Poached Eggs

This recipe taken from Forme of Curye, ab. 1390 A.D. (Pages 45v and 46r). The images below are from the original manuscript as digitized by the John Rylands University Library and the 1780 printing edited by Samuel Pegge.

Original Recipe:


Take Ayrenn and breke hem in scaldyng hoot water. and whan þei bene sode ynowh. take hem up and take zolkes of ayren and rawe mylke and swyng hem togydre, and do þerto powdour gyngur safroun and salt, set it ouere the fire, and lat it not boile, and take ayrenn isode & cast þe sew onoward. & serue it forth.

My Translation:

Poached Eggs

Take eggs and break them in scalding hot water. And when they be cooked enough, take them up and take yolks of eggs and raw milk and mix them together and do thereto powdered ginger, saffron and salt, set it over the fire and let it not boil and take eggs boiled and cast the sauce onward and serve it forth.

My Interpretation:

Split dozen eggs, 8 for poaching and 4 for sauce. Fill a shallow sauce pan with water and bring to a gentle boil for poaching the 8 eggs.

Meanwhile, separate the yolk from the white of the 4 eggs reserved for the sauce. Combine egg yolks, milk, saffron, ginger and salt in double boiler with water in bottom pan at a simmer. Whisk gently until the sauce will coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat

When the water for poaching the eggs has come to a boil, add thevinegar and then carefully break an egg into the water. Gently nudge the white together until the egg whites are cooked (2-3 minutes). Remove egg with slotted spoon and place on serving dish and dress with ginger sauce.

Notes on the Transcription & Translation:

The original text and transcription preserve the shorthand of writing that was common practice in the late 14th century. I have taken the liberty of spelling each word fully in my transcription for clarity.


Media Information. Digital image. Pochee. The John Rylands University Library, Jan. 2009. Web. 18 Jun. 2012. <http://enriqueta.man.ac.uk/luna/servlet/detail/Man4MedievalVC~4~4~4344~100099:Fygey?sort=Reference_Number%2CReference_Number%2CImage_Sequence_Number%2CImage_Sequence_Number#. This is a digitized image of page 45v and 46r of the Forme of Cury housed at The John Rylands University Library in Manchester, England. This codex, written on vellum, dates from the late 14th century.

Pegge, Samuel, ed. Forme of Cury London: Society of Antiquaries, 1780. The Forme of Cury. Greg Lindahl. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/foc/

Pegge, Samuel. The Forme of Cury. London: J. Nichols, 1780. Google Books. 5 Mar. 2009. Web. 18 June 2012. <http://books.google.com/books?id=L1JAAAAAYAAJ>.

Pegge, Samuel, ed. The Forme of Cury The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Forme of Cury, by Samuel Pegge. Project Gutenberg, May 2005. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/8102/pg8102.html. This is the transcription of Forme of Cury of the Samuel Pegge edition originally published in 1780.