Renaissance (16th Century England). Gluten Free. Dairy Free. Vegan.
Marchpane is much less sweet than marzipan and tastes like fragrant almonds. The rosewater enhances the almond flavour and you can shape it into fanciful shapes or simple discs. A lovely addition to a desert board after a feast or a simple treat with tea.
3. Shape into a ball.
4. Kneed for one minute into a smooth ball.
5. Press into moulds
6. Dry out in oven for 20 to 40 minutes at 90 degrees centigrade until uniformly white.
7. Decorate with royal icing and/or comfits if desired.
This recipe is a redaction of a renaissance recipe.
'A book of cookrye. Very necessary for all such as delight therin', gathered by "AW" (AW 1591)
How to make a good Marchpaine.
First take a pound of long smal almonds and blanch them in cold water, and dry them as drye as you can, then grinde them small, and put no licour to them but as you must needs to keepe them from oyling, and that licour that you put in must be rosewater, in manner as you shall think good, but wet your Pestel therin, when ye have beaten them fine, take halfe a pound of Sugar and more, and see that it be beaten small in pouder, it must be fine sugar, then put it to your Almonds and beate them altogither, when they be beaten, take your wafers and cut them compasse round, and of the bignes you will have your Marchpaine, and then as soone as you can after the tempering of your stuffe, let it be put in your paste, and strike it abroad with a flat stick as even as you can, and pinch the very stuffe as it were an edge set upon, and then put a paper under it, and set it upon a faire boord, and lay lattin Basin over it the bottome upwarde, and then lay burning coles upon the bottom of the basin. To see how it baketh, if it happen to bren too fast in some place, folde papers as broad as the place is & lay it upon that place, and thus with attending ye shal bake it a little more then a quarter of an houre, and when it is wel baked, put on your gold and biskets, and stick in Comfits, and so you shall make a good Marchpaine. Or ever that you bake it you must cast on it fine Sugar and Rosewater that will make it look like Ice.
Another good source of information is: About Marzipan by Dame Alys Katherine http://damealys.medievalcookery.com/AboutMarzipan.html?fbclid=IwAR1Oo95EXfCZl1zbGQ6JShWMOpH4MWwLEoJZoDzMybRc7G2K2fhdYFYx9OA
Dr. Nicola Boyd
I am trying to teach myself to be a medieval and renaissance confectioner. This has led to an interest in modern deserts too.