Medieval WafersFrom deliathecrone 9 years ago
- 3 cups (~450 grams plain) all-purpose flour shopping list
- 1 U.S. pint (~500 grams) heavy cream shopping list
- 6 large egg yolks, beaten shopping list
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup (60 - 120 grams) rosewater shopping list
- 1 cup (~250 grams) sugar shopping list
- 1/8 teaspoon (~1 ml) ground cinnamon shopping list
- pinch salt shopping list
How to make it
- Sift the flour, cinnamon, and the salt together, set aside.
- Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until light and bright yellow. Add the cream and 1/4 cup (60 grams) rosewater, mix thoroughly. Fold the dry ingredients into the liquid. If the batter is too thick, you can thin it with more rosewater until it is clearly a soft batter but too thick to easily pour - your basic American "cream" cake batter.
- Heat a pizzelle or other wafer iron for two or three minutes; if it's the kind that you sit on a stove burner, heat each side for two minutes.
- Brush a little melted butter on the inside of the irons or use a non-stick cooking spray, and spoon an appropriate amount of batter onto the irons.
- You'll need to experiment to get the exact amount and placement right.
- My electric non-stick 4-inch pizzelle iron uses a heaping teaspoon of batter (roughly a level dessertspoon for those that use such measures).
- Bake til golden, and be aware that the wafers will continue to brown a bit after they come out of the irons.
- Cool on a cake rack until crispy or roll into tubes or cones while hot and flexible.
- Makes about three dozen, depending on the size of the iron, and the obvious necessity to hide several that are unevenly browned by immediately eating them. You have your reputation to consider, after all.
- Historically, most of the wafers eaten in medieval Europe appear not to have been very sweet, but I've used a fair amount of sugar both to appease the tastes of those who will look at a wafer and see a cookie, and to achieve a crisp but tender, sort of brittle, product.
- Un-or-barely-sweetened wafers, such as the cheese wafers mentioned in Le Menagier de Paris, should probably be made with a much softer flour than All-Pupose; probably some kind of pastry flour would be the way to get them decently crisp without a lot of sugar. AP tends to be slightly glutinous in this wafer when unsweetened, especially when using dilute or secondary shortening sources like egg yolks and cream. Of course, we can't really be sure how crispy wafers were supposed to get in the middle ages, either.
- If you have "leftovers", they make excellent ice cream sandwiches... .