How to butter a Colle-flowre.
Take a ripe Colle-flowre and cut off the buddes, boyle them in milke with a little Mace while they be very tender, then poure them into a Cullender, and let the Milke runne cleane from them, then take a ladle full of Creame, being boyled with a little whole mace, putting to it a ladle-full of thicke butter, mingle them together with a little Sugar, dish up your flowres upon sippets, poure your butter and creame hot upon it strowing on a little slict Nutmeg and salt, and serve it hot to the table. John Murrell, A Booke of Cookerie, 1621.
How to butter a Cauliflower
Take a ripe cauliflower and cut off the florets, boil them in milk with a little Mace until they are tender, then pour them into a colander, and let the milk run clean from them, then take a ladle full of cream, being boiled with a little whole mace, putting to it a ladle-full of thick butter, mingle them together with a little Sugar, dish up your florets upon sippets, pour your butter and cream hot upon it, strewing on a little sliced Nutmeg and salt, and serve it hot to the table.
Although this is technically a seventeenth century recipe, the ingredients and methods were available in the sixteenth century, so this recipe would not be out of place at a late Elizabethan SCA feast.
I first found this recipe in Madge Lorwin’s Dining with Shakespeare. (p 103)
|1 head cauliflower||150 mL cream|
|500 mL milk||50 g butter|
|1 tsp powdered mace||2 tbs sugar|
|Salt||½ tsp nutmeg|
- Break the cauliflower into florets.
- Cook until the cauliflower is soft, but still a bit crisp in the middle.
- DO NOT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE MILK OR IT WILL BOIL OVER AND MAKE A TERRIBLE MESS.
- To make the sauce, heat the cream, butter and sugar, stirring well to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar. Don’t let it boil, or the cream will curdle.
- DO NOT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE CREAM MIX OR IT WILL BOIL OVER AND MAKE A TERRIBLE MESS.
- To serve, pour the sauce over the cauliflower, and sprinkle with nutmeg and salt.
- Cauliflowers were introduced to England in the late sixteenth century (Brears, 2016, 288), and would have been seen as a novelty.
Brears, Peter. Cooking and Dining in Tudor and Early Stuart England. Totnes, 2016.
Lorwin, Madge. Dining with Shakespeare. New York, 1976i