Week 1 - Buttered Beere

Welcome to the Colony of Avalon’s 2017 Great Colonial Cook Off (Woot! Woot!).

This year we’ve selected nine new-to-us 17th century recipes that range from super simple to downright crazy (French macarons in a dutch oven!!! Has Lori completely lost it?).

To encourage you to cook along, we’ve got some great weekly prizes up for grabs. But that’s not all. This year, we’re also giving away a grand prize of a KitchenAid 10 piece, tri-ply copper cookware set valued at $500!

Entering is easy:

  1. Give the week’s recipe a whirl.
  2. Snap a pic of the results (be it great, meh, or down-right dust-binnable, we want to see it)
  3. Post your pic on the Colony’s Facebook or Twitter feed.

Everyone who posts will be eligible for the weekly give away AND will be entered into the draw for our grand prize. The more weeks you cook along, the more chances you have to win. So let's get cooking?

Buttered Beere

This week’s dish has us chirping merry. It’s a simple recipe from the 1588 edition of The Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin and reads like a cross between beer and Christmas pudding. Like most 17th century recipes, it has the potential to be amazing .... or down-right rude:

To make Buttered Beere
Take three pintes of Beere, put five yolkes of Egges to it, straine them together, and set it in a pewter pot to the fyre, and put to it halfe a pound of Sugar, one penniworth of Nutmegs beaten, one penniworth of Cloves beaten, and a halfepenniworth of Ginger beaten, and when it is all in, take another pewter pot and brewe them together, and set it to the fire againe, and when it is readie to boyle, take it from the fire, and put a dish of sweet butter into it, and brewe them together out of one pot into an other.

Here’s a modern adaptation which makes a third of the original:


  • 750 ml of good quality ale (see note at the bottom of this post))
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 100g demerara (natural brown) sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50g unsalted butter (diced)


  • Slowly pour the ale into a saucepan
  • Stir in the ground ginger, cloves and nutmeg
  • Gently heat this mixture to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer (the frothy ale will clear)

If making for adults, simmer the ale for a few minutes on a low heat. For kids and designated drivers (and visitors to the Colony's kitchen) heat the ale to 140 C and simmer for 20 minutes. This will burn off just about all the alcohol.

  • Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until light and creamy.
  • Remove the beer from the heat and add the beaten egg yolk and sugar mixture. Mix well.
  • Return the saucepan to a low heat. Cook until the liquid starts to thicken slightly, approx. 5 minutes (keep the heat low to prevent the sugar from burning and the egg yolks from scrambling. No one likes lumpy eggs in their beer!)
  • Add the diced butter and stir until it has melted.
  • Cook for another 5 minutes, beating buttered beere with a hand-held whisk until it is frothy.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool the buttered beere to a warm drinkable temperature
  • Give it one more good whisk and serve

A Note on Ales

This recipe calls for ale. And while all ales are beer, not all beers are ale. We could get all nerdy on you and try to explain the difference in terms of of yeast type and fermenting temperatures. Instead, just check the label. Back in the Colony’s kitchen, Lori and Krista are going to try four different ales - Fighting Irish Red, Wexford Wheat and YellowBelly Pale Ale (all brewed in St. John’s by Yellow Belly Brewery) and Old Hoppy Hen, an English pale ale by Moreland Brewery. As always, visitors to the Colony’s kitchen will be sampling (and judging) our results. We're interested in seeing if a clear favorite emerges.

Be sure to pick up a pint and give our buttered beere challenge a go!

Jane Severs1 Comment