Wardonys in syryp
PERIOD: England, 15th century | SOURCE: Harleian MS. 279 | CLASS: Authentic
DESCRIPTION: Pears in wine and spices
.x. Wardonys in syryp.---Take wardonys, an caste on a potte, and boyle hem till þey ben tender; þan take hem vp and pare hem, an kytte hem in to pecys; take y-now of powder of canel, a good quantyte, an caste it on red wyne, an draw it þorw a straynour; caste sugre þer-to, an put it [in] an erþen pot, an let it boyle: an þanne caste þe perys þer-to, an let boyle to-gederys, an whan þey haue boyle a whyle, take pouder of gyngere an caste þer-to, an a lytil venegre, an a lytil safron; an loke þat it be poynaunt an dowcet.
- Austin, Thomas. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 & Harl. MS. 4016, with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1429, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. London: for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888.
GODE COOKERY TRANSLATION:
Pears in Syrup. Take pears, and place in a pot, and boil until tender; take out and pare, and cut into pieces; take a large quantity of cinnamon, and add it to red wine, and pass through a strainer; add sugar, and place in an earthenware pot, and bring to a boil: and add the pears and let boil, and after awhile add ginger and a little vinegar and saffron; and see that it be both sour and sweet.
This is essentially poached pears in wine, with a little vinegar added for sharpness. The period receipt advises to cook the pears first, then pare and cut them, but I find cutting and paring cooked pears a bit difficult, and prefer to pare and slice them before boiling. "Wardonys" or "Wardens" were a type of English pear not common today - feel free to substitute any slightly hard, not-too-sweet variety. Be sure that the final product is both "poynaunt" (piquant with vinegar) and "dowcet" (sweet).
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