Raisin and fig cream (recipe)

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Taken from: Chapter 2, The Medieval Cookbook, Maggie Black

Original Recipe

Rapey. Take half fyges and half raisouns; pike hem and waishe hem in water. Skalde hem in wyne, bray hem in a morter, and drawe them thurgh a straynour. Cast hem in a pot and therwith powdur of peper and oother good powdours; alay it vp with flour of rys, and colour it with saundres. Salt it, seeth it & messe it forth.


  • 125g well-soaked dried figs
  • 125g stoned raisins
  • 275ml red wine
  • Good pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Soft dark brown sugar to taste
  • 3 teaspoons rice flour or cornflour
  • A drop or two of red food colouring
  • Salt to taste
  1. Drain the figs, reserving the soaking liquid.
  2. Discard the stalk ends of the fruit and put them in a saucepan with the raisins and wine.
  3. Add the spices and a teaspoon of sugar and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and cool slightly.
  4. Turn the mixture into an electric blender and process until smooth. Add a little of the soaking water if the mixture is stubbornly solid.
  5. Cream the rice flour or cornflour with a little more soaking water or wine and brighten the tint with a drop of food colouring.
  6. Blend the 'cream' into the dried-fruit puree.
  7. Return the whole mixture to the saucepan and simmer until it thickens slightly. Season with salt and a little extra sugar if you wish.

Can be served hot or cold over a sweet cereal dish, firm stewed fruit or - best of all- ice cream. Some versions in other manuscripts are stiffer and make a good filling for tartlets or fried puffs. One encloses the filling in pastry to make dumplings.