I have been trying out some of my recipes for River War. I made the Persicate last night with some fresh peaches. Nom and full of win, it ended up quite tasty. I learned a lot about making almond milk, oxtail stock and peaches. There was quite the disaster in the kitchen… but the whole house smelled like tasty goodness.
It is nearing the end of peach season, so I bought these interesting peaches called doughnut peaches. It is a form of white peach. It is sweeter than a normal peach with almond overtones. They are lower in acid than other peaches and it has a thin skin with little or no fuzz. It turns out these peaches are marketed as heirloom peaches. They are actually Chinese flat peaches or Chinese pan tao peach, and they have been around for ever. We don’t get them here in the US market because the flat shape “scares” people. So they are marketed as heirloom and donuts. And here I thought I was going to have a problem with having to document genetically engineered food.
There were some liberties taken to try to create a ginger free version. I used other spices that would 1, work with peaches and 2 have been used in that time period. I used some allspice and cinnamon. Turns out… the recipe really just tastes that much better with ginger added. I also added pepper and salt to the soup as the broth described below would have had both in it.I was using home made stock that did not.
Again, I followed the recipe as it was written, not as I have found it redacted. Meat stock, that still has the fat, adds a richness to the recipe that you cannot get with veggie stock. Also I have seen this served as a desert soup and chilled. If you chill soup that has meat stock and fat in it, you end up with glops of fat stuck to the palette. It really is meant to be a hot soup. Sweet with a hint of savory and hot. And normally I am not for mixing my sweets and savory flavors, but with these peaches, it actually works.
Potaje llamado persicate (po-ta-he ya-ma-doh pare-see-ca-te)
Ruperto de Nola, Libre del Coch (1529)
trans. by Lady Brighid ni Chiarain
You will take the peeled peaches, and cut them into slices, and cook them in good fat broth; and when they are cooked, take a few blanched almonds and grind them; and when they are well-ground, strain them rather thick with that broth. And then cook this sauce with sugar and a little ginger, and when it is cooked, cast in enough pot-broth or that which falls from the roasting-spit. And let it stew well for a little; and then prepare dishes, and upon each one cast sugar; and in this same way you can make the sauce of quinces in the same manner; but the quinces need to be strained with [the] almonds, and they should not be sour, and likewise the peaches.
Modern rendition- Ginger free:
6 cups of stock/broth
16 donut peaches, cut in chunks
Almond paste (recipe below)
1 cup of sugar
2 tsp allspice
1 tbl salt
2 tsp ground pepper
2 tbl cinnamon
1. Bring stock and peaches to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer until peaches are soft, about 20 minutes or so.
3. Strain peaches and almonds paste through a wire mesh strainer
4. Bring mixture back to a boil and add seasonings.
Note: in making a ginger version as described by the original recipe omit all other spices and add 2 tsp of ground ginger.
Stock- Oxtail and beef
1 lb each of chopped carrots, celery, onion
2 leeks, chopped including greens
Enough bones to fill a 16 quart stock pot 1/2 way
1 bay leaf
4 cloves of garlic
1 sprig rosemary
3 sprigs thyme
1. Add water to cover bones
2. Bring to a boil
3. Add spices and aromatics
4. Reduce to a simmer
5. Simmer for 4-6 hours.
6. Strain and store.
1 cup blanched almonds
1 cup of warm stock
1. Puree in a blender until smooth. Use more stock if needed.
All that is left is the documentation of the hows, whys, and what fores. That should be the easy part. Get the stuff in my head onto paper. I just did the hard part with getting the recipe correct and the steps modernized.