This recipe comes from A Proper Newe Booke of Cokerye, which is a book of recipes, that was written for women running their own households. We do not know who originally wrote it, however there are three editions. The first was published in 1545 and is held at the University of Glasgow. The second in 1558, held at Corpus Cristi College in Cambridge, and the final edition in 1575 which is found in the British Library.
The book itself is relatively small, and is listed first by the meat and their appropriate seasons, and then has a list of dinners with dishes that are recommended to go along with each main dish. After this is all written out, there are 49 recipes that are mainly meat and sides, however there are some desserts. The recipe that we look at today is one of those desserts.
TO MAKE A DYSCHEFULL OF SNOWE. Take a pottell of swete tbycke creame and the wbytes of eygbte egges, and beate them altogether wytb a spone, then putte them in youre creame and a saucerfull of Rosewater, and a dysbe full of Suger wytb all, then take a stycke and make it cleane, and than cutte it in the ende foure square, and therwith beate all the aforesayde tbynges together, and ever as it ryseth take it of and put it into a Collaunder, this done take one apple and set it in the myddes of it, and a tbicke busbe of Rosemary, and set it in the myddes of the platter, then cast your Snowe uppon the Rosemarye and fyll your platter therwith. And yf you have wafers caste some in wytb all and thus serve them forthe."
Now, that obviously takes some deciphering, in which we turn to the book Cooking and Dining in Tudor and Stuart England by Peter Brears.
- 1 pint of strawberries, halved
- ½ cup of red wine
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ginger
- ½ pt whipping cream
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- few drops of rose water
- 1 egg white
Mix the strawberries with the wine, sugar and spices and chill for 2-3 hours. Put strawberries in a dish and make up the cream. Whip cream and egg white separately. Fold whipped cream into the egg white and add sugar and rosewater GENTLY. Spoon cream onto strawberries and serve immediately. (Note: this recipe contains uncooked egg white).
Now this is obviously a dish that would not be afforded to every social class, nor would it be one for daily consumption, however for a special occasion or celebration, among those who could afford it’s ingredients, it could definitely be made and enjoyed.