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Medieval Recipe Translations

Poume d'oranges

PERIOD: England, 13th century | SOURCE: B. L. Additional 32085 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Pork meatballs made to resemble oranges


1. Poume d'oranges. Ceo est une viaunde ke est apelé pomme de oranges. Pernez char de porc, ne mye trop gras ne trop megre, e festes couper creu, e festes braer en un morter, e metez dedenz le moel de l'oef cru; e pernez le bro, si festes boiller; e puys pernez le blaunc de l'oef e oyngnez vos meinz; e puys pernez hors la char e festes roundes soelez cume oingnun, taunt come vos volez, e festes boiller en cel bro; e puys pernez les hors e metez chescun parmy une broche ke nul ne tuche autre; e puys metez au feu pur rostir; e pernez deus esqueles, e metez le blaunc en une esquele e le moel, e festes oyndre les poumes kaunt it sunt charnis parmy; e pernez sucre e jetez desus kaunt il sunt tret hors de la broche; e puys dressez.


1. Oranges. This is a dish which is called "oranges." Take pork, neither too fat nor too lean, and cut it up raw; grind it in a mortar and add raw egg yolk; then take broth and bring it to a boil; then take the white of an egg and rub it on your hands; then take out the meat and make round balls, like an onion, as many as you wish, and boil them in the broth; then take them out and arrange on spits so that they are not touching and put them to roast on the fire; and take two dishes and put the white of an egg in one and the yolk (in the other) and coat the "oranges" when they are rolled therein; take sugar and sprinkle it over them when they are removed from the spit, and then serve.

- Hieatt, Constance B. and Robin F. Jones. "Two Anglo-Norman Culinary Collections Edited from British Library Manuscripts Additional 32085 and Royal 12.C.xii." Speculum vol. 61, issue 4 (Oct. 1986): 859-882.


  • ground pork, raw
  • egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • salt & pepper, to taste (optional)
  • broth - any sort will do, though we recommend our Gode Broth, made without bread crumbs
  • egg whites, slightly beaten
  • additional egg whites & yolks, slightly beaten

Combine the pork and egg yolks into a malleable mass - use approx. 4-5 egg yolks for every pound of meat. (Since modern tastes prefer salt & pepper, you may add these at this time if you wish.) The mixture should be the proper consistency with which to make meatballs.

Bring the broth to a soft boil.

Have a bowl of egg whites next to you while you make the meatballs. Dip your hands in the egg white before making each ball, which should be the size of an orange, or an oingnun, an onion. Or, if you prefer, make the meatballs and dip each one in the egg white just before boiling.

Gently boil the meatballs in the broth until just done. Remove and drain.

If it is possible for you to spit roast the meatballs, in a rotisserie or a modern oven, then do so, placing the meat on your skewers, leaving a slight gap between each ball -  they must not be touching or you will have difficulty in thoroughly coloring them later on. Roast until they are just beginning to brown.

If you cannot spit roast, place the meatballs on a baking sheet and roast in an oven until they are just beginning to brown.

Thoroughly coat the meatballs in egg white. If using skewers, either dip & roll them in egg white, still on the skewer, or use a pastry brush to paint on the egg; if using a baking sheet, dip each meatball in egg or use a pastry brush.

Return to the heat just long enough for the egg white to set and turn white; this will take only half a minute or so. DO not overcook the white, as it will turn brown. This makes the inner white coating of the orange peel.

Now coat the meatballs in the egg yolk, the same manner in which you did the whites. (For a brighter, deeper orange color, add a few drops of yellow food coloring to the yolks.) Return to the heat just long enough for the egg yolk to set; again, this will take only half a minute or so. DO not overcook, as the yolk will turn brown and spoil the effect.

Remove the "oranges" from the skewers or baking sheets, sprinkle on a little sugar, & serve.

Serve with Blaunche escrepes.


A Boke of Gode CookeryMedieval Recipe Translations

Poume d'oranges © 2003 James L. Matterer

Medieval Recipe Translations

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