Easter cake: from Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg, Hs. 15039 (16th century)

The library of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg owns a manuscript of a mid-16th century cookery book. It contains a recipe for an eastercake. In former times, people in Swabia used to bake easter cakes on Good Friday. Zincgref, a 17th century author, wrote: "eine frau hett am karfreitag (wie es im Schwabenland der brauch ist) gemacht und gebacken ir osterfladen" (quoted by the "Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm", Vol. VII (= 13) 1375).

Ein osterfladen zu pachen

Nembt 3 air macht ein poden wie Sonnst. nembt darnach 12 air vnd klopft sy wol thut ein geribenß Semel mel darein wie zue einem belsterlein das er nit zue starckh sey vnd ein 1/2 h weinperla vnndt Meye schmaltz schyde es auf den podenn der gewelgerdt ist pachest resch herab so ist er recht

To bake an easter cake

Take three eggs and make a bottom (a batter for the bottom) as usual. Then take 12 eggs and mix them thoroughly. Add crumbs of grated rolls as you would do for fritters (?), so that the batter (the cake) won't be too thick. Add half a pound (half of a hundred?) of dried wine grapes and butter of may (that counts as the best butter). Put it onto the batter for the bottom, that has been rolled thin. Bake it until it is crispy, then it is prepared.

Some notes

poden: see boden (bottom; pie for the bottom); in the bavarian dialects, p and b frequently interchange; see also belsterlein. -- belsterlein: see DWb VII (13), 1987 sub verbo polster: "ein krapfenähnliches gebäck" (example from Fischart). See also Hopf Nr. 292, where the use of pelster in a passage of Rumpolt (fol. 169a) is inadequately explained with "Pfropfreis". Rumpolt wrote: "Mach ein Teig an von lauter Eyern/ daß du jhn fein du:enn wie ein Papier kanst außtreiben/ leg jn zwyfachtig/ vnd walg jhn widerumb mit einem Walger/ schneidt Pelster mit einem Ra:edtlein/ zeuch sie eyn in Butter/ (...)". Obviously this has nothing to do with rice but rather with the form of a sort of pastry or cake of a certain kind. -- 1/2 h: The abbreviation looks like h. I don't know something like that as a unit of measure. Maybe it means a pound or a hundred? -- weinperla: New High German Weinbeerlein; -la is frequently used as a diminutive for -lein in former times and in some dialects of today. -- Meye schmaltz: see DWb VI (12) 1472 s.v. Maibutter "im mai bereitete, besonders schmackhafte butter"; Hopf Nr. 533 quotes a passage from Anna Wecker (p. 24). -- schyde: cf. schuetten -- gewelgert: cf. waelgern (DWb XIII (27), 1236ff.). -- pachest: maybe a mistake for pach es = backe es, bake it. -- resch: see roesch. -- DWb = Deutsches Woerterbuch von Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm. 16 Baende (32 Teile) und ein Quellenverzeichnis. Leipzig 1854-1971. Nachdruck Muenchen 1984. -- Hopf = Susanne Hopf: Lexikalische Studien zur Sprache in Kochbuechern des spaeten Mittelalters und der fruehen Neuzeit. Diss. Halle 1991.