A Propre new booke of Cokery, a renaissance English cookbook first published in 1545. If you have been reading the blog, you know I've been playing with curds for a while now. As soon as I started reading the recipe for applemuse, I recognized it as a curd.
The ingredients were mostly straight forward, with a couple of curves for those unfamiliar with pre-17th century cooking. It involved cooking apple pulp with butter, egg yolks, and flavorings in a pan until thickened. Butter was not something I have previously used in a curd, but I have seen it in some recipes.
The flavorings were ginger and cinnamon, common spices with apples, and rosewater. Rosewater may seem a curve ball to modern cooks, as it is rarely used currently in American or European cooking. It is still used in some Middle Eastern dishes, and it was a very common seasoning in medieval and renaissance cookery. It adds a nice floral note, if used carefully. Overdone, it can make food taste like soap.
6 granny smith apples4 ounces butter
2 egg yolks
¾ cup cane sugar
3 teaspoons rosewater
1 teaspoon finely minced candied ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of kosher salt
Place apples on a baking sheet in a 35o F oven for 2o minutes, or until skins split and flesh is soft.
Remove from oven, allow to cool. Force flesh through a strainer.
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add apple puree, sugar, rosewater, egg yolks, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Place in a vessel to cool. Cover top of curd with plastic wrap so that a skin doesn't form. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.