Peascods (for Lent)

Take Figs, Raisons, and a few Dates, and beate them very fine, and season it with Cloues, Mace, Cinamon and Ginger, and for your paste seeth faire Water and oyle in a dish vppon coales, put therein saffron and salt and a little flower, fashion them then like peasecods, and when ye will serue them, frye them in Oyle in a frying panne, but let the Oyle bee verie hotte, and the fire soft for burning of them, and when yee make them for fleshe dayes, take a fillet of veale and mince it fine, and put the yolkes of two or three rawe egges to it, and season it with pepper, salt, cloues, mace, honie, suger, cinamon, ginger, small raisons, or great minced, and for your paste, butter, the yolke of an egge, and season them, and frye them in butter as yee did the other in oyle.
Thomas Dawson, The Good Huswife’s Jewell part 1, f30r

Take figs, raisins, and a few Dates, and beat them very fine, and season it with cloves, mace, cinnamon and ginger, and for your paste boil fair water and oil in a dish upon coals, put therein saffron and salt and a little flour, fashion them then like peasecods, and when you will serve them, fry them in oil in a frying pan, but let the oil be very hot, and the fire low for burning of them, and when you make them for flesh days, take a fillet of veal and mince it fine, and put the yolks of two or three raw eggs to it, and season it with pepper, salt, cloves, mace, honey, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, small raisins, or great minced, and for your paste, butter, the yolk of an egg, and season them, and fry them in butter as you did the other in oil.

I have chosen to interpret this recipe as a fruit mix coated in a thin batter, and deep fried, due to the recipe specifying just a little flour. I have seen other recipes where the fruit mix is encased in pastry and fried.

Ingredients

Peascod mix

220g dried figs (approx. 1 cup) ½ tsp ginger (fresh or powdered)
200g raisins (approx. 1 cup) ¼ tsp each ground cinnamon, mace, cloves
90g dried dates (approx. ½ cup) Salt
Oil, for deep frying

Pastry/batter

125 mL water ½ – ¾ cup flour
30 mL oil Saffron, salt

Method

  1. To make the peascod mix, pulverise the ingredients in a food processor, and leave to stand to allow the flavours to develop. You can do this step the day before.
  2. Shape your peascod mix into small patties. The mix above should give you 20.
  3. To make the batter, combine the water and oil in a pan and heat gently. Add the saffron and salt. Add the flour a spoonful at a time, mixing well between each addition, until your batter has the consistency of thickened cream.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan. You will know if the oil is ready if a bit of the batter dripped into the oil immediately starts bubbling and turning golden. Or you can use a thermometer and wait until the temperature of the oil is 170̊.
  5. Dip the peascod patties into the batter, coating well, and then carefully drop them into the oil. Don’t do too many at once, or they will stick together and the oil temperature will drop. Use a pair of chopsticks to keep them separate in the cooking oil.
  6. When the batter is pale gold, remove the peascod from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
  7. Serve hot or cold.

PB300004

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