ffish Custard
September 2, 2014 4:58 PM   Subscribe


 
Some of these are absolutely fascinating, but the very idea of "ffish Custard" makes me wish I didn't have tastebuds. It's going to haunt me the rest of my days.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:19 PM on September 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Meth recipe on Mifi?
posted by sammyo at 5:19 PM on September 2, 2014


The cherry brandy is weak because they did NOT break the pits, which is where the subtle bitter almond flavor comes in. The toxins are not enough to be poisonous. Goodness, a way to improve any stone fruit's flavor is by adding an almond liquor such as, amaretto, whose ingredients include apricot kernels to get that bitter almond bite. Another dish, out of China, is an almond soup, which is made of pulverized apricot kernels.

What I find fascinating is that the various manuscripts handwriting remind me of other recipe books from the period found in the University of Iowa collection. At first glance I had wondered if I had transcribed these manuscripts for Iowa due to the handwriting but no, they are from different collections.

Fun site.
posted by jadepearl at 5:28 PM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


I am shocked, shocked that ffish custard is not delicious.
posted by jeather at 5:30 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Japanese fish custard - chawanmushi - is pretty delicious.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 5:39 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


My housemate swears that one of these days she's going to cook a twelve-course banquet with a course for each of the Doctors; Eleven's, of course, is fish custard.
posted by nonasuch at 5:45 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sizzle the Meat, it must sizzle.
posted by delfin at 5:46 PM on September 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


"Salt peter"?
posted by boo_radley at 5:52 PM on September 2, 2014


I think they ignored quite a lot of the important bits in the instructions in that ffish custard. They really should have pounded the daylights out of the almonds, dates, and roe. Then mashed it up with the egg yolks and etc. and then strained all the bits out. That would have left a custard with a custard texture and the flavors as intended - fishy, fruity, a bit of nut.

And I'm sure using salmon roe instead of pike is a noticeable difference, too.

But, no, I'm still not going to try this at home.
posted by jefflowrey at 6:27 PM on September 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


Eggs and fish roe, okay, not that weird. I can see almonds and fish roe. I can almost see dates and fish roe. Mace and fish roe could be interesting, delicate, flavorful. But rosewater and fish!?
posted by WidgetAlley at 6:37 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


It seems like the fish roe (along with the fowl's eggs), in the right proportions, should have simply acted as a binding agent (much like cow food or deer antler) for a sort of marzipan dessert, much firmer than what we would consider a "custard", and probably molded in some way.


Of course, the man who called himself il Dottore seemed very distracted and anxious, and kept going on about threats to the Crown and "Sea Dyvvils", and then ran off into a sort of blue cabinet and disappeared.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:51 PM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


The rosewater would be done with a very light hand to alleviate any strong aromas. Custards and other things that wobble like aspic were tricky because of getting the ratio of proteins and fats just right. Prior to the ease of getting gelatin from animal sources people would use things like chicken livers, or boiling hooves to extract gelatin for reliable setting.
posted by jadepearl at 6:51 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Augh! Always always always follow the recipe as closely as possible, at least the first time. The fish custard is a savory blancmange made with almond milk instead of cow milk. What they made was not what the recipe writer intended. Had they made it right, they might have had objections to the rose water (I tend to be leery of it as it can come off quite soapy when overused even a smidge), but the texture would not have been horrid as theirs was and they could have played with the recipe the second time through. Amateurs.
posted by miss patrish at 7:01 PM on September 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


>"Salt Peter?"

Saltpeter is/was potassium nitrate, and before the invention of baking soda it was the only chemical leavening agent around. It also was useful for curing food, and I believe its still used in pickling, canning, and curing.

Also, this link is great! So many fun old recipes.
posted by DGStieber at 7:02 PM on September 2, 2014


If you like this, then you'll probably enjoy this too. A very entertaining series even with all the vomiting-in-my-mouth I did watching it.
posted by Wantok at 7:10 PM on September 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


DGStieber: "Saltpeter is/was potassium nitrate, and before the invention of baking soda it was the only chemical leavening agent around. It also was useful for curing food, and I believe its still used in pickling, canning, and curing."

Yes, obviously, yes. But it doesn't quite match the image. Where's the ascender for the 't'? Any other letter that might roughly substitute ascends or descends as well.

"salt peter"?
posted by boo_radley at 7:16 PM on September 2, 2014


Because of the presence of sugar in the recipe, I'm still inclined to think it might be a sweet dish. The fish eggs do seem horrible, but perhaps, in the correct quantity and preparation, they might have been less noticeable. I mean, people use canola shortening all the time in commercial pastry now, and I think it taste fishy and vile, but most people don't seem to notice.


Oh, crap- is this some sort of H.P. Lovecraft thing? What did ever happen to the Dagon cult?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:25 PM on September 2, 2014


GD it! I opened a wordpress blog for a similar idea and never did anything with it. I should try something adjacent. I study 17th century cookery and household books.
posted by apricot at 8:04 PM on September 2, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh for goodness' sakes. They didn't follow the recipe one bit. They didn't even use the same ingredients! Their recipe added milk and egg-whites, and they didn't pound the ingredients or strain the mixture. They just stirred everything together! They didn't even pay attention to the quantities: they used a quarter cup of liquid, instead of "making a quart" of the final mixture, and even though I have no idea how big a pike's roe might be, I bet it's more than "1 to 1 1/2 tbsp", which is what they used. No wonder they ended up with a chewy bar.

Here's my understanding of the procedure: You use a mortar and pestle to crush the almonds and the dates. You should probably add the pike roe and egg yolks slowly, once the nuts and dates have been crushed. Egg yolk is an emulsifier; pike roe may be as well; the idea seems to be to get a smooth mixture flavored with almonds. A food processor might work for this, but I wouldn't guarantee it: chopped nuts are not the same as ground nuts. Once you have achieved a good emulsion, which will probably be between the consistency of mayonnaise and peanut butter, mix it with water to make a loose mixture and strain it through a fine sieve - perhaps even a loose cloth. Add some more water so you end up with a quart of the mixture and season it with sugar (yes, I'm afraid so), rosewater, mace and salt. Pour it into a casserole dish and bake it. I think it might be a good idea to stand the dish in a roasting pan filled with water. Once it's baked, sprinkle some sugar on top and put it briefly under a grill to caramelise. The result will probably not be very fishy: it will basically be a non-dairy custard with a middle-easternish rosewater-and-almond sort of flavor.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:07 PM on September 2, 2014 [8 favorites]


The fish custard might not be too far removed from Scandinavian fish cakes if done properly.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 11:29 PM on September 2, 2014


Oh for goodness' sakes. They didn't follow the recipe one bit. They didn't even use the same ingredients! Their recipe added milk and egg-whites, and they didn't pound the ingredients or strain the mixture. They just stirred everything together!

Reminds me of the first time I (as an Australian teenager in the 1980s) tried a pumpkin pie recipe my aunt had picked up in America in the '60s. It said "add X cups pumpkin", no doubt meaning the pre-cooked mush in cans, which isn't readily available in Oz. Not knowing any better, I added X cups of grated raw pumpkin and added it to the milk, eggs, sugar and spices, then poured everything into a pie crust and baked it. I ended up with a spicy custard tart with a layer of partially cooked grated pumpkin on the bottom. Whatever it was, it wasn't pumpkin pie.

The next time I cooked the pumpkin first, mashed it, let it cool, measured out X cups, and mixed that into the milk, eggs, etc. Miraculous transformation.
posted by rory at 2:20 AM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


I opened a wordpress blog for a similar idea and never did anything with it. I should try something adjacent. I study 17th century cookery and household books.

Yes please!!!!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:17 AM on September 3, 2014


« Older The Dying Russians   |   What happened to...? Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments