A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents


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

DESCRIPTION: Violet Pudding


Vyolette. Take Flourys of Vyolet, boyle hem, presse hem, bray hem smal, temper hem vppe with Almaunde mylke, or gode Cowe Mylke, a-lye it with Amyndoun or Flowre of Rys; take Sugre y-now, an putte þer-to, or hony in defaute; coloure it with þe same þat þe flowrys be on y-peyntid a-boue.

- 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.


  • 2 C violet petals, trimmed and rinsed
  • 1 C water
  • 1 1/2 C unstrained almond milk
  • 2 T rice flour
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp saffron, optional
1. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in violet petals, return to the boil, stirring constantly, for one minute. Drain the petals in a sieve, and press out as much water as possible.

2. On a cutting board, finely mince the boiled petals, and mash them to a paste.

3. In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring almond milk to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring frequently, for two minutes. Stir in mashed petals. Stir in rice flour, a bit at a time, Stir in sugar and saffron. Continue to simmer and stir for five minutes. Serve in individual small bowls.

Serves four.


This recipe gives choices for just about every ingredient. I chose almond milk and rice flour because I had almond milk I needed to use up, and happened to have rice flour on hand. The "flowrys y-peyntid aboue" mentioned in the original recipe refer to the previous recipe, and were painted with saffron or sandalwood. Why anyone would further color this lovely lavender pudding with yellow or red is beyond me. Although it it not specifically mentioned, I chose to simmer the almond milk and rice flour in order to aid thickening and cook the flour. One might consider using the violet colored water left after boiling the petals to use making the almond milk.

This dish has the consistency of thick oatmeal, and is pleasantly sweet. The saffron, as well as changing the color from lavender to pale yellow-green, adds a saffron taste which covers up the delicate violet taste it originally has. (Oh well, that's what the primary source says to do, and we've got to take them at their word.) Using strained almond milk or cow milk will give it a smoother texture, but might require more rice flour to thicken it.

Metric, Celsius, & Gas Mark Equivalencies

A Boke of Gode CookeryRecipes from A Newe Boke of Olde Cokery

Vyolette © 2000 Rudd Rayfield | This page © 2000 James L. Matterer

A Newe Boke of Olde Cokery

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