Moelgen - eiercustard - egg custard - eiermus

Thursday, September 05, 2013

This egg custard from Wel ende Edelike Spijse (2nd half 15th century) has become one of my favourite medieval desserts. I've made it a few times at home, and brought it to Eindhoven to enjoy after dinner. And lucky me, Claudia from Mim made something similar at the Ronneburg last weekend! Claudia's 'Eiermus' recept comes from the Kochbuch von Meister Hannsen (ca 1460) and her interpretation goes as follows: 6 egg yolks per liter of milk/cream and sugar to taste. Whisk the eggs and sugar and in the mean time warm the cream. Add the egg mixture to the cream bit by bit while stirring continuously untill it starts to thicken. Don't overcook is because the egg will start to curdle or burn at the bottom of the pan.
The Flemish variation is slightly different, in that the custard is cooked 'au bain marie'.  The basic ingredients are the same: eggs and milk, and you can add some sugar/honey or spices if you like.
Moelgen te makene nemt scapin melc
in eenen pot ende dodere van eyeren daer
in ghewreuen ende tempert daer mede 
ende doeter toe soffraen ende sukers ghe
nouch dan nemt wit lijnwaet ende
doet vpden mont vanden potte twee
fout of drie ende bindet vaste omtrent
den hals vanden potte dan doet den pot
in eenen ketele vul wallens waters ende
latet lange zieden ende dan doet vercoelen
ende maect omtrent den pot twee gaetken
of drie recht met eenen lepele ende
bouen den scotelen soo doet dragie
ende sukers ghenouch
To make lovely sweet stuff, put sheep milk in a pot and yolks of eggs ground into it and temper it with this. Add saffron and enough sugar. Then take a white linen cloth and put it [folded] two or three times over the mouth of the pot and tie it around the neck of the pot. Put the pot in a kettle full of boiling water and let it boil for a long time. Let it cool and make two or three small holes straight [down] with a spoon all around the pot. Finish off with enough spices and sugar.
I haven't tried the 'au bain marie' version on the fire, but in the oven. And I used cow's milk instead of goat milk. So, here are the modern directions:
For 4 persons
  • 2 cups full fat milk
  • 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar/honey
  • Saffron
  • Some cinnamon and nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 180° C. Mix the eggs, sugar/honey and saffron, and bit by bit add the milk. place a bowl in an ovenproof dish filled with water so that the bowl is halfway under water. Pour the egg mixture in the bowl and sprinkle some cinnamon and nutmeg on top. Bake during 30-40 minutes (depending on your type of oven) untill the egg mixture is stiff (it needs to have a pudding consistency). If you like you can add some extra sugar on top when it is still hot.


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