Quince marmalade

It is sometimes painfully hard to get some ingredients here in Finland and when you do you have to jump and get them right away. So couple weeks ago I heard that there are quinces in a store and I went there and get some. I made quince marmalade from Le Ménagier de Paris c.1390 and pre-boiled and froze some quinces for later use. I have never made anything with quinces. How funny! But needn’t say I was so excited I left everything I was writing and searching for the blog and concentrated on only quinces for some days. You will find the Finnish translation and the recipe below in the upper bar recipe collections after couple of days.

*Suomenkielinen resepti löytyy parin päivän päästä yläpalkissa olevan linkin kautta.

Quince marmalade

To make cotignac, peel quinces, cut in quarters and remove the eye and the pips. Cook them in some decent wine and then strain. Boil some honey for long time and skim it, then add the quinces and stir thoroughly. Keep boiling until the honey is reduced by at least half; then toss in hippocras powder and stir until is completely cooled. Then cut into pieces and store.

  • 2 big quinces
  • 3 dl red wine
  • 2,5 dl water
  • 500 g honey

Spices: 1,5 teaspoons of Hippocras powder or well ground spices:

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ⅓ teaspoon of ginger
  • ⅓ teaspoon of grains of paradise
  • teaspoon of nutmeg
  • teaspoon of galingale

Peel the quinces and take the gores away. Cut them into quarters and boil in good red wine and water until they are really soft. Take the quinces out from the wine and strain them through strainer and discard the pulp. You will get about 1,5 dl of quince paste. Carefully boil the honey in a pot for 5-10 minutes and skim the foam of the surface. Stir in the quince paste and the spices. Boil carefully stirring all the time until the honey has diminished into half. Be careful not to burn the honey. Keep stirring after taking the pot of fire and let the marmalade cool completely before cutting.

Hippocras powder (as it is said in Le Ménagier de Paris): a quartern of very fine cinnamon, half quartern of cassia buds, an ounce of hand picked fine white Mecca ginger, an ounce of grains of paradise and a sixth of an ounce nutmeg and galingale together.

The Hippocras powder mixture made me think quite a long time about how much the spices you need to spice the quince marmalade. Especially how much there might have been in the spice mixture in Paris 1390. All this thinking took some hours and I will get back to it later. The recipe for the quince marmalade or cotignac tells us to just toss in some Hippocras powder and nothing about the exact amounts. The spice mixture is written down and is quite detailed in another recipe in Le Ménagier. There you can see how much and what kind of spices you need to make the powder.

So either you make bigger batch of Hippocras powder mixture and then toss some of it to the quince marmalade or go with the suggested amounts in the recipe above. If you happen to have both Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia use both but if not then what ever cinnamon you have. If you don’t have galingale or grains of paradise you can either leave them or substitute them with something else like using a bit more ginger and tossing a pinch of black pepper to the marmalade.

I have written down the Hippocras powder recipe and changed the quarterns and ounces to teaspoons, which will unfortunately not give you the exact right amounts but gives a hint of how much spices there are. I will write down the whole recipe of Hippocras later and some thoughts about the spice mixture and the amounts.

Hippocras powder mixture:

  • 28 tl fine cinnamon (probably Cinnamomum Verum)
  • 15 tl cassia buds (Cinnamomum Cassia)
  • 7,6 tl ginger
  • 7,6 tl grains of paradise
  • 1,2 tl nutmeg
  • 1,2 tl galingale


  • The Good Wife’s Guide. Le Menagier de Paris by Gina L.Greco and Christine M.Rose. c.1393


Good news!

I have been quiet for some time. Life happened and I went to school and got my Master of Engineering (while starting a new job) out this spring, moved 2 times, divorced, found new love and now I am living in countryside where I can grow my own vegetables :D.

After the school was over I was so exhausted of everything that has happened. I still am a bit but slowly getting my head back.

This year we celebrate Finland´s 100 year independence. Authors Kari Martiala and Helena Lylyharju published a book called Parasta Pöytään and it is about Finnish Gastronomy history that is celebrating the Finnish culinary history. I had an huge honour to be one of the interviewed persons to the book.

parasta pöytään

Second good news is that I have made 9 new medieval recipes that I have never published before (all from 14th century) and they are published with an article about medieval food and Christmas in Finnish Reader’s Digest (Valitut Palat/Meidän Suomi) Christmas number.



Suomeksi lyhykäisyydessään, kiirettä on pitänyt ja elämänmuutoksia riittänyt. Blogi on ollut hiljasella tulella, mutta keskiaikaista ruokaa en ole suinkaan unohtanut. Kari Martialan ja Helena Lylyharjun uusimmassa Suomalaisen gastronomian historia kirjan Parasta pöytään kirjassa löytyy juttua keskiajan ruuasta. Oli hirveän jännittävää ja samalla mahdottoman upeaa päästä haastateltavaksi kirjaan. Ja nyt uusimmassa Valittujen Palojen/Meidän Suomi joulunumerossa on artikkeli keskiajan ruuasta, joulusta ja 9 keskiaikaista 1300-luvun ruokareseptiä, joita en ole aiemmin julkaissut :).


Chyches – Chickpeas

Today I wanted to spice up a modern warm salad with touch of medieval. So I decided to do these really simple fried spicy chickpeas from Forme of Cury. This recipe is one of my favourite since it is so fast to do and tasty. Use dried chickpeas that you cook according to the instructios on the packet or canned chickpeas. If you want to follow the original recipe’s instructions then use dried chickpeas that you put in ashes and then wash and boil. Or you can roast dried chickpeas before boiling.


Take chiches and wry hem in ashes all nyzt, other lay hem in hoot aymers, at morrow, waisshe hem in clene water and do hem ouer the fire with clene water. Seeth hem up and do thereto oyle, garlic, hole safroun, powdour fort and salt, seeth it and messe it forth.
Serves 2-3

400 g cooked chickpeas
olive oil for frying
2 garlic cloves
pinch of saffron
1 teaspoon of powder fort
salt for taste

Peel and cut the garlic cloves. Drain the cooked chickpeas and fry them with garlic in a pan. Season with the spices and serve.

(Forme of Cury, 1390)


Chyches – mausteiset kikherneet

2-3 hengelle

400 g kypsiä kikherneitä
oliiviöljyä paistamiseen
2 valkosipulin kynttä
hyppysellinen sahramia
1 teelusikallinen powder fort –mausteseosta
suolaa maun mukaan

Kuori ja leikkaa valkosipuli ohuiksi siivuiksi. Kaada vesi pois kikherneistä ja paista kikherneitä ja valkosipulia oliiviöljyssä paistinpannussa. Mausta ja tarjoile.

Huom. Voit joko itse keittää kikherneet paketin ohjeen mukaan tai käyttää esikeitettyjä tölkkikiherneitä suolaliemessä. Tai vaihtoehtoisesti tehdä kikherneet kuten alkuperäisessä reseptissä neuvotaan ja paahtaa kuivatut kikherneet tuhkassa, puhdistaa ne vedessä ja keittää. Tai voit paahtaa kuivat kikherneet muutoin ennen keittämistä.

(Forme of Cury, 1390)

Forest walk with Merry Swan

A week ago on Saturday our group Merry Swan had an outdoor day at forest. The purpose of the outdoor day was to hang together, walk in a forest, to pick mushrooms for dyeing and to have a nice picnic. We were very lucky with the weather that day. The day before was stormy but Saturday morning the storm was gone and sun was shining nicely. Perfect day for to spend at forest!
Some part of the walk was pretty easy because of the road
At picnic we had bread, smoked ham, cheese, almonds, apples and mushroom pies (recipe at the end of this post)
Elina getting ready to eat
Pia, Riku and Elina eating and Eikka the dog watching closely
Antti resting after eating
Mervi found nice amount of mushrooms and Tikru the dog was helping
And here we go back

After walking we decided to take some group pictures. Sun was already setting and it was really beautiful. Pictures by Antti Kuparinen:

I decided to do mushroom pies for the picnic. They are very well known for many. The recipe is from Le Menagier de Paris (end of 14th century). Same recipe but a bit different alteration of it can be found in our book Saffron Eggs and Almond milk. This recipe is for bigger and more filling pies. The dough used for these pies is an alteration of a dough Mervi blogged and what we made at Ronneburg Castle.

Mushroom pies

Mushrooms one night old are the best. They are little and red inside, closed at the top. Peel and then wash them in hot water and boil. If you want to put them in pastry, add oil, cheese and powdered spices.

8 pies

2,5 dl milk
250 g butter
about 700 g flour (use part of whole grain flour)

600 g fresh chanterelle
600 g fresh champignon mushrooms
200-300 g fresh funnel chanterelle
(or about 1,5 kg any edible fresh mushrooms you can get)
Olive oil for frying
1 tablespoon of powder fort spice mixture or any good powdered spices
salt if needed
250 g grated Gouda cheese

Heat the milk and melt the butter in it. Let it cool a bit and knead the flours little by little to the dough. Let the dough rest and make the filling. Fry cleaned and chopped mushrooms gently in a bit of oil until the water has come out and add the spices. Add salt if needed and more spices. Let the mushrooms cool and add the grated Gouda cheese. Roll out the dough and cut rounds by using small wooden bowl. Put the rounds into the wooden bowl and pinch the edges a bit over the bowl edges. Add couple tablespoons of filling on top of the dough. Cut smaller round pastry sheet on top of the filling and pinch the edges of the pie on top of the lid. Make a small hole on top of the pie. Carefully remove the made pie from the wooden bowl on top of the baking dish. Bake them in oven in 225 Celsius degree about 20-30 minutes or until the pies are golden brown.


Iloinen Joutsen kävi viikko sitten lauantaina metsäretkellä, josta kuvia ylhäällä. Hyvin onnistuneeseen retkeen kuuluu tietenkin hyvä picnic. Niinpä valmistin edellisenä päivänä sienipiiraita matkaevääksi. Resepti on monelle tuttu ranskalainen 1300-luvun lopun (Le Menagier de Paris) sienipiiras, jonka ohje löytyy myös meidän kirjasta Sahramia, munia ja mantelimaitoa. Tein siitä nyt hieman erilaisen version käyttäen mallina Mervin jo aiemmin blogaamaa piirakkataikina reseptiä (sitä muunnellen), jota käytimme Ronneburgin linnassa elokuussa.


8 piirasta

2,5 dl maitoa
250 g voita
n. 700 g jauhoja (joista osa voi olla esimerkiksi kokojyväjauhoja)

600 g tuoreita kanttarelleja
600 g tuoreita herkkusieniä
200-300 g tuoreita suppilovahveroita
(tai noin 1,5 kg mitä tahansa tuoreita sieniä)
1 rkl powder fort –maustesosta tai muita sopivia mausteita
suolaa tarvittaessa
250 g raastettua Gouda juustoa

Lämmitä maito kattilassa ja lisää voi. Sulata voi maitoon ja jäähdytä seos. Lisää jauhoja vähitellen jäähtyneeseen maitovoiseokseen. Anna taikinan vetäytyä hetki ja tee täyte. Kuullota puhdistetut ja pilkotut sienet oliiviöljyssä, kunnes ylimääräinen vesi sienistä on haihtunut pois. Lisää mausteet ja tarkista suola. Lisää tarvittaessa suolaa ja mausteita. Anna sienien jäähtyä ja lisää raastettu Gouda. Kauli piirakkataikina ja leikkaa pienellä puisella kulholla pyöreä piirakkapohja kulhon pohjalle. Venytä taikinaa hieman kulhon reunojen yli ja lisää pari ruokalusikallista täytettä piirakan pohjalle. Leikkaa sopivan kokoinen pyöreä kansi taikinasta piirakan päälle ja taivuta piirakan reunat tiukasti taikinakannen päälle. Tee sormella reikä piirakan keskelle. Irrota piirakka puukulhosta varovaisesti leivinpaperille uunipellin päälle. Paista uunissa piirakoita noin 225 asteessa 20-30 minuuttia, kunnes piirakat ovat kauniin ruskeita.

Cooking at Castle Ronneburg

It was a dream come true when friends from German re-enactment group MiM (IG Mensch im Mittelalter) invited me and my friends from Merry Swan tailor group to spend a weekend at Castle Ronneburg, Germany last weekend at 100 Jahre 14tes Jahrhundert event. I was accepted to work in the castle kitchen with awesome re-enactors from around Europe. Together with Mervi and other Swans we made food and helped others to make their dishes for about 80 people. Swans used some of the recipes that are in our cooking book and in this blog and some recipes our members have got to known by their travels to the other events. Mervi’s meat pies were a success and I am intending to writing down some more pie recipes here in future.

Did I mention awesome people? The kitchen grew was mainly from Germany, Netherlands, England, Luxembourg and Finland. There I met nice people from a group called Apri Ludibundi –historic kitchen group. You can find a lot more pictures about the event from their facebook page here.

Here are some of my pictures and some of our Swan group pictures (Antti was behind the camera) from past weekend:

A boy waiting for the breakfast

A boy waiting for the breakfast


Smoky kitchen



Smoky wall

Smoky wall

High Chef Ronnie cooking

High Chef Ronnie (from MiM) cooking

Riku keeping fire going on

Riku keeping fire going on

Making krumme krapfen - fried horse shoes

Making krumme krapfen – fried horse shoes

Mervi, Chrissi and Me cooking for lunch

Mervi, Chrissi (from Walshingham Pilgrims)  and me cooking lunch

Markus from Apri Ludibundi group making four with his mill

Markus from Apri Ludibundi group making flour with his mill

Pie factory

Pie factory

Pie factory

Pie factory

Delicious meat pies

Delicious meat pies

Me happy

Me happy

New books and plans

I have been reading my books and making plans for the future cooking. I have so many ideas I end up making an exel sheet. That helps a lot to decide what I want to do next and what I have done so far. But I have also been thinking of a lot about my attitudes towards cooking and learning. Its good for stop now and then to do some self examination.

I have noticed (actually years ago) that more I read and more I learn – more I know how little I know. You know the usual feeling. That little perfectionist grows inside me every day and writing that used to be so casual – is not that anymore. When I find a nice and easy recipe to cook I end up looking similar recipes from all other my books to compare them. That usually takes a lot of time but it is a good learning experience at the same time. I know that in order to learn you need also make mistakes. Even the best cook makes mistakes. I am no way near best, and I dont have to be. I want to learn. But still that little perfectionist inside makes it hard to start from somewhere. And I tend to over think a bit too much.

Anyway.. new books :)


The book on the top I got from my dear friend who visited Italy. She found the book from an old antiquarian and thought I would like it. She was right, I was pretty exited to have it. I dont speak Italian but I like challenges so now I guess I have to learn some ;). The other two are Constance B. Hieatt’s books that are nice addition to my English book collection.

Congordes – Squash soup

There are all together four different extant Le Viandier manuscripts, which are one of the most famous medieval French cookery manuscripts from (dated around) 14th century. Fifth version was destroyed during the 2nd World War. All of the manuscript has variations and they are not identical. All in all there are 15 printed editions of them. Some of the editions clearly have recipes that probably are not even originally connected to Le Viandier but nevertheless they are dated from 1490 to 1604. This recipe comes from a 15th century printed edition.


Pour congordes, pelés les et deccopés par rouelles, et ostés la graine dedens, s’il en y a, et les mettés pourboulir en une paelle, et puis les purés, et mettés de l’eaue froide par dessus, et les espregnés et hachés bien menu; et puis les assemblés avec boullon de beuf ou d’autre cher, et y mettés du lait de vache, et destrampés demy douzaine de moyeux d’oeufz, passés par l’estamine parmy le boullon avec le lait, et, au jours maigrez, de purée de poys ou de lait d’amandes, et du beurre.
squash soup
1,5 kg butternut squash (or pumpkin*) or about 1 liter of squash puree
1 dl strong meat broth
2 dl cream
2 egg yolks

Peel the squash and remove seeds. Cut the squash into small cubes. Boil the cubes soft in water and then puree the squash. Make sure that the puree is not too wet. Add meat broth and cream and boil briefly. Carefully mix together the egg yolks and little bit of hot soup in a separate bowl. Add egg mixture to the soup and mix well. Boil briefly and add salt if needed.

*Use squash or gourd if you can. You can use pumpkin (Cucurbita) too, but remember that most of the species are from New World. Lagenaria- family gourds have been cultivated in Europe during Middle Ages but these days it is really hard to find them from normal grocery shops at least here at Finland.



1,5 kg myskikurpitsaa tai muuta saatavilla olevaa kurpitsaa* tai n. litra kurpitsasosetta
1 dl vahvaa lihalientä
2 dl kermaa
2 kananmunan keltuaista

Kuori ja poista siemenet kurpitsasta ja leikkaa kurpitsa pieniksi paloiksi. Kiehauta kurpitsan palat vedessä kypsäksi. Tarkkaile, ettei soseesta tule liian löysää. Lisää lihaliemi ja kerma ja kiehauta. Ota hieman keittoa erilliseen kulhoon ja sekoita sen joukkoon kananmunan keltuaiset. Lisää seos kuumaan kiehuvaan keittoon hyvin sekoittaen. Kiehauta ja lisää tarvittaessa suolaa.

*Suomessa ruokakaupassa myytävät kurpitsat ovat tavallisesti uuden maailman tuotteita, eli juuri näitä lajeja ei kasvanut keskiajalla Euroopassa. Niitä voi kuitenkin hyvin käyttää korvaavana raaka-aineena, ellei muuta ole saatavilla.

Le viandier pour appareiller toutes manières de viandes / 15th century Viandier, c. 1485/90
(Pichon/Vicaire: ‘Le Viandier de Taillevent, Édition du XVe siècle’). Digital edition by Thomas Gloning.

Cherry Torte

Summer has been busy as always. We once again we were making daily meals at Cudgel Wars in July. This time I had time to take couple of photos and I posted to “Let hem boyle’s” Facebook page. As soon as I have time I will write down the recipes and post them here. My dear friend Sahra became a member of the Order of the Laurel at Cudgel Wars. Last weekend I re-made a cherry torte I did for her vigil at the event.

How to make a red cherry and rose torte

Take the blackest cherries you can find, and after you have removed the pits, grind well in a mortar, and take some red roses that have been finely chopped with a knife, with a little fresh cheese and a bit of good aged cheese, adding some spices, that is, cinnamon, ginger, and a little pepper and some sugar. And mix all these things together very well, adding also three or four eggs as needed. And cook slowly in a pan with a crust on the bottom. As soon as it is done, top with some sugar and some rosewater.


The dough

3-4 dl flour
100 g butter
4 tablespoon of water
4 tablespoon of sugar

The filling

About 500 g cherries (3 dl chopped cherries)
(Couple edible rose petals chopped- or rosewater)
2 tablespoon of rosewater
200 g fresh cheese
1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese (-optional)
3 eggs
1/2 dl sugar
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ginger
A dash of ground black pepper

Sugar and rosewater for finishing touch

Mix together the dough ingredients and put the dough to the fridge to rest until the filling is done.
Remove the stones and the stems from the cherries. Chop the cherries finely or grind them in a mortar. Mix together well all filling ingredients. Use chopped fresh edible red rose petals or rosewater. Bake in an oven in 225 Celsius about 20-30 minutes until the filling has set and the crust is golden brown. Sprinkle the torte with a little bit of rosewater and sugar if you wish before serving.

(The Art of Cooking, The First Modern Cookery Book, The Eminent Maestro Martino of Como, 15th century, Ballerini)


Kesä on ollut täynnä kiirettä kuten aikaisempinakin vuosina. Nuijasodassa ehdin jopa kokkauksen lomassa ottamaan pari valokuvaa ruuista.. reseptejä seuraa heti kun ehdin kirjoittamaan ne puhtaaksi. Tässä on kuitenkin nyt kovasti kysytyn kirsikkapiiraan ohje. Tein piirakkaa hyvän ystäväni Sahran vigiliaan (hänestä tuli laakeriseppeleen ritarikunnan jäsen) Nuijasodassa viime kuussa.



3-4 dl vehnäjauhoja
100 g voita
4 rkl vettä
4 rkl sokeria


Noin 500 g kirsikoita (3 dl kirsikoita hienonnettuna)
(Muutama syötävä ruusun terälehti hienonnettuna tai ruusuvettä)
2 rkl ruusuvettä
200 g maustamatonta tuorejuustoa
1 rkl parmesan juustoraastetta (ei välttämätön)
3 kananmunaa
1/2 dl sokeria
1/2 tl kanelia
1/2 tl inkivääriä
Hyppysellinen jauhettua mustapippuria

Sokeria ja ruusuvettä viimeistelyyn

Sekoita taikinan ainekset keskenään ja laita taikina jääkaappiin vetäytymään siksi aikaa kun teet täytteen.
Poista kirsikoista kivet ja varret ja hienonna ne joko veitsellä pieneksi tai morttelissa. Sekoita keskenään täytteen ainekset hyvin. Käytä tuoreita syötäviä ruusun terälehtiä, jos niitä on saatavilla. Muuten voit korvata terälehdet ruusuvedellä. Paista 225 asteessa noin 20-30 minuuttia kunnes täyte on hyytynyt ja piirakan reunat ovat kullan ruskeat. Voit halutessasi pirskotella valmiin piiraan päälle hieman ruusuvettä ja sokeria ennen tarjoilua.

(The Art of Cooking, The First Modern Cookery Book, The Eminent Maestro Martino of Como, 15th century, Ballerini)

Season’s greetings and voting for the best Finnish history blog of all times


kuva: yle.fi

It is time to wish all the readers happy holidays! I wish you all relaxing time and all the best for the year 2014. Although I have not been very active this year I have had lots of readers and I want to thank you all for reading, I will continue on writing next year maybe even more than this year (I hope).

Yesterday I learned that Let hem boyle has been nominated by Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle for best Finnish history blog of all times. The voting is on and everybody can go and vote from here. There are 20 blogs and some of them are my friend’s blogs. I am surprised my blog is there and highly honored.


On aika toivottaa mukavaa lomaa kaikille lukijoille! Toivon teille rauhallista joulunaikaa ja kaikkea hyvää vuodelle 2014. Vaikka en olekaan kovin aktiivisesti kirjoittanut tänä vuonna, on lukijoita silti riittänyt runsaasti. Kiitos kaikille lukijoille! Yritän petrata taas ensi vuonna ja kirjoittaa useammin.

Eilen sain tietää, että Let hem boyle on ehdolla Ylen äänestyksessä kaikkien aikojen historiablogiksi. Äänestys on käynnissä ja äänestää voi 13.1.2014 saakka. Äänen voi käydä antamassa täällä. Listalla on 20 historiablogia, joista osaa kirjoittavat hyvät ystäväni. Olen otettu ja yllättynyt tästä kunniasta.