A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

For fryturs

PERIOD: England, late 15th c. | SOURCE: MS Pepys 1047 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Apple fritters.

Facsimile of receipt from the original manuscript:

Transcription of original receipt:

For fryturs

With egges and flowr a bator thow make
Put barme (30.1) ther to I vnder take
Collor hit with saferon or thow more do
Take pouder of pepur and cast ther to
Kerve Appyls evyn A thorte (30.2) cast þer yn
Fry ham in swete grece no more I myn (30.3)
Cast sugur ther to yf thow be gynne

Modern translations:

(1) For fritters

With eggs and flour a batter thou make
Put barm (30.1) thereto I undertake
Color it with saffron or thou more do
Take powder of pepper and cast thereto
Carve apples even A tharf (30.2) cast therein
Fry them in sweet grease no more I mind (30.3)
Cast sugar thereto if thou begin

(2) Fritters

Make a batter of eggs and flour.
Add barm. (30.1)
Add saffron for color before doing anything else.
Add pepper.
Slice apples in even pieces; add the necessary amount (30.2) to the batter.
Fry the apples in hot oil until done, I remind you. (30.3)
Sprinkle on sugar, if you make this.

(30.1) barme - barm, the yeast sponge or starter used in brewing. Hodgett erroneously translates this word as balm, making one wonder what sort of balm would be used in making fritters. Yeast or barm was a common ingredient in fritter recipes, such as Frytour of erbes from Forme of Cury:

156. Frytour of erbes. Take gode erbys; grynde hem and medle hem with flour and water, & a lytel zest, and salt, and frye hem in oyle. And ete hem with clere honey. (Hieatt, Curye on Inglysch, 132)
(30.2) thorte - Hodgett tranlsates this word as tharf; the ME Dictionary defines tharf as, "A need; what is required or wanted; wants or needs."

(30.3) myn - probably the ME word minde or minder, meaning to remember or remind. Hodgett translates I myn as I remind you.

Modern version:

  • eggs
  • flour
  • yeast
  • ale
  • saffron
  • salt
  • pepper
  • apples, peeled or unpeeled and sliced
  • frying oil
  • sugar
Beat the eggs & flour into a slightly thick batter. Dissolve the yeast in a little warm ale; beat into the batter. Color with saffron. Add a little salt & pepper. Set aside.

Slice the apples into medium-sized pieces. Discard seeds & stems. Coat the slices with the batter, then fry them in hot oil until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain well.

Sprinkle on sugar and serve.

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