To make suger plate.
One of the principal texts in the study of English medieval historical cookery is Curye on Inglische, edited by Constance B. Hieatt and Sharon Butler. It is a collection of manuscripts from the fourteenth century.
Part V of the volume is titled: Goud Kokery.[A collection of miscellaneous recipes from a number of sources.] The “To make suger plate” recipe is taken from Harl. MS 2378. It is dated circa 1395. It is one of the earliest English recipes for a sugar plate, which would have once been used for medicinal purposes and which might now be suitable for subtleties or for candies.
The recipe uses the olden characters of the thorn and the yogh. The thorn is roughly “th”; the yogh stood for a “g” originally and came to be a “y.” [ȝif is if and yȝe is eye.]
They are represented here as: þ and 3.
#13 To make suger plate.
Take a lb. of fayr clarefyde suger and put it in a panne and sette it on a furneys, & gar it sethe. And asay þi suger between þi fingers and þi thombe, and if it parte fro þi finger and þi thombe þan it is inow sothen, if it be potte suger. And if it be finer suger, it will haue a litell lower decoccioun. And sete it þan fro the fyr on a stole, & þan stere it euermore with a spature till it tourne owte of hys browne colour into a 3elow colour, and þan sette it on þe fyre ageyn þe mountynance of a Aue Maria, whill euermore steryng wyth þe spatur, and sette it of ageyne, but lat it noght wax ouer styfe for cause of powrynge. And loke þou haue redy beforne a fair litel marbill stone and a litell flour of ryse in a bagge, shakyn ouer þe marbill stone till it be ouerhilled, and þan powre þi suger þereon as þin as it may be renne, for þe þinner þe platen þe fairer it is. If þou willt, put þerin any diuerse flours, þat is to say roses leues, violet leues, gilofre leues, or any oþer flour leues, kut þem small and put þem in whan þe suger comes first fro þe fyre. And if þou wilt mak fyne suger plate, put þerto att þe first sethying ii unces of rose water, and if 3e will make rede plate, put þerto I unce of fyne tournesole clene waschen at þe first sethying."
The worked out recipe appears in Hieatt and Butler's Pleyn Delit [various editions] as recipe 134.
They call for the sugar syrup to be boiled to 300 degrees F.
Peter Brears in his Cooking and Dining in Medieval England includes a recipe and suggests the sugar be cooked to 143 degrees C or 290 degrees F.
Harl. 2378 may be viewed online through the British Library. The manuscript itself is a composite miscellany of various manuscripts of a medical and culinary nature with some alchemical texts tossed in.
and scroll to 301.
The text accompanying the volume at the British Library
"The text is dated to circa 1395 in C. B. Hieatt, T. Nutter and J. H. Holloway, Concordance of English Recipes: Thirteenth through Fifteenth Centuries, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 312 (Tempe, Arizona, 2006), p. xiv."
The recipe in modern English may be found in Constance B. Hieatt’s The Culinary Recipes of Medieval England. Totnes, Devon: Prospect Books, 2013.
Curye on Inglische. English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth Century (Including the Forme of Cury). Edited by Constance B. Hieatt and Sharon Butler. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985. [Early English Text Society, SS.8]
Henslow, G[eorge]. "Full Text of "Medical Works of the Fourteenth Century : Together with a List of Plants Recorded in Contemporary Writings, with Their Identifications"" "Medical Works of the Fourteenth Century : Together with a List of Plants Recorded in Contemporary Writings, with Their Identifications" Internet Archive, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2015. . Originally published: LONDON; CHAPMAN and HALL, Ld., 1899. See also: https://archive.org/details/medicalworksoffo00hens