound them small. Add spices and fill it into the fritters and let them fry, and do not oversalt them.

These are fairly safe recipes in that it is quite hard to make something unpleasant from apples, nuts, honey, and raisins. For the first filling, I simply processed equal volumes of chopped apple and raisins together and added cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg and cloves. The second took a little more work as the cubed apples and whole hazelnut kernels were first fried in butter, then had honey added. The result, though, was excellent. I wrapped both in a hot water short crust based on a sixteenth-century recipe and baked them because this was mainly a test of the fillings and time economy was important.

The dough was on hand because of the second dish, a tart of root vegetables from the sixteenth-century recipe collection of Philippine Welser:

23 To make as root vegetable (raubenn) tart

Take roots (ryeb) and peel them. Then put them in water and let them boil. Then, you pound them very small in a mortar and add six egg yolks and freshly melted butter, sugar, cinnamon and ginger, grated semel bread and a little milk. Salt it well and let it bake a quarter hour, then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on it.

This recipe interested me from the start, with the main question being what kind of root vegetables would suit it best. Rüben can mean almost any kind, with variations differing regionally in an era before standardised seed trade. For this first attempt, I decided to go with parsnips and parsley roots. Their sweetness would harmonise with the cinnamon and sugar, and their spicy note add to the depth of the dish. I peeled, boiled, and mashed the roots, added egg yolks, and seasoned the mix with cinnamon, ginger, and a small amount of sugar. A little butter stirred in completed the filling which I then baked in a covered pie, slowly at 175°C. The result was convincing, but not as excellent as the Fastenkrapfen which I will definitely include in future feasts and a projected childrens’ historic recipe book.

The crust is my usual standby for sixteenth-century recipes: one cup of water and a quarter pound of butter or lard are heated in a saucepan until the water begins to boil. Meanwhile, you ready four cups of flour in a bowl and lay out two eggs. The water and fat go into the flour first, boiling hot, and are stirred in quickly. Then you add the eggs and work everything into a dough. Turn that out on a work surface and knead it, working in flour gradually until it is no longer sticky. It is best rolled out still warm, but can be worked cold and even kept in the fridge. This crust holds liquids well and, if it is made thick enough, can be made into free-standing pastries. It is not as pleasant to eat as proper short crust, but much nicer than most contemporary recipes I know.

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