I've written about the evolution of the wedding cake tradition and how it started back in Roman times as a loaf of hearty bread broken over the bride's head, but today I want to take a look back to the medieval kitchen to another dish served as a precursor to the wedding cake we enjoy today -- the Bride's Pie.
Medieval Wedding Cake
If you’re thinking of a medieval theme for your wedding, it might be fun to consider a Bride’s Pie instead of a wedding cake, although I have to say your guests will really have to be as into acting out the medieval scenario as you are, or at the least have an adventuresome culinary spirit. The earliest recipe I could find for “Bride’s Pye” dates back to the Middle Ages and is found in the The Accomplisht Cook. The book is written in old English and terms and cuts of meat have changed since it was written, but I just had to include the original recipe for my readers in order to accentuate how much things have changed.
Before you read the recipe, let me offer a warning. It’s not a sweet dessert-type dish but a savory pie recipe and back then nothing went to waste. For instance, when the recipe calls for “sweet-breads” of veal, it is talking about the thymus or the pancreas from veal. Cock-combs are an edible flower. Most of the rest of the ingredients you'll recognize.
To make an extraordinary Pie, or a Bride Pye of several Compounds, being several distinct Pies on one bottom. Provide cock-stones and combs, or lamb-stones, and sweet-breads of veal, a little set in hot water and cut to pieces; also two or three ox-pallats blanch’t and slic’t, a pint of oysters, slic’t dates, a handful of pine kernels, a little quantity of broom buds, pickles, some fine interlarded bacon slic’t; nine or ten chestnuts rosted and blanch season them with salt, nutmeg, and some large mace, and close it up with some butter. For the caudle, beat up some butter, with three yolks of eggs, some white or claret wine, the juyce of a lemon or two; cut up the lid, and pour on the lear, shaking it well together; then lay on the meat, slic’t lemon, and pickled barberries, and cover it again, let these ingredients be put in the moddle or scollops of the Pye.
If you’re not quite adventuresome enough to go with this authentic recipe, you can always go with
the savory pie recipe of your
choice. And to make this custom your own, why not eat it as the main dish and
still enjoy a traditional wedding cake with a medieval wedding cake topper for dessert with your guests. It will still be a special way to make your wedding celebration unique and delicious.
|Medieval wedding cake topper|
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