Elderflower & Rosewater Cheesecake

This recipe taken from Forme of Curye, ab. 1390 A.D. (Pages 79v & 80r). 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 & make a cruſt in a trap̄. & take crudd, and wryng out þe wheyʒe & drawe thorow a ſtraynor. & put ī þe ſtraynor cruſt. do þrto suḡ þe þrydd part & sn̄dele whyte of ayron̄. & ſrhake þrrine blomes of elren. & bake hit up wiþ curoſe. And meſſe hyt forth.

My Translation:

Take and make a crust in a pan. And take curds and wring out the whey and draw through a strainer. And put the strained curds in the crust. Add sugar the third part and some white of eggs. Add elder flower blossoms and bake it up with rosewater. And serve forth.

My Interpretation:

1 pound fresh cheese

6 egg whites

1 pie crust (see Paest Royall)

2 Tbsp. elderberry flowers,

2 Tbsp. rosewater

¾ cup sugar

Beat in cheese and eggs together until smooth. Add elderberry flowers and rosewater to the egg and cheese mixture and mix well. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake at 350°F for 50-55 minutes. Yields 1 9 inch cheescake.

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. Sambocade. The John Rylands University Library, Jan. 2009. Web. 18 Jun. 2012. <>. This is a digitized image of page 79v 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.

Pegge, Samuel. The Forme of Cury. London: J. Nichols, 1780. Google Books. 5 Mar. 2009. Web. 18 June 2012. <>.

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. This is the transcription of Forme of Cury of the Samuel Pegge edition originally published in 1780.