A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

Eyroun in Lentyn

PERIOD: England, 15th century | SOURCE: Harleian MS. 279 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Almond Paste "Eggs"


Take Eyroun, & blow owt that ys with-ynne atte other ende; than waysshe the schulle clene in warme Water; than take gode mylke of Almaundys, & sette it on the fyre; than take a fayre canvas, & pore the mylke ther-on, & lat renne owt the water; then take it owt on the clothe, & gader it to-gedere with a platere; then putte sugre y-now ther-to; than take the halvyndele, & colour it with Safroun, a lytil, & do ther-to pouder Canelle; than take & do of the whyte in the nether ende of the schulle, & in the myddel the yolk, & fylle it vppe with the whyte; but noght to fulle, for goyng ouer; than sette it in the fyre & roste it, & serue f[orth].

- 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.


  • 1 C blanched almonds
  • 2 C water
  • 1 C sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • Yellow food coloring
1. Grind blanched almonds to a fine paste in a blender or food processor, adding about half a cup of the water, a tablespoon at a time, during the grinding. You might want to grind the almonds in two or three batches.

2. In a saucepan, combine almond paste with the remaining water and the sugar, stirring to blend smooth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.

3. Pour and scrape the mixture onto a large, clean white cloth, such as a dinner napkin or tea towel, laid on a large plate or cookie sheet. Spread the mixture out and let it cool, Then gather up the cloth by the corners, and gently wring it out over a cup or bowel. Tie the cloth up like a bag, and hang up the mixture in the cloth over a cup or bowl for at least three hours.

4. Dish the almond cream into a lightly oiled bowl. Refrigerate until cold.

5. Separate out one third of the almond cream, and put it into a separate bowl. Stir in yellow food coloring a few drops at a time until it is the color of egg yolk.

6. Carefully poke holes into both ends of the eggs, a large hole at the wide end, and a pin hole at the narrow. Holding each egg over a bowl, blow through the pin hole, blowing out the yolk and the white into the bowl. You may refrigerate the yolks and whites for later use. Rinse out the empty egg shells with warm water.

7. Using a pastry tube with a wide nozzle, pipe one third of the plain almond cream into each egg shell. Using a clean chop stick, or the blunt end of a pencil, or other clean, blunt stick, tamp the cream down and pack it against the sides of the shell. Then pipe in yellow cream, and tamp it down. Pipe in the remaining cream and tamp it down. Leave about a quarter of an inch space near the open end.

8. Preheat oven to 350°. 6. Place the filled egg shells on a rack in a roasting pan, and bake them for ten minutes to dry out the almond cream a little. Remove them from the oven, wipe off any drips that may have occurred, cool, and serve. Serves six to twelve.


This is a great trick: intact egg shells filled with sweet almond paste, including a yolk in the middle! These "eggs" are popular with my family and friends, who expect them every year at Mid-Lent. I have also used raw, dyed Easter eggs. I have chosen to use modern food coloring instead of saffron and cinnamon, mostly for convenience.

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Eyroun in Lentyn© 2000 Rudd Rayfield | This page © 2000 James L. Matterer

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