Bake Tudor marchpane
Christmas dinner as we know it today started to appear in Tudor times – they started off the tradition of eating turkey and mince pies! In fact King Henry VIII was one of the first people to turkey as part of his Christmas dinner.
Rich families might have enjoyed impressive Christmas pies. These had a decorated pastry case and were filled with turkey, which was stuffed with a goose, which was stuffed with a partridge, which was stuffed with a pigeon – that's a lot of meat!
Another popular Tudor recipe was for a sweet (a bit like marzipan), called Marchpane. Have a go at making your own Marchpane with this tasty activity!
Andrew Dalby & Maureen Dalby, The Shakespeare Cookbook (2012) British Museum Press
Adult supervision is required.
Ages : Suitable for all ages.
Time Required: Preparation: 15 minutes, Cooking: 30 minutes
Make sure to wash your hands before you start cooking, and preheat your oven to 160C/325F/gas mark 3
Grind up the almonds with the pestle and mortar - this is how the Tudors would have done it!
You can add a little rosewater to make it easier.
Put the almonds into a mixing bowl.
Add the icing sugar and mix together.
Stir in the rose water to make a sticky paste.
Now it's time to get messy!
Get your hands in and gather the mixture together into a big ball.
If it's too sticky add some more sugar, if it's too dry add a little more rose water.
Grease your cake tin with a little butter then line with greaseproof paper.
Press your mixture into the tin.
Decorate your Marchpane with glacé fruit.
Mix together one tablespoon of icing sugar and one tablespoon of rose water to glaze the top of your Marchpane - this will make it look shiny once cooked!
Bake in your preheated oven for about 30 minutes.
Your finished Marchpane should look a bit like this.
Wait for it to cool before sharing it with your family and friends!
- 200g/7oz almonds (you can also use ready-ground almonds)
- 120g/4oz icing sugar
- 2/3 tablespoons rosewater (you can buy this in health food shops and some supermarkets)
- Glacé fruit to decorate
- Pestle and mortar
- Weighing scales
- Mixing bowl
- Round 20cm cake tin
- Greaseproof paper