It's part of our coverage from Longleat, the wildlife park and home to the Marquess of Bath.
Guests at Longleat in the 16th Century, could expect to be dazzled by such delights as cheese fritters, blue and white pudding and hagges of Almayne - otherwise known as German omelettes.
Pomes Moled (Apple Pudding)
Take rice and grind it and boil it with almond milk; then take apples and cut them finely and put them in after bringing the mixture to a boil, and add sugar and good spices, and colour it with saffron, and dress it in dishes and serve it.
1lb or 500g cooking apples
2 to 4 oz or half to one cup ground almonds (50 to 100gr)
Three quarters of a pint or 2 cups water (500 ml)
4 tbsp rice flour (50 ml)
2 to 4 fl oz or quarter to half a cup of sugar (50 - 125 ml)
Half tsp cinnamon (2 ml)
Quarter tsp ginger (1 ml)
Pinch each of: ground cloves, salt, nutmeg; ground saffron (optional pinch)
Steep the ground almonds in the water, then blend or process into almond milk. While it is steeping, peel and core the apples and dice them finely, or chop them in a food processor.
Mix sugar, rice flour, and almond milk in a saucepan; stir in the apples and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir and boil about 5 minutes, or until quite thick.
In a small bowl combine a spoonful of the pudding with all seasonings except nutmeg, then stir this mixture back into the pot of pudding. When thoroughly blended, pour into a serving dish; sprinkle with nutmeg and cool or chill.
Saracen Bruet for Ten Messes (Saracen Stew)
To make saracen bruet for ten messes, take good broth of beef and wine and set it on the fire to boil. Add to it cloves, mace, pine nuts, currants, sugar, and minced ginger, and thicken your pottage with small pieces of bread steeped in wine and dissolved in the wine.
Then take parboiled rabbits chopped, or whole very young rabbits for a lord, fried in fresh grease; then take parboiled partridges and fry them whole for a lord, and add them to the pot. And for a lord, take squirrels in place of rabbits.
Colour it with saffron and sanders, and add a little vinegar and ground cinnamon drawn with wine. When you take it off the fire, add ginger; let the sauce be fairly thin, and salt it. And for a lord serve a whole rabbit on a dish, or else rabbits and partridges on a dish together, and serve it.
Note: Those who wish to substitute chicken - or any other meat or poultry - for rabbits and/or partridges will still have what a medieval diner would have recognized as 'Saracen' Stew; the particular meat for this dish is variable.
Furthermore, the original characteristic of the dish seems to have been frying the meat before adding it to the pot, a genuinely Arab practice, and, especially in England, the preferred colour of the sauce was red: a red dye was often added, a role filled here by sanders.
About 3 lbs rabbits, partridges, chickens, or whatever, (approx 1.5 kg)
Grease of your choice for frying
Half pint or 1 cup each beef broth, red wine (250 ml each)
Quarter tsp ground cloves (1 ml)
Half tsp ground mace (2 ml)
4 tbsp or quarter cup pine nuts (50 ml)
4 tbsp or quarter cup currants (50 ml)
2 tbsp minced preserved (candied) ginger (25 ml)
2 tsp sugar (10 ml)
2 slices bread, crusts removed, diced
4 fl oz or half cup red wine (125 ml)
Pinch ground saffron (optional), pinch sanders or red food dye, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar (15 ml)
Half tsp each ground cinnamon and ginger (2 ml each)
1 tsp salt (or to taste) (4 ml)
There is probably no need to parboil the meat or poultry today, but do so if you suspect it may be tough. In any case cut the meat into serving pieces and fry it to brown lightly.
Meanwhile, put the broth and wine in a pot and heat, adding the cloves, mace, pine nuts, currants, sugar and ginger. Steep the bread in more red wine (saving a little to dissolve the cinnamon), then blend it and add to the pot.
When the sauce has lightly thickened and the meat is brown enough, add the meat to the pot and continue to cook until the meat is tender - the time will vary depending on what kind of meat or poultry you have chosen to use and whether it has been parboiled.
Add saffron (if desired), red colouring, ginger dissolved in the vinegar and cinnamon dissolved in a little red wine. Salt to taste.