Sep 112018

Of Apple-Pyes: A poem, by Mr. [Leonard] Welsted.

OF all the delicates which Britons try,
To please the palate, or delight the eye;
Of all the several kinds of sumptuous fare,
There’s none that can with apple-pye compare,
For costly flavour, or substantial paste,
For outward beauty, or for inward taste.

WHEN first this infant dish in fashion came,
Th’ ingredients were but coarse, and rude the frame;
As yet, unpolish’d in the modern arts,
Our fathers eat brown bread instead of tarts:
Pyes were but indigested lumps of dough,
’Till time and just expence improv’d them so.

KING Coll (as ancient annals tell)
Renown’d for fiddling and for eating well,
Pippins in homely cakes with honey stew’d,
Just as he bak’d (the proverb says) he brew’d.

THEIR greater art succeeding princes shew’d,
And model’d paste into a nearer mode;
Invention now grew lively, palate nice,
And sugar pointed out the way to spice.

BUT here for ages unimprov’d we stood,
And apple-pyes were still but homely food;
When god-like Edgar, of the Saxon line,
Polite of taste, and studious to refine,
In the dessert perfuming quinces cast,
And perfected with cream the rich repast:

Hence we proceed the outward parts to trim,
With crinkumcranks adorn the polish’d rim,
And each fresh pye the pleas’d spectator greets
With Virgin fancies and with new conceits.

DEAR Nelly, learn with care the pastry art,
And mind the easy precepts I impart;
Draw out your dough elaborately thin,
And cease not to fatigue your rolling-pin:
Of eggs and butter, see you mix enough;
For then the paste will swell into a puff,
Which will in cmmbling sound your praise report,
And eat, as housewives speak, exceeding short:
Rang’d in thick order let your quincies lie;
They give a charming relish to the pye:
If you are wise, you’l1 not brown sugar slight, T
he browner (if I form my judgment right)
A tincture of a bright vermil’ will shed
And stain the pippin, like the quince, with red.

WHEN this is done, there will be wanting still
The just resewe of cloves, and candy’d peel;
Nor can I blame you, if a drop you take
Of orange water, for perfuming sake;
But here the nicety of att is such,
There must not be too little, nor too much;
If with discretion you these costs employ,
They quicken appetite, if not they cloy.

NEXT in your mind this maxim firmly root,
Never o’er-charge your pye with costly fruit:
Oft let your boclkin thro’ the lid be sent,
To give the kind imprison’d treasure vent;
Lest the fermenting liquors, mounting high
Within their brittle bounds, disdain to lie;
Insensibly by constant fretting waste,
And over-run the tenement of paste.

TO chuse your baker, think and think again,
You’1l scarce one honest baker find in ten:
Adust and bruis’d, I’ve often seen a pye
In rich disguise and costly ruin lie;
While the rent crust beheld its form o’erthrown,
Th’ exhausted apples griev’d their moisture flown,
And syrup from their sides run trickling down.

O BE not, be not tempted, lovely Nell,
While the hot piping odours strongly swell,
While the delicious fume creates a gust,
To lick th’ o’erflowing juice, or bite the crust:
You’ll rather stay (if my advice may rule)
Until the hot is temper’d by the cool;
Oh! first infuse the luscious store of cream,
And change the purple to a silver stream;
That smooth balsamick viand first produce,
To give a softness to the tarter juice.

~~ from The Country Housewife’s Family Companion, 1750

Aug 242018

Delia Smith’s (kinda) — le pâté grossier

Gluten Free Homemade Rustic French Pâté

It’s in foreign because Number One Son with his most excellent French shamed me into realising that I have been resting on my regarde-mon-stylo, pre-O-level French for too long, and that I really should make more of an effort. How hard can it be, really? On the similarities betwixt English and French, did Dumas not say that English was just French badly pronounced?

Soooo, with apologies to Francophones, and recognition that no google translates were harmed in my butchering of the language, an homage to pâté…

Les ingrédients

  • 350 g [450] de porc haché (ca. 90% belly; 10% shoulder)
  • 1 cuillère à café pleine de thym frais haché
  • 120 ml de vin blanc sec
  • 25 ml de cognac (single malt whisky),
  • [1 oeuf]
  • 450 g [see #1 and belly pork] de rashers de porc britanniques, avec autant de gras que possible
  • 275 g [235] de bacon britannique fumé à sec
  • 225 g [650] de foie de porc britannique (of fucking course)
  • 20 baies de genièvre
  • 20 grains de poivre noirs entiers
  • 1 cuillère à café pleine de sel
  • ¼ [NONE] cuillère à café arrondie macis moulu
  • 2 [4] grosses gousses d’ail écrasées

[]s == my modifications

Pour garnir:
feuilles de laurier fraîches
quelques baies de genièvre supplémentaires

le Méthode

  • Préchauffez le four … 170°C [150ºC]
  • Hacher la viande très finement (ou utiliser un robot culinaire, le foie en dernier parce qu’il est le plus sale).
  • Mélangez bien le vin et l’armagnac (ou Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve FTW), l’ail, le poivre noir, le sel marin de Maldon, le thym du jardin, que l’on a broyé avec soin dans un pilon et un mortier.
  • Mettez en une terrine ou une moule de pain, ~~~faites des mots grossiers avec~~~ décorer des baies de genièvre et des feuilles de laurier, au bain-marie au four pendant 90 minutes.
  • Laisser refroidir (ne pas égoutter les jus environnants) puis, lorsque le pâté est froid, placer une double bande de papier d’aluminium sur le dessus et mettre quelques poids pour le presser pendant au moins quelques heures.
  • EAT!

Purchased this on a whim. Quite decent, really: