New to the Colonial Cook Off? Fantastic … 'cause this week we'll need all the help we can get!
Here in Ferryland, the food fishery is in full swing and we're celebrating with a dish that highlights (what else) cod! This week's recipe comes from Gervase Markham's classic Countrey Contentments, or the English Huswife: containing the Inward and Outward Vertues which ought to be in a Complete Woman (a.k.a. The English Housewife):
Take the jole of the best Ling that is not much watered, and is well sodden and cold, but whilst it is hot, take of the skin, and pare it clean underneath, and pick out the bones clean from the fish; then cut it into gross bits, and let it lie, then take the yelkes from a dozen egges boyld exceedingly hard, and put them to the fish and shred all together as small as possible, then take all manner of the best and finest pot-herbs and chop them wonderful small, and mix them also with the fish; then season it with pepper, cloves, and mace and so lay it into the coffin with great store of sweet butter, so it may swimme therein, and then cover it, and leave a vent hole in the top, when it is baked, draw it and take verjuyce, sugar, cinnamon, and butter, and boyle them together, and first with a feather anoint all the lid over with the liquor and then scrape good store of sugar upon it; then powre the rest of the liquor in it at the vent hole, and then set it into the oven again for a very little space, and then serve it up.
As with last week's recipe, you may want to reduce the overall quantities and make a much smaller pie. We should also let you know that "coffin" is an early term for a pie crust. If you have your own tried and true pastry recipe, give it a try. If not, and you're feeling really brave, you can try this one:
Take fine flower and lay it on a board, and take a certaine of yolkes of egges as your quantity of flower is, then take your certaine of butter and water, and boil them together, but ye must take heed ye put in not too much butter for it you doe, it so fine and so short that you cannot raise. And this paste is good to make all manner of coffins.
This appears to be an early version of hot water crust pastry - something that's rarely seen in kitchens in these parts, but which is an essential component of the traditional English pork pie. Check out this modern version courtesy of the the Great British Bakeoff.
Let us know how your Ling Pie turns out and pass along photos, tips and tricks via the Colony's Facebook page or in the comments section below. We'll be doing the same. Good luck. This one is likely going to take some trail and error!