Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I found the original recipe for this strawberry pudding / jelly on a Medieval "cookery" website. I've tweaked it a little. I've been reading up on vegetarianism throughout history and trying to dig up traditional recipes that were animal-free. There are variations on this recipe all over the internet, including this one here which uses rice flour as a thickener. This one below uses almond milk, which was commonly used by medieval cooks since refrigeration wasn't available and dairy milk would spoil.


2-1/2 cups fresh strawberries
1 cup almond milk
1 cup red wine
2 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 cup currants
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup (vegan) sugar
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of saffron
pomegranate seeds

Clean the strawberries and cut into quarters. Simmer them in the wine in a pan until they're soft. Strain the mixture to remove the seeds and pulp and return the strawberry / wine concoction to the pan. Add everything else except the cornstarch and bring to a low boil. Once it's boiling, stir in the cornstarch and stir the mixture until it's thickened. Remove from the heat, heap into bowls and garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve warm.

Now, the original recipe called for "amidon" instead of cornstarch, but suggested cornstarch as a more readily available substitute. The word 'amidon' is French for cornstarch, though. I'll have to see what that's all about. I was also left wondering how readily available ordinary old sugar would have been in the 15th century, which is apparently when this dish would have been made. You can see a picture of it here.

I haven't tried it yet, myself, but may give it a shot over the next few weeks. That's a lot of sugar, though, and I don't have much of a sweet tooth.


Doc said...


Amidon was originally wheat starch, but it has been replaced almost everywhere by cornstarch - which is a byproduct of corn processing, and therefore much cheaper.

If you're really curious (or want to be really authentic) you can sometimes find wheat starch in asian groceries. Having used both, I haven't noticed any appreciable difference between the two.

M said...

Thanks very much for the information! Considering that most corn is genetically modified these days (and I don't think I've ever seen organic corn starch), it would be nice to find an alternative for the very few times I do use it. And of course, it would also be nice to make a more authentic recipe.