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[Pastry] Gloves, or Paste Work

Translation of a 16th century Italian Recipe.

From Christoforo di Messisbugo, Banchetti composizioni di vivande e apparecchio generale (Lucio Spineda, Venice, 1610)

p49v A fare dieci piatti di Guanti,1 ouero Reticelli. (To make ten platings of Gloves, or else of Paste work.)

Take two and a half pounds of white flour, and four ounces of sugar, and six egg yolks, and one pound of fresh butter, or else of suet, when it is good it will better, and three ounces of rose water, and a pinchof saffron, and make your pastry, and make the sheets, and cut them large, and small as you would prefer them, curling them with the hand. Then fry them in three pounds of suet, and see that to serve they have over six ounces of sugar.

The paste works2 make with a third less of ingredients to cover a tart when you do not want to make it with a sheet of pastry over, or to cover tartlets more lightly than others, and make the dough as you would make the sheets, then cut it into rows as wide as one finger, and lengths as long as you would, and fry them in suet.

1. Yes, these really are pastry gloves. I've been aware for a while that these were sometimes served at the end of a feast; it's nice to have a recipe for them. The example that I've found of these being served comes from Lancellotti's menu of the 13th of August 1626 - so given the recipe shows up in Messisbugo, who was writing in the late 1540s, these have obviously been around for a while. Lancellotti's, however, are described as "guanti in frutti" so it's possible that they are made from a sort of fruit paste instead. In Lancellotti's menu, at the end of the meal guests are given gifts in order of ranking - some of the gifts given are really rather grand, but I will list them elsewhere when I move onto writing up that kind of thing.

2. These are the "reticelle". Given that embroidered reticella is worked in grid-based patterns, I wonder if the final layout for these is meant to be a kind of lattice work?