Easy medieval finger foods include bread, apples, hard boiled eggs, tarts filled with meat, cheese or fruit (or a combo of these), and other small food items. These are foods you could easily take to events without on-site cooking or much dishware.
The camping recipes on this page can be made with relatively few ingredients, 1-2 pots, no food processor, and their ingredients can be kept in camp coolers.
If you are cannot find or do not want to use an ingredient, either leave it out or substitute something else you can use. Medieval people didn't have an infinitely stocked kitchen either.
The tart recipes are often a round or square piece of dough folded in half and stuffed. Seal the edges by pressing with a fork. Otherwise, you could make tinsy pies in muffin tins. Most don't mention a top crust but they often make better finger food with one.
This is a work in progress. Documentation for the recipes will be added sometime later after this page is more complete. I'm marking the recipes I havent yet tried since I don't know if they will be as easy to make/travel as they look.
1/4 c sugar 2 1/4 tsp yeast 2 tsps salt 3-5 lbs flour some oil or butter
In a big bowl, add 3 c warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes to react. Add salt. Add some flour stirring till mixture is sticky but solid. Flour a kneading surface, drop dough on it and knead, pouring flour on sticky parts. Knead for 10-15 minutes till sticky parts are gone.
Grease a pot, drop dough in and cover with terry cloth. Allow to rise for 1 hour. Punch all the air out of the dough, flip it over, cover it up and allow it to rise for another hour.
Preheat oven to 350-400 degrees (350: light crust, 375: normal crust, 400: hard crust). Dump the dough on a cutting surface. Cut it in 2 or more equal parts. Knead/punch each part, flouring when sticky. Get out all the air bubbles. Cover parts and allow to rise 1 more hour.
Put all parts onto a greased cookie sheet. Put bread in oven for about 35 minutes.
Honey Butter: Beat butter with a fork till fluffy. Mix in honey
Garlic Butter: Beat butter with a fork till fluffy. Add powdered garlic
Herb Butter: Finely chop/grind herbs. Beat butter with a fork till fluffy. Add herbs.
Pour donner entendement a celluy qui appareillera les syseros, si prenne ses syses et si les delise grain a grain en tant que il n'y demeure nulle chose que le propre grain du sise; et puis le lave en trois ou en .iiii. eaues tedes et les mecte boullir. Et, estre boullir, si les remove de celle eaue et y mecte d'autre eaue fresche, et mecte arriés boullir; et, estre boullis, si les mecte en la dicte oulle reposer jusque a l'endemain. Et, quant se viendra l'endemain, si en purés l'eaue et mectés boullir en ung bien petit de sel, de l'oille d'amendres et de percin ensemble ses racines bien delises et nectoyeesÑet celles racines soient escorchiés et tresbien laveesÑet un pou de salvi. Et si n'y mectés autre chose sans l'ordonnance du medicin: et s'il ordonnoit de y mectre ung pou de cynamomy et ung pou de verjust pour lui donner aucun pou de goust, sy en y mectés; autrement non.
Giving attention to how to prepare Syseros (chick peas), take your chick peas and sort them one by one so that nothing remains but clean chick peas; and then wash them in three or four [changes of] warm water and put them to boil. And when they have boiled, then remove them from this water and put them in another [pot of] fresh water, and leave them to boil; and, when they have boiled, then put them in the aforesaid pot to rest until the next day. The next day, skim the water and put them to boil with a good little bit of salt, almond oil and parsley together with the roots well sorted and cleaned -- and let these roots be peeled and very well washed -- and a little sage. And don't add anything else without your doctor's advice: if he tells you to put in a bit of cinnamon and a bit of verjuice [to give it a bit of taste?], then put some in; otherwise, don't.
1 15 oz. can chickpeas 3-4 T verjuice (vinegar) 2 T almond oil 1/4 t cinnamon 1/2 t sage salt (1/2 t?) parsley root, if available
Drain and wash canned chick peas. Grind in a mortar and pestle until a paste is formed. Add almond oil, verjuice, cinnamon, salt, sage and stir till blended. Serve with flatbreads.
Take the mawe of the grete syne, and fyfe other sex of pigges mawes. Fyll hem full of self fars & sowe hem fast, perboile hem;and take hem up. Take blaunched Almaundys, & kerf hem long, smal, and sharpe, & frye hem in grece & sugre; take a litel prycke, & prikke pe yrchons,an putte in the holes the Almaundys, every hole half, & erche from pe other, leg hem wyth whete floure, & mylke of Almaundes, sum grene, sum blake with blode, & lat hem nowt browne to moche, & serue forth.
1 pound meat powdered ginger salt sugar almond slivers raisins
Take ground meat, put in a bowl. Add ginger, salt, and sugar to the meat. Roll meat into football shapes about 1 1/2 inches long. For each ball, put in almond spikes and raisin eyes. Put them on a tray, and sprinkle with a little sugar. Put it in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Take out when golden brown.
CHAMPIGNONS d'une nuit sont les meilleurs, et sont petits et vermeils dedans, clos dessus: et les convient peler, puis laver en eaue chaude et pourboulir; qui en veult mettre en paste, si y mette de l'uille, du frommage et de la pouldre.
MUSHROOMS of one night are the best, and are small and red inside, closed above: and they should be peeled, then wash in hot water and parboil; if you wish to put them in pastry, add oil, cheese and powdered spices. Based on the redactions of Don Alexandre Lerot d'Avigne and Lady Cordelia fitzRobert of York
2 lb mushroom 1/2 lb gruyere 1/2 lb cheddar 4 T olive oil 1 t salt 8 good grinds of a pepper grinder 1 t powder garlic 1 t powder mustard dough
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil. Clean and trim mushrooms. Parboil in boiling water (1 min). Drain mushrooms, pat dry, chop or slice thinly. Add oil, cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, and mustard. Mix well.
Preheat oven to 400 (F). Grease cookie sheet. Cut out 45 5-inch round dough circles. Fill and fold circles, closing with a fork. Pierce top once for vent. Fill pastries and bake at 375 for 1/2 an hour or so on a greased cookie sheet. If the pastry is done, the filling probably is, too. Eat hot or cold.
To make a tart, take four handfuls of beet leaves, two handfuls of parsley, a handful of chervil, a sprig of fennel and two handful of spinach, and pick them over and wash them in cold water, then cut them up very small; then bray with two sorts of cheese, to wit a hard and a medium, and then add eggs thereto, yolks and whites, and bray them in the cheese; then put the herbs into the mortar and bray all together and also put therein some fine powder. Or instead of this have ready brayed in the mortar two heads of ginger and onto this bray your cheese, eggs and herbs and then cast old cheese scraped or grated onto the herbs and take it to the oven and then have your tart made and eat it hot.
10 oz frozen spinach, chopped 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped (1 or 2 leaves fresh fennel, or 1 t fennel seed, ground in a mortar) 5 eggs 1/2 lb of cheddar/mozzarella cheese 2 t powdered ginger 1/2 t salt 4 big muffin tins worth of pie crust (bottoms only)
Defrost spinach, chop greens, grate 1/2 the cheese into a food processor. Add in egg and mix. Add in ginger and salt. Make crust and line your muffin tins. Add filling. Top with slices of cheese. Bake about 30 minutes at 350deg. Makes 4 big muffin sized tarts, almost a meal on their own.
Take veal, and smite in little pieces into a pot, and wash it fair; then take fair water, and let it boil together with parsley, sage, savory, and hyssop small enough and hew; and when it is on boiling, take powder pepper, canel, cloves, maces, saffron, and let them boil together, and a good deal of wine therewith. When the flesh is y-boiled, take it from the broth all clean, and let the broth cool; and when it is cold, take eyroun, the white and the yolks, and cast through a strainer, and put them into the broth, so many that the broth be stiff enough; then make fair coffins, and couch 3 pieces or 4 of the flesh in a coffin; then take dates, and cut them, and cast thereto; then take powder ginger, and a little verjuice, and put into the broth and salt; and than put the broth on the coffins, bake a little with the flesh ere thou put thyne liquor thereon, and let all bake together till it be enough; then take it out, and serve them forth.
2 lb veal (or beef) 1 T parsley (or more) 1/2 t sage 1/2 t pepper 1/2 t mace 1 T cinnamon 1/2 t cloves 1/2 c wine eggs 1 lb of dates about 1 T verjuice or dilute vinegar about 1/2 t salt dough for about 2 9 inch pie crusts
Boil veal and herbs for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Boil spices with wine. Let the veal broth cool; separate it from the meat. Add ginger and verjuice to broth, also salt. Add beaten eggs to about 1 c of the broth to stiffen it. Mix in wine. Make little tart crusts in a muffin tin. Bake 10 min at 350 deg. Put in meat. Cut up dates and put them in. Pour on wine mix. Bake until it hardens, about 30 minutes at 325deg.
Take Buttes of Porke, and smyte hem in pecys, and sette it ouer the fyre; and sethe hem in fayre Watere; and whan it is y-sothe y-now, ley it on a fayre bord, and pyke owt alle the bonys, and hew it smal, and put it in a fayre bolle; than take ysope, Sawge, Percely a gode quantite, and hew it smal, and putte it in a fayre vesselle; than take a lytel of the brothe, that the porke was sothin in, and draw thorw a straynoure, and caste to the Erbys, and gif it a boyle; thenne take owt the Erbys with a Skymoure fro the brothe, and caste hem to the porke in the bolle; than mynce Datys smal, and caste hem ther-to, and Roysonys of Coraunce, and pynes, and drawe thorw a straynoure yolkes of Eyroun ther-to, and Sugre, and pouder Gyngere, and Salt, and coloure it a lytel with Safroune; and toyle yt with thin hond al thes to-gederys; than make fayre round cofyns, and harde hem a lytel in the ovyn; than take hem owt, and with a dysshe in thin hond, fylle hem fulle of the Stuffe; than sette hem ther-in a-gen; and lat hem bake y-now, and serue forth.
3 pork chops 3 c chopped fresh parsley 1 t dried leaf sage 1/2 c chopped dates 1/2 c currants 1/3 c pine nuts 1/2 t powdered ginger 1/2 t salt 1 T sugar 5 egg yolks 1 9 inch pastry shell
Boil pork chops until cooked (20 minutes?), take out, remove the bones and cut up the meat. Boil herbs in the pork broth. Mix pork, cooked herbs, and remaining ingredients in bowl. Make tart crusts and bake 10 minutes to harden. Put filling in the pie crust. Bake 30 minutes at 375deg. .
From Le Menagier
Fresh VENISON PASTY. You must parboil the venison, and skim it, then lard it and make pastry: this is the way to make pasties of all fresh venison; and it should be cut in big, long pieces like rolling-pins, and this is called 'pasty of larded boiled meat.'
BEEF PASTIES. Have good young beef and remove all the fat, and the less good parts are cut in pieces to be used for stock, and then it is carried to the pastry-cook to be chopped up: and the grease with beef marrow.
The meat of a leg of beef is sliced up and put in pastry; and when the pastry is cooked, it is appropriate to throw a wild duck sauce into it.
MUTTON PASTIES. Chopped very small with scallions.
VEAL PASTIES. Take the round part of the thigh, and put with it almost as much beef fat; and with this you make six good pasties in platters
To make gingerbrede. Take goode honey & clarifie it on + e fere, & take fayre paynemayn or wastel brede & grate it, & caste it into + e boylenge hony, & stere it well togyder faste with a sklyse + at it bren not to + e vessell. & + anne take it doun and put + erin ginger, longe pepper & saundres, & tempere it vp with + in handes; & than put hem to a flatt boyste & strawe + eron suger, & pick + erin clowes rounde aboute by + e egge and in + e mydes, yf it plece you, &c.
1 c honey 1 c breadcrumbs 1 t ginger 1/4 t pepper 1/4 t saunders 1 T sugar 30-40 whole cloves (~ 1 t) (or 5 t sugar, pinch powdered cloves)
Bring honey to a boil, simmer two or three minute, stir in breadcrumbs with a spatula until uniformly mixed. Remove from heat, stir in ginger, pepper, and saunders. When it is cool enough to handle, knead it to get spices thoroughly mixed. Put it in a box (I used a square corning-ware container with a lid), squish it flat and thin, sprinkle with sugar and put cloves ornamentally around the edge. Leave it to let the clove flavor sink in; do not eat the cloves.
An alternative way of doing it is to roll into small balls, roll in sugar mixed with a pinch of cloves, then flatten them a little to avoid confusion with hais. This is suitable if you are making them today and eating them tomorrow.
Take three pound of very fine flower well dried by the fire, and put to it a pound and a half of loaf sugar sifted in a very fine sieve and dried; 3 pounds of currants well washed, and dried in a cloth and set by the fire; when your flour is well mixed with the sugar and currants, you must put in it a pound and a half of unmelted butter, ten spoonfuls of cream, with the yolks of three newlaid eggs beat with it, one nutmeg; and if you please, three spoonfuls of sack. When you have wrought your paste well, you must put it in a cloth, and set it in a dish before the fire, till it be through warm. Then make them up in little cakes, and prick them full of holes; you must bake them in a quick oven unclosed. Afterwards ice them over with sugar. The cakes should be about the bigness of a hand breadth and thin; of the size of the sugar cakes sold at Barnet.
3 c flour 3/4 c sugar 3/4 lb currants = about 2 1/2 c 3/8 lb butter = 1 1/2 sticks 2 1/2 T cream 1 egg yolk 1/4 t nutmeg 2 t sack (or sherry)
Mix flour, sugar, and currants. Beat egg yolk into cream. Cut butter into the flour as one would for piecrust. Add cream, nutmeg, and sherry to flour mix. Mix to form dough. Make into little cakes and prick full of holes. Bake cakes about 20 minutes at 350deg.
Icing: about 1/3 c sugar and enough water so you can spread it.
Take one pound of very fine flower, and one pound of fine sugar, and eight egges, and two spoonfuls of Rose water, and one ounce of Carroway seeds, and beat it all to batter one whole houre: for the more you beat it, the better your bread is: then bake it in coffins, of white plate, being basted with a little butter before you put in your batter, and so keep it.
4 c flour (1 lb) 2 c sugar (1 lb) 5 eggs 4 t caraway seeds (1 oz) 2 t rose water
Beat all ingredients together in a food processor (do in several small batches), processing it for several minutes. Spoon out onto a greased cookie sheet as 3 inch biscuits and bake about 20 minutes at 325deg.
Take and strain them with the yolks of four eggs, and a little white bread grated, then season it up with sugar and sweet butter and so bake it.
2 c strawberries 4 egg yolks 1/2 c bread crumbs 1/3 c sugar 4 T butter melted 9 inch worth of pie crust
Force strawberries through a strainer or run through a blender, then mix with everything else. Bake crust for 10 minutes, then put filling into the crust and bake at 375deg for 20 minutes.
First take raisins of Courance, or else other fresh raisins, and good ripe pears, or else good apples, and pick out the cores of them, and pare them, and grind them, and the raisins in a mortar, and do then to them a little sweet cream of milk, and strain them through a clean strainer, and take ten eggs, or as many more as will suffice, and beat them well together, both the white and the yolk, and draw it through a strainer, and grate fair white bread, and do thereto a good quantity, and more sweet cream, and do thereto, and all this together; and take saffron, and powder of ginger, and canel, and do thereto, and a little salt, and a quantity of fair, sweet butter, and make a fair coffin or two, or as many as needs, and bake them a little in an oven, and do this batter in them, and bake them as you would bake flaunes, or crustades, and when they are baked enough, sprinkle with canel and white sugar. This is a good manner of Crustade.
2/3 c raisins 3 pears or apples, peeled and cored. 1/2 t cinnamon 1/4 t ginger pinch of saffron 1/2 t salt 3 eggs (large, beaten) 4 T breadcrumbs 1/2 c whipping cream 5 T butter 2 9 inch worth of pie crust 1 T cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on at the end
Put apples, pears, and raisins in food processor with eggs and cream. Blend. Mix in spices. Put in muffin sized pie crusts and dot with butter. Bake at 375deg for about an hour. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
A Custarde the coffyn must be fyrste hardened in the oven, and then take a quart of creame and fyve or syxe yolkes of egges, and beate them well together, and put them into the creame, and put in Suger and small Raysyns and Dates sliced, and put into the coffyn butter or els marrowe, but on the fyshe daies put in butter.
1 pie crust 2 c cream 3 egg yolks 1/4 c sugar 1/3 c raisins 1/4 c dates 3 t butter (or marrow)
Make pie crust and pre-bake for 10-15 minutes at 400deg. . Chop dates. Beat the eggs, add cream, sugar, raisins and dates and pour into pie crust. Dot pie with butter. Bake at 350deg for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Take beef fat, and chop it small, and rosemary, which can be fresh or dried. If you have none, take marjoram or anise or sage, as much as you would like. Chop them finely together, put cloves, pepper, ginger and salt into it, as much as you would like, pour one pint of wine on it. The game must be cooked beforehand. And make a shaped pastry the same way as for the veal pie, and let it bake, serve it warm. In this manner one can also prepare a loin roast.
First pluck the capon and let it boil, afterwards take it out and remove the small breast bones and chop beef fat small and put the fat in a bowl. Put two quarts of good wine therein, a good portion of lean broth, pepper, ginger, cloves and a little ground nutmeg. Two peeled lemons or limes are also good. After that prepare an oblong shaped pastry crust. The way in which you should make the pastry is found in number [sixty one]. In the same way you can prepare chickens, doves and birds of all kinds for pies.
Take the stones cleanly out and cut them open in the middle and make the tart and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on the bottom crust and after that lay the plums as closely together as possible and put sugar and cinnamon on them again. Put also some butter thereon.
Take pears and peel them and cut them into thin strips, take beef marrow, cinnamon, sugar and raisins and let it bake. If you do not have any marrow then use butter or another fat.
Peel the apples and take the cores cleanly out and chop them small, put two or three egg yolks with them and let butter melt in a pan and pour it on the apples and put cinnamon, sugar and ginger thereon and let it bake. Roast them first in butter before you chop them.
Shell the almonds, pound them very small and strain them through a copper sieve. Take cream or sweet milk, take five or six egg yolks and let it bake. If you would like, you can mix rose water in with it, or else not.
Take one handful of sage, a handful of marjoram and some lavender and rosemary, also a handful of chard, and chop it together, take six eggs, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, raisins and rose water and let it bake.
From Le Menagier(Not Yet Tried)
HERB DISH IN PASTRY COOKED IN THE SKILLET. Beat, grind and mix together your eggs and herbs and a piece of ginger as said before, then have some pastry kneaded as though for the bottom of a pie, and heat your skillet with oil or other grease: then put your kneaded pastry in the bottom of the skillet, then put in your pie filling along with a sufficient amount of grated cheese. And since the underside, that is the pastry which forms the bottom of the tart, will be cooked before the top side is barely heated, you should have another skillet the bottom of which has been heated, wiped and cleaned, and let this skillet be filled with hot coals, and put it inside the first skillet, on and touching the filling, so that it may be heated and cooked till dry till both filling and pastry are done.
This is a finger food.
Get sweet eggplant and boil it with water and salt until it becomes well cooked and is dissolved or falling apart. You should drain the water, crush and stir it on a dish with crumbs of grated bread, eggs beaten with oil, dried coriander and cinnamon; beat it until all becomes equal. Afterwards fry cakes made with this batter in a frying pan with oil until they are gilded. Make a sauce of vinegar, oil, almori, and mashed garlic; give all this a shaking and pour it over the top.
1 large eggplant (1 lb 3 oz) water 1 t salt 1/2 c bread crumbs 3 eggs 1 T oil 1 1/4 t coriander 1 1/2 t cinnamon about 6 T oil for frying Sauce: 2 T vinegar 2 T oil 2 t murri - approximation recipe will be added 2 large crushed clove garlic or a good shake of powdered garlic
Peel and chunk eggplant, boil till squishy (~30 min) in water to cover (add the salt). In a bowl, mix eggs, oil, coriander, cinnamon. Then mix in bread crumbs. Drain eggplant, mash and mix with batter. Fry big spoonfulls of batter/eggplant and spread then reasonably thin in the pan about 1-2 min per side. Make sauce: vinegar, oil, garlic, and murri. Either pour sauce over pancakes or dip pieces in sauce
1 lb ground meat (lamb) 1/4 c oil 1 t salt 1 onion, chopped 1/2 t coriander seed 1/2 t pepper 1/2 15 oz can chickpeas 1/2 c almond slivers 2 egg whites
Fry meat in a pan with oil. Do not drain. One at a time slowly, add onion, spices, chickpeas, and egg white. When egg sets, it's done.
Wash lentils and put them to cook in a pot with sweet water, oil, pepper, coriander and cut onion. When they are cooked throw in salt, a little saffron and vinegar; break three eggs, leave for a while on the flame and later retire the pot. Other times cook without onion. If you wish cook it with Egyptian beans pricked into which have been given a boil. Or better with dissolved yeast over a gentle fire. When the lentils begin to thicken add good butter or sweet oil, bit by bit, alike until it gets absorbed, until they are sufficiently cooked and have enough oil. Then retire it from the flame and sprinkle with pepper.
1 1/2 c dried lentils = 10 oz 2 1/4 c water 1 1/2 T oil 3/8 t pepper 1 1/2 t coriander 2 medium onions = 1/2 lb 3/4 t salt 12 threads saffron 2 T vinegar 4 eggs (Egyptian beans) (yeast) 4 T butter (or oil) more pepper
Slice onions. Put lentils, water, oil, pepper, coriander and onion in a pot, bring to a boil, and turn down to a bare simmer. Cook covered 50 minutes, stirring periodically. Add butter in lumps and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes. Add salt, saffron (crushed into 1 t water) and vinegar, and bring back to a boil. Put eggs on top, cover pot and keep lentils at a simmer; stir cautiously every few minutes in order to scrape the bottom of the pot without stirring in the eggs. We find that if the heat is off, the eggs don't cook; if the heat is up at medium, the eggs cook, but the lentils start to stick to the pot. A larger quantity might hold enough heat to cook the eggs without leaving it on the flame. When the eggs are cooked, sprinkle with a little more pepper and serve. Makes 5 1/4 c.
Take rapus and make hem clene, and waissh hem clene; quarter hem; perboile hem, take hem vp. Cast hem in a gode broth and see+ hem; mynce oynouns and cast + erto safroun and salt, and messe it forth with powdour douce. In the self wise make of pastunakes and skyrwittes.
Note: rapes are turnips; pasternakes are either parsnips or carrots; skirrets are, according to the OED, "a species of water parsnip, formerly much cultivated in Europe for its esculent tubers." We have never found them available in the market.
1 lb turnips, carrots, or parsnips 2 c chicken broth (canned, diluted) 1/2 lb onions 6 threads saffron 3/4 t salt powder douce: 2 t sugar, 3/8 t cinnamon, 3/8 t ginger
Wash, peel, and quarter turnips (or cut into eighths if they are large), cover with boiling water and parboil for 15 minutes. If you are using carrots or parsnips, clean them and cut them up into large bite-sized pieces and parboil 10 minutes. Mince onions. Drain turnips, carrots, or parsnips, and put them with onions and chicken broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Crush saffron into about 1 t of the broth and add seasonings to potage. Cook another 15-20 minutes, until turnips or carrots are soft to a fork and some of the liquid is boiled down.
Cook peas so that they become mushy, put them in a colander and strain as for almond milk. Strain saffron, ginger and cinnamon with it. Then it looks like a worm. Sprinkle sugar over it and serve it cold.
Take spinach and blanch it as if you were making cooked spinach, and chop it small. Take approximately one handful, when it is chopped, cheese or meat from a chicken or capon that was boiled or roasted. Then take twice as much cheese as herb, or of chicken an equal amount, and beat two or three eggs into it and make a good dough, put salt and pepper into it and make a dough with good flour, as if you would make a tart, and when you have made little flat cakes of dough then put a small ball of filling on the edge of the flat cake and form it into a dumpling. And press it together well along the edges and place it in broth and let it cook about as long as for a soft-boiled egg. The meat should be finely chopped and the cheese finely grated.
Then take the goose liver and with it ten plums and put them in the goose and sew it up underneath and put it on a spit. It will be good. And when you serve it then open it up.
Take a goose, stuff it with onions, peeled quinces, pears and bacon, stick it on a spit and roast it.