Veal kidney Florentine
This veal kidney Florentine recipe was recorded in The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies in the 18th century, but its origins go back far further. It was a popular dish at the Elizabethan court. Our Cooking Up History group gave it a go, and were surprised by the flavour combinations. Read about how they got on, or try out this adapted recipe at home:
- 1 small kidney
- a small handful of spinach
- a sprig of parsley
- half a gem lettuce
- 2 dessert apples (we used Cox apples)
- peel of half an orange
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp mace
- 1 small handful currants
- 1 large handful breadcrumbs
- 2 tsps sugar
- 2 tbsp rosewater
- 2 tbsp sherry
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 block puff pastry
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Shred the kidney, including the fat.
- Bring the orange peel to the boil in a pan of water. Remove from the heat and drain. Leave to cool.
- Shred the spinach, parsley and lettuce, and finely chop the apples. Add to the kidney and mix well.
- Mix the boiled orange peel with the ground mace and cinnamon, nutmeg, currants and breadcrumbs. Season with sugar and salt to taste, and mix together.
- Combine the kidney mixture with the orange peel mixture.
- Lightly beat the egg with the sherry and rosewater and add to the dry ingredients.
- Line the base and sides of a pie dish with puff pastry, then pour in the mixture. Use the remaining puff pastry to crossbar the top.
- Bake at 180°C for approximately 45 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the filling is cooked through.
Orange and lemon dumplings
This was a challenging recipe to adapt, as the quantities given in our Cookbook were vague, and cooking times non-existent! We’ve tweaked the recipe we followed, reducing the cooking time and increasing the sugar content to result in a tastier dish with a more pleasing texture.
- 4 oranges, steeped in a bowl of water in the fridge for two days
- 2 lemons
- 4 large handfuls of breadcrumbs
- 560ml milk
- 115g ground almonds
- 55g butter, melted
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp mace
- 5 tbsp sugar, or to taste
- 1 tbsp brandy
You will also need muslin cloth and string for wrapping the dumplings
- Cut the top off the oranges and lemons and put aside.
- Use a zester or a sharp knife to remove a few thin strips of peel from each of the oranges and lemons. Discard the zest.
- Using a spoon, scrape out all of the pulp from the fruits and discard.
- Bring a pint of milk to the boil, then remove from the heat. Add the breadcrumbs to steep until soft. Leave to cool.
- Mix the almonds with the sugar, cinnamon and mace, and add to the cooled breadcrumbs and milk.
- Separate the egg whites from 2 eggs and beat them to a froth. Add a further two egg whites, beaten only lightly.
- Mix the egg whites with the brandy and melted butter, and add to the other ingredients, mixing well.
- Once all the ingredients are combined, stuff the mixture inside the oranges and lemons.
- Put the tops of the oranges and lemons back on. Wrap them individually in muslin cloths and tie with string.
- Put the wrapped fruits in a pot of boiling water and simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes.