A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents


PERIOD: England, 15th century | SOURCE: Harleian MS. 279 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Pork meatballs in Almond Milk


.Cxxxviij. Pumpes. Take an sethe a gode gobet of Porke, & noyt to lene, as tendyr as þou may; þan take hem vppe & choppe hem as smal as þou may; þan take clowes and Maces, & choppe forth with-alle, & Also choppe forth with Roysonys of courance; þan take hem & rolle hem as round as þou may, lyke to smale pelettys, a .ij. inches a-bowte, þan ley hem on a dysshe be hem selue; þan make a gode Almaunde mylke, & lye it with floure of Rys, & lat it boyle wyl, but loke þat it be clene rennyng; & at þe dressoure, ley .v. pompys in a dysshe, & pore þin potage ther-on. An yif þou wolt, sette on euery pompe a flos campy flour, & a-boue straw on Sugre y-now, & Maces: & serue hem forth. And sum men make þe pellettys of vele of Beeff, but porke ys beste & Fayrest.

- Austin, Thomas. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 & Harl. MS. 4016, with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1429, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. London: for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888. 


Pumpes. Take and boil a good piece of pork, & not to lean, as tender as you can find; then take it up and chop it as small as you can; then take cloves and mace, and chop with the pork, & also chop with currants; then take it and roll it as small as you can, like small pellets, 2 inches in size, then lay them on a dish by themselves; then make a good almond milk, & thicken it with rice flour, & let it boil well, but make sure it's not too thick; & at the table, lay 5 pumpes in a dish, and pour the sauce on. And if you will, set on every pumpe a decorative flower, and strew on sugar, & mace: and serve. And some men make the pellets of beef veal, but pork is best & fairest.


  • 1 ½ lb. pork roast
  • ½ cup currants, diced
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. each cloves and mace
  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • 4 tbs. flour
  • pinch salt
  • sugar & mace for garnish
Cut the pork into pieces and boil until tender; drain and let cool. Chop the cooked pork as small as possible, either by hand or with a food grinder/processor. Mix well with the currants and spices. Mold the meat mixture into small 2 inch pellets and place in a 375° F oven for approx. 15-20 minutes or until reheated. While the pumpes are being warmed, heat the almond milk in a pan over medium heat. Add the flour and salt and stir together thoroughly. Allow to cook until the mixture thickens slightly. Lay 5 pumpes on a dish, cover with almond milk and garnish each with a small red (non-toxic) wildflower. Sprinkle on a little sugar and mace and serve.

Almond Milk can be made according to the instructions here in the Gode Boke, or you can substitute with the modern Swedish method of making almond milk by flavoring whole milk with almond oil or extract.

A flos campy flour was a small red wildflower, used decoratively; if using a real flower, be sure what you choose is non-toxic, especially when serving this dish with children present. I often avoid the problem by making small flowers of candy, sugar paste, marzipan, etc. This usually presents no edible danger!

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Pumpes © 2000 James L. Matterer

A Boke of Gode Cookery Recipes

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