Raisin and fig cream (recipe)
Taken from: Chapter 2, The Medieval Cookbook, Maggie Black
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
- Drain the figs, reserving the soaking liquid.
- Discard the stalk ends of the fruit and put them in a saucepan with the raisins and wine.
- Add the spices and a teaspoon of sugar and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and cool slightly.
- Turn the mixture into an electric blender and process until smooth. Add a little of the soaking water if the mixture is stubbornly solid.
- Cream the rice flour or cornflour with a little more soaking water or wine and brighten the tint with a drop of food colouring.
- Blend the 'cream' into the dried-fruit puree.
- 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.