Lombardy Custard, aka “Crustade Lumbard” is a Prune, Date and Bone Marrow Custard pie. It dates from at least the early 1400s in England.
It was a dish for the more wealthy of the ear; it draws on figs and sugar from the Middle East.
With its mixture of meat and fruit, the recipe is still firmly rooted in the Middle Ages.
Note that the pie shell crust would likely have been a free-standing one — that is, not baked in a pie pan.
The bone marrow would just melt into the pie, like pieces of butter.
Literature & Lore
“Take good cream, and leaves of parsley. Take eggs, both the yolks and the white, and break the eggs into the cream, and strain through a strainer until the mixture be so stiff that be will stand up by itself. Then take marrow, and chopped up dates, and prunes. Layer the dates with the prunes and marrow in a pie shell and pre-bake a bit. Then take out of the oven. Take the egg and cream mixture and fill up the pie shell. Cast sugar on it, and salt. Then let it bake together until it be enough. If this is in Lent, leave the eggs and marrow out. Then serve.”
“Take gode creme, & leuys of Percely, & Eryoun, the yolkys & the whyte, & breke hem therto, & strayne throwe a straynoure tyl it be so styf that it wol bere hym-self. Than take fayre Marwe & Datys y-cutte in ij or iij & Prunes & putte the Datys on the Prunes & Marwe on a fayre Cofynne y-mad of fayre past & put the cofyn on the ovyn tyl it be a lytel hard. Thanne draw hem out of the ovyn. Take the lycour & putte ther-on &fyll it uppe & caste Sugre y-now on, & salt; then lat it bake togederys tyl it be y-now; & if it be in lente, let the Eyroun & the Marwe out & thanne serve it forth.” — Austin, Thomas. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 & Harl. MS. 4016, with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1429, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. London: for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888.
Levy, Janey. Recipes for a Medieval Feast: Working Flexibly with Fractions. Rosen Classroom, 2006 .Page 24