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Leche Lumbarde

Recipe by Daniel Myers

This recipe is similar to Gyngerbrede, except that it uses dates softened in wine as a base instead of honey. It's less sweet than the gyngerbrede, and more like a date nut bar without the nuts.


1 cup dates, pitted
1 cup wine
1/2 cup water
1/8 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ginger
10 slices bread, ground
red sandalwood powder (optional)


Put dates, wine, and water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until dates are soft - about 10 minutes - and then drain, reserving liquid. Grind dates until smooth and return to the pot. Add the sugar, spices, and the wine the dates were cooked in, and return briefly to a boil. The mixture should be very thick. Remove from heat and add bread crumbs a little at a time. When completely mixed, press out flat and slice into one-inch squares. Dust with red sandalwood powder if desired. (makes approximately 45 pieces)

v - Leche lumbarde. Take Datys, an do a-way the stonys, and sethe in swete Wyne; take hem vppe, an grynd hem in a mortere; draw vppe thorw a straynoure with a lytyl whyte Wyne and Sugre, And caste hem on a potte, and lete boyle tylle it be styff; then take yt vppe, and ley it on a borde; than take pouder of Gyngere and Canelle, and wryng it, and molde it to-gederys in thin hondys, and make it so styf that it wolle be lechyd; and 3if it be no3t styf y-nowe, take hard 3olkys of Eyron and kreme (Note: Crimme; crumble) ther-on, or ellys grated brede, and make it thicke y-now; then take clareye, and caste ther-on in maner of a Syryppe, when thou shalt serue it forth.

Auter leche lumbard. Take faire hony, and clarefy it in the fire til hit (Note: Douce MS. adds after hit: 'wex hard: and take hard yolkes of eyrene and cryme hem a grett quantite ther-to, till it,' andc.; )be stiff ynowe; and then take hit vppe and ley hit on a borde; and take faire grated brede and pouder of peper, and mell al togidre with thi honde, til hit be so stiff that hit wol be leched; and leche hit. And then take wyne, pouder of Gynger, Canell, and a litel clarefied hony, and lete ren thorgh a streynour, and cast the sirip there-on, whan that thou shall serue hit in stede of Clarre.

Published: 2008-08-07