Cherry pottage

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient

Syrosye. Tak cheryes & do out the stones & grynde hem wel & draw hem thorw a streynour & do it in a pot. & do therto whit gres or swete botere & myed wastel bred, & cast therto good wyn & sugre, & salte it & stere it wel togedere, & dresse it in disches; and set theryn clowe gilofre, & strewe sugre aboue.

900 g/2 lb fresh ripe red cherries 350 ml/12 fl oz/1½ cups red wine 175 g/6 oz white sugar 50 g/2 oz unsalted butter 225 g/8 oz soft white breadcrumbs Pinch of salt Flower heads of small clove pinks or gilded whole cloves

(according to season) Coarse white sugar for sprinkling This cherry pottage was a genteel dish, being made with wine and white bread, so it merited the use of precious white sugar. Soluble gold gouache can be used to gild the tops of whole cloves, but do not bite on them; they stun the taste-buds.

Wash the cherries and discard the stems and stones. Puree the fruit in a blender with 150 ml/5 fl oz/10 tablespoons of the wine and half the sugar. Add a little more wine if you need to. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the fruit puree, breadcrumbs, remaining wine and sugar, and the salt. Simmer, stirring steadily, until the puree is very thick. Pour into a serving bowl, cover and leave to cool. When quite cold, decorate the edge of the bowl with flowers or whole cloves, and sprinkle coarse sugar over the centre.

Any young hostess, married or not, would enjoy showing off this pretty dish.

from The Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black Chapter 4, "The Goodman of Paris" posted by Tiffany Hall-Graham

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