Frumenty (or Furmenty)

With Christmas now just a memory we are fast approaching Easter which occurs early this year. But first we progress through the lean times of Lent.

Frumenty (also known as Furmenty) was used in Medieval times as both a porridge type dish and also as an accompaniment for meat, game and porpoise (!).

This dish was traditionally eaten on Ash Wednesday at which time the egg yolks could not be included. Originally frumenty would have been made with wheat grains but I have used bulgur wheat as it is simpler and quicker to use. This makes a dish somewhere between porridge and rice pudding. Very filling!

Ingredients - serves 4 to 6

2½oz (60g) mixed dried fruit 7fl oz (200ml) boiling water
7oz (200g) bulgur wheat 4oz (100g) ground almonds
¾ pint (425ml) milk 2 large egg yolks, beaten
¾ pint (425ml) cold water 2oz (50g) sugar
3½fl oz (100ml) brandy, sherry or strong cider  


  1. Soak the dried fruit in the alcohol for at least an hour (this can be done overnight).
  2. Put the bulgur wheat, cold water and half the milk in a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 mins making sure that it does not boil dry. Leave to stand.
  3. Pour the boiling water over the ground almonds and allow to soak for approx 15 mins.
  4. Strain through a sieve, pressing all the liquid out of the ground almonds. Reserve the liquid and throw away the ground almonds.
  5. Add the rest of the milk, the almond water and the dried fruit mixture to the bulgur mixture.
  6. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and stir in the egg yolks.
  7. Simmer the mixture for a couple of minutes then stir in the sugar and remove from the heat.
  8. Let it cool for a few minutes before serving.


bulgar wheat
Dried Fruit