This fourteenth-century recipe for a “spread” or “enriched” toast comes from Kent. The origin of the name is obscure. Honeycomb was made very hot, sprinkled with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, stirred well and spread on toasted trenchers. Sometimes butter was stirred in too and pine kernels or split and toasted almonds “planted” in the honey. Such toasts were considered a delicacy and four or more slices were served on a large platter at dinner as one of the dishes of the second course. This slightly adapted recipe makes a warming, heartening and delicious dish.
Put the honey in a small, heavy saucepan over low heat. As soon as it is hot (it should not quite boil), stir in the spices and continue to heat for 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the toast and butter it while it is hot. Spread the spiced honey thickly over the toast, sprinkle with pine kernels or almonds, and serve.
©1980 The Estate of Elizabeth Ayrton