Subtleties are illusion foods that are designed to provide entertainment and interest at a feast. In period, they were often made to showcase the wealth and creativity of the host, and to do honour to important guests.
I adapted a recipe for Figey from the book Pleyn Delit. I did a test-run of the redacted original recipe, and it was delicious but didn't hold it's shape very well. For the final product, I added egg as a binder and extra almond meal to firm up the mix. I baked the mixture slowly in a log tin that was 3/4 full.
|The mixing bowl full of spicy, fruity goodness|
The pudding was shaped and a 'branch' added. The pudding was covered in marzipan which was painted with food colouring to look like a tree. I used a toothpick to put lines and whorls along the trunk and growth lines at the 'cut' end of the log. A depression was carved on the 'trunk' to hold an eggshell, and there was room for another eggshell in the 'vee' of the trunk and branch. Warmed brandy was poured into the shell and set alight to create the illusion of a flaming yule log. The subtletie was very well received by the guests.
|The finished log before the eggshells were added|
|The high table at the feast|