two small slices of a custard served in a ceramic bowl. They have a sugar crust on top, and a breadcrumb crust below.

from The Neapolitan recipe collection


Tartara Julatica, 133

This is one of those times when we are grateful to the translators but still wish they were working from the mindset of cooks rather than linguists.

The hardbound book I work from, translated and crafted by Terence Scully, is one of the most strangely organised messes I have dealt with. It isn’t as awkward as the Opera of Sent Sovi, but it’s up there.

The translators give a section with the original language, then a section with commentary on the language, and only then a section translated to English.

This recipe has a couple of oddities in it’s manuscript of origin. The commentary, rather than being on something helpful like the size of a Jug in Italy, is all conjecture about whether the sidenote about “Serve this very hot to Catherina Fasanica” is for a girlfriend or whether the allusion to pheasants has to do with “fancy ladies”.

The jug thing. It took a while to dig that up. My gut was to use about a pint of milk, but that was based on my experience, not to be trusted quite yet. I searched on the term “bucale” and got back the standardised work “boccale.”

From there, with a bit of digging, I eventually got to a wonderful web page of standard weights and measures, which had several iterations of “Boccale” from mostly Northern Italy, as well as other sites with surviving vessels of the type, and their dimensions.

This isn’t a math blog by any measure, but I have settled on the “bucale” as being a viable quart analog, and used that. It worked. If at some point elsewhere in the book a quart doesn’t work, I will amend.

In the end, we got a very greasy flan, with a tiny note of tang from the truly minute amount of cheese, and a slight zing from the massive quantity of ginger.

The crust vanished, as we assumed it would, and the sugar lost its gloss after about 20 minutes.

To make this GF, use the instructions in the original to use a dusting of cheese as the pan release.

The quantities here are pretty well defined in the original. Remembering the period weight of a pound as being 12 oz, it worked out as follows.


20 servings.

20 eggs

1 pint milk

1 oz parmesano dolce, the young cheese, if you can get it

6 oz sugar

6 oz unsalted butter, at room temp

3 TBS ginger powder (really!)


1 oz butter

3 oz breadcrumbs, or as needed to coat your vessel, or for GF, an ounce of grated cheese

To Finish

3 TBS sugar (you probably won’t use it all)

Rosewater, or if that’s not to your taste, Orange Flower Water

(be careful to use the confectionary type, not the cosmetic kind)

9×13 pan (or similar, it puffs up almost an inch)

( crack eggs as individuals, then put in your blender, for in case of duds)

Preheat the oven to about 250, lower is fine.

Put the eggs, milk, cheese, ginger, 6 oz sugar, and 6 oz butter in the blender, mixer, processor, or under the whisk.

Make it fluffy.

Rub the separate ounce of butter into your pan, then drop the breadcrumbs (cheese for GF) in. Roll it around so they stick, empty out the extra.

put the baker onto a larger baking sheet for ease of handling.

Pour the egg mixture into the coated baking vessel,

Let stand for a moment, and tap the sides, to allow air bubbles to rise and pop, for a finer appearance at service.

Place in oven,

close the door.

Leave, go grocery shopping.

It took three hours to cook.

Three hours.

Immediately upon removal, sprinkle with the reserved sugar til you think it is too much, then a little more.

Mist or sprinkle with scented water, serve as soon as possible.

About 2″ x 2″ is likely quite sufficient as a portion, on average.




I can see why it had to be served hot, it’s so very rich.

It was too rich when it was hot, and it is not so amazing the second day. There was a ¼” layer of butter in the bottom of the pan within 5 minutes of cutting.

This fancy custard is quite stable enough to be in the ovens for a very long time, making it an appropriate dessert or breakfast offering at a meal with unstable serving times.

Serve with fruit and a sharp beverage such as a lemonade to balance the richness.

Scully, Terence. The Neapolitan Recipe Collection: (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MS Bühler, 19) : A Critical Edition and English Translation. Ann Arbor, Mich.: U of Michigan, 2000. 180. Print.

9 dumplings, about an inch in all directions, on a plate.


To mak hattes in flesche tyme:

To mak hattes in flesshe tyme mak a paiste of pured
flour, knodene with yolks of eggs and mak a stuf of
vele or pork sodene tender and ground with yolks of
eggs putther to mary diced and dates mynced smalle
and raissins of corrans with sugur saffron and salt and
pouder mellid to gedur in paiste and wound foilles of
the brod of a saucere as thyn as ye may dryf them and
dryf them that the bredes may cuver to the middes of
the foile then turn them to gedur that the bredes of
the inor sid met all about and lesse the bred and turn
upward without in the manner of an hatte and close
welle the eggs that they hold full ther in and luk the
stuf haue a good batter made with yolks of eggs and
flour of whet the open sid that is downward luk ther
in that the stuf be clossed and so set it in hot grece up
right and when the battur is fried lay them doun and
serve them.

To make hats in flesh time, make a paste of pure
flour, kneaded with yolks of eggs and make a stuffing
of veal or pork poached tender and ground with yolks of
eggs. Put thereto marrow diced and dates minced small,
and currants and sugar, saffron, and salt, and
powder melded together in paste and wound foils of
the breadth of a saucer and thin as you may draw them and
draw them that the breads may cover the mids of
the goil, then turn them together that the breads of
the inner side meet all about and lease the bread and turn
upward without in the manner of a hat, and close
well the eggs that they hold therein, and look therein
that the stuff be closed and so set it in hot grease up
right and when the batter is fried lay them down and
serve them.

To make hats in flesh time, make egg pasta.

Make a stuffing of veal or pork seethed tender,
with egg yolks, diced marrow, minced dates,
currants, sugar, saffron, salt and “powder” melded together.

all of the ingredients laid out, most of them measured in individual containers.

all in place

Put the stuffing in the dough following rather elaborate instructions which
lead to a dumpling shaped like a hat.

Hattes (14)Hattes (15)Hattes (16) Hattes (17)


Make a batter of yolks and flour. Dip the tops of the dumplings in the batter to
be certain the dumplings are all sealed.

Hattes (18)

Fry them til they are pretty and serve them.
I did not poach my meat, as it was preground.
I did not roast my marrow bones. If they smell in any way of ammonia, do not use them.
Whether the yolks are to be preboiled or not for this dish is a question. As most dishes from the basic cuisine do call for hard cooked yolks, I made the assumption. My preferred proportion is 1 yolk per ¼ lb of meat to be used. I find that more than that can be mealy, while less is not up to the task of keeping a dish moist while helping flavors interact.
We had quite a discussion on the nature of Powder. The book this is from has all kinds of powders, with it sometimes referring explicitly to salt, or saffron, or ginger, but sometimes with no signifiers.
I opted for pepper, as it figures regularly in the book as a companion to salt.

If you choose to freeze a part of the recipe, do so before battering, and reduce the batter quantity by the portion appropriate. Place the sealed dumplings on a sheet and freeze them solid, the move them to a bag for storage. They can be fried directly from frozen.

I placed the number that fit in my fryer at a time, which happens to be 8.

The batter destroyed my frying oil, It could not be saved for other dishes. We did not mind.

The Recipe;

2 packs of won ton wrappers (about 50 in the pack, contained egg and nothing weird)
1.5 lbs pork, veal, or as a modern sub, turkey, poached then ground, or simply ground.
6 hard boiled egg yolks, mashed well.
3 oz bone marrow, minced
¼ c currants
¼ c dates, minced
1 tsp sugar
1.5 tsp salt
.5 tsp pepper
1 pinch saffron (you can skip it. We like it. We tasted it.)

For the batter;

For the batter, I used raw yolks. The word is spelled the same way, which was no clue, but I have seen many recipes for a modern whipped egg yolk batter which is quite pleasant, and impossible with cooked yolks.

6 raw yolks, whipped til they turn creamy and pale
add ½ c water, slowly, while continuing to whip.
Add ½ c cake flour or similar, slowly and gently. It will hold well for about a half hour.
Reserve the whites to glue the dumplings shut.

Frying oil, at least an inch deep, and all of the equipment needed for safe frying

For the dumplings;
Blend the entire list of ingredients til it is evenly distributed. Fry a tidbit and taste for seasonings, I am known for a very light hand with salt.

Place a half of an ounce (I used a disher) of meat in the center of each wrapper. Glue the four corners together, making a little pyramid. Seal the sides.
When they are all done,
dip the pointy tops in the batter.

Fry til they are a pale golden color. Drain on a towel, and serve.


In discussion, we agreed that a cameline would have been an excellent side, of course depending on the cameline.
This led to a lively debate on the nature of Poudre Lombard, at which point we retired.
To mak sauce camelyn for quaylle

To mak sauce camelyne for quaile, tak whyt bred
and drawe it in the sauce in the manner of guinger
sauce with venyger put ther to pouder of guinger
canelle and pouder-lombard a goodelle and ye may
draw alitille mustard ther with and sesson it up with
mustard that it be douce salt it and colour it with
saffron and serue it.