Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bastard Wine and Hot Almond Milk.

A recipe in yesterday’s source caught my wandering eye:

To bake small meats.
Take Egges and seethe them hard, then take the yolkes out of them and braye them in the morter, and temper them with Creme, and then straine them, and put to them Pepper, Saffron, Cloves, Mace, small raisins, Almonds blanched and small shred and grated bread.
Take Peares also sodden in Ale, and bray and straine them with the same Licour, and put therto Bastard and Honny, and put it into a pan and stir it on the fire til it be wel sodden, then make little coffins and set them in the Oven til they be hard, and then take them out againe, and put the foresaid licour into them and so serve them forth.
A Book of Cookrye, (London, 1591) by A. W.

Pears poached in ale, then in ‘Bastard’ and honey sounds pretty good to me.

‘Bastard,’ according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is “A sweet kind of Spanish wine, resembling muscadel in flavour; sometimes applied to any kind of sweetened wine,” and references to it start in the late fourteenth century. One of the supporting quotations in the OED suggests the meaning of the name:

1600:   R. Surflet tr. C. Estienne & J. Liébault Maison Rustique vi. xxii. 802   Bastards..seeme to me to be so called bicause they are oftentimes adulterated and falsified with hony.

Royal households were not above a little bastard, in spite of its dubious heritage. In the household books of George, Duke of Clarence, there is an entry dated the 9th December, 1409, for a sum of twenty pounds allowed for the purchase off ‘Malvesie, romenay, osay, bastard, muscadelle, and other sweete wynes.’

Shakespeare knew of it too. He mentions it in Henry IV, Part 1 -  “Anon, anon sir; score a pint of bastard in the halfe moone.”

My favourite reference, however, is from one of my favourite books of all time. It is from Lorna Doone (1869) by R. D. Blackmore – “He … called for a little mulled bastard.”

Mulled Bastard, I love it. It sounds so much more interesting than Mulled Wine. I cannot find a recipe specifically for mulled wine, but am sure the basic principles of wine-mulling will apply. I can give you another hot beverage made with Bastard, however. It will come in handy if you have a lot left over from your “small baked meats.”

To make Almond milk hot.
Take blanched Almonds and bray them smal, then with faire water draw them through a strainer, and make them not too thin nor too thick, and then put them into a pot with a quarter of a pound of sugar and let them boile over the fire, and when they boyle take them from the fire, then take a manchet loaf and cut it in thin peeces, steep it in a pinte of White wine, as Bastard, Tire, or Maulmsie, then cast it into Almond Milk and dresse it in fair dishes, and so serve it foorth.
A Book of Cookrye, (London, 1591) by A. W.


Shay said...

I *never* object to a little mulled bastard, at any time of day!

The Old Foodie said...

Me neither, Shay! And the hotter the better?