There’s no theme this week as it’s the final! There’s been no stand out baker this year, everyone has been pretty much consistently good, it’s going to be close! I’m personally rooting for Andrew to win, but whilst they take their places in the tent for the last time (made even more sad by the fact that the Bake Off leaves the Beeb next year 😢), here’s a pretty simple medieval showstopper to have a go at.
Medieval feasts were often centered around elaborate sugar sculptures and bizarre creations, the likes of which even the Bake Off contestants would hesitate to try and recreate. But these little pastry castles are fun, and easy enough to try at home. They were typically filled with pork or almonds, but just as the original recipe suggests other options, you could fill them with whatever you fancy, sweet or savoury.
Chastletes (pastry castles filled with pork or almonds, ‘Forme Of Cury’, 1390)
Take and make a foyle of gode past with a roller of a foot brode. & lyngur by cumpas. make iiii Coffyns of þe self past uppon þe rolleres þe gretnesse of þe smale of þyn Arme. of vi ynche depnesse. make þe gretust in þe myddell. fasten þe foile in þe mouth upwarde. & fasten þee oþere foure in euery syde. kerue out keyntlich kyrnels above in þe manere of bataiwyng and drye hem harde in an Ovene. oþer in þe Sunne. In þe myddel Coffyn do a fars of Pork with gode Pork & ayrenn rawe wiþ salt. & colour it wiþsafroun and do in anoþer Creme of Almandes. and helde it in anoþer creme of Cowe mylke withayrenn. colour it with saundres. anoþur manur. Fars of Fygur. of raysouns. of Apples. of Peeres. & holde it in broun. anoþer manere. do fars as to frytours blanched. and colour it with grene. put þis to þe ovene & bake it wel. & serue it forth with ew ardaunt.
Take and make a foil (sheet) of good pastry with a rolling pin of a foot broad, and longer by compass. Make 3 coffins (thick pastry cases) of the same pastry upon the rollers, the greatness of the small of your arm, and of 6 inches thick. Make the greatest in the middle. Fasten the foil in the mouth upward and fasten the other four on every side. Carefully carve out kernels above in the manner of battlements and dry them hard in an oven or in the sun. In the middle coffin stuff with pork, with good pork and raw eggs with salt. Colour it with saffron and in another, do cream of almonds, and held in another cream of cows milk with eggs. Colour it with sandalwood. Another way: stuffed with figs, raisins, apples, pears. Another way: stuff with spiced fritters, and colour it green, put this on the oven and bake it well. Serve with alcohol.