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Thursday, June 3rd, 2010 08:34 am

Are the pictures helpful, or just an overload? Any input would be gratefully accepted. I often try to take pictures of each step, but I'm unsure if they're helpful to others or just taking up space. :) 

XI.Butiro de grasso de mandole.
Se tu voy fare butiro de grasso de mandole per fare vivande de venerdí o de quaresima, tolgli tre libre de mandole per fare torta a quale vivanda che tu voy per XII persone, e de questo butiro se po condier tartare e altre torte. In dí che non se magna carne toy le mandole ben monde e ben lavate e ben masenate e stemperali con aqua chiara, e fai che sia ben stretto e colalli e meti questo late de le ditte mandole a bolire, e quando è ben bolito gettalo sopra una tovaia biancha. Quando è ben colada l’ aqua di sotto, togli uno bello cortello e levallo da la tovaglia, e ponilo suso lo taiero, e metilo in quella vivanda che tu voy.
XI. Butter of fat of almonds (almond butter)
If you want to make butter of almond fat to make dishes for Friday or for lent take three pounds of almonds to make a tart or whatever dish that you want for 12 persons. And of this butter you can put to flavor tartare (a sort of pie made of soaked bread, almonds and sugar) or other pies. In that one does not eat meat, take the almonds peeled and washed and well ground and stamped with clear water, and when it has been well strained and pressed put this milk of almonds to boil. And when it has well boiled throw it (put) over a white cloth. When the water has strained below take good knife and scrape from the cloth and put it above the "taiero"*and put it in whatever dish you want. * taiero. - Tagliare is to cut, tovalia is a towel. It could actually be trencher or plate which in Italian is taglière.

My interpretation
7 oz almonds, 21 oz water (can be any amount in ratio of 1 part almond to 3 part clean/ purified water).
Directions: Peel (or purchase already skinned), wash and grind almonds, "stamp" with clear water- I took this to mean mix 1 part almonds to 3 parts water then blend or agitate as I usually do to make almond milk. Strain and press milk (I ran it through a sieve as I usually do when I make almond milk) then boil. It's not clear if the boiling is meant to change the texture by simply heating it, or if you're meant to condense it. I boiled the almond milk for approximately 30 minutes. Then strain again in cloth (I used quadruple layered cheese cloth) and scrape "butter" off cloth.

Here are the ingredients, measured out. 7 oz cleaned, peeled, ground almonds, 21 oz water

Here are the ground almonds having been removed from the liquid that is now almond milk

Here's the almond milk boiling, if you look closely you can see a little fat on the surface. I think the boiling helps break it down and bring out the richness a bit more.

Here I'm pouring the boiled almond milk into cheese cloth for the second strain.

It took quite a while to fully drain

Eventually I helped it along a little by squeezing the cheese cloth (with clean hands of course) and was amazed at how oily feeling it left my hands, for only being almond and water.

Eventually after the squeezing it got to be less liquid, but still very paste or butter like.

I started scraping the rest off the cloth as called for in the original, and emptied it all onto a plate for a first look

I then formed it into a more aesthetically pleasing ball, and tasted a bit and if you like almonds or unsweetened almond paste this was divine.

I could see how this would make a fabulous almond tart and be completely appropriate for lent as it's vegan (if using a crust you'd have to make your own or be careful about the shortening used).