Renaissance Tansie Recipes

Tansy HerbTansy, a Medicinal Herb, Also Known as Golden Buttons
(Source: ©olesia/

Renaissance Tansie recipes were quite common during the Renaissance Era and were also popular during earlier medieval times. Tansies are an ancient custard-like pancake dish that incorporates rich cream and eggs and is sometimes thickened with dry bread crumbs.

Apple slices were often added to the tansie batter along with lemon juice, but it could also contain other types of fruit, such as thin slices of lemon, or even edible flower blossoms. Spinach juice was traditionally used to color the tansie batter green.

Authentic Renaissance Tansie Recipes

The Historical Easter Treat

The Queen-like Cloſet or Rich Cabinet (1672)

Tansies are easy to make and taste quite delicious, especially since these later tansie recipes avoid the bitter taste of tansy. Enjoy a unique, historical treat at Easter time.

To make an Apple Tanſie

Take a Quart of Cream, one Manchet grated, the yolks of ten Eggs, and four Whites, a little Salt, ſome Sugar, and a little Spice, then cut your Apples in round thin ſlices, and lay them into your Frying-Pan in order, your Batter being hot, when your Apples are fried, pour in your Butter, and fry it on the one ſide, then turn it on a Pie-Plate and ſlide it into the Pan again, and fry it, then put it on a Pie-Plate, and ſqueeze the Juice of a Limon over it, and ſtrew on fine Sugar, and ſerve it to the Table.

To make a green Tanſie to fry, or boil over a Pot

Take a quart of Cream, the yolks of one dozen of Eggs and half, their Whites well beat, mix them together, and put in one Nutmeg grated, then colour it well with the Juice of Spinage, and ſweeten it with Sugar; then fry it with Butter as you do the other, and ſerve it in the ſame manner; but you muſt lay thin ſlices of Limon upon this.

If you will not fry it, then butter a Diſh, and pour it therein, and ſet it upon a Pot of boiling water till it be enough; this is the better and eaſier way.

Thus you may make Tanſies of any other things, as Cowſlips, Rasberries, Violets, Marigolds, Gilliflowers, or any ſuch like, and colour them with their Juice; you may uſe green Wheat inſtead of Spinage.

About the Renaissance Tansie Recipes

Mount Grace Priory, YorkshireRuins of 14th Century Mount Grace Priory in North Yorkshire
(Source: ©Don Bell)

Though tansies were traditionally eaten and enjoyed by people the year-round, they were especially popular around Easter time. You won't find a more traditional Easter dish.

Don Bell at Mount Grace PrioryDon at Mount Grace Priory
(Source: ©Don Bell)

In medieval times, tansies were often garnished with bitter-tasting leaves from the herb "tansy," from which they were given their name.

They were eaten at Easter in remembrance of the "bitter herbs" of Passover, and as a supposed side benefit, the tansy herb was thought to control flatulence and prevent intestinal worms after eating large quantities of salted fish during Lent.

Renaissance Baking Supplies

Renaissance Baking Supplies

Baking supplies such as Gum Dragon and 23kt edible Gold Leaf are very hard to find locally, but I've located the historical ingredients you need to prepare and host your own Renaissance banquet or fair. Just click the button below for more information.

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Grandma's button hooks for  fastening tight buttons on leather boots and gloves.