Monday, July 20, 2009

Apple Tarts

Okay, I must be insane. I have been baking in July, in 90°F temperatures. But the results have been soooo yummy.

The most recent pies were apple tartlets. And yes, these are medieval in origin. They serve as a nice reminder that everything old is new again.

Apple Tart
Original Recipe
Curye on Inglysch
Page 78, Rec 82
For to make tartys in apples, take gode applys & gode spyces & figys & reysons & perys & wan Þey arn wel ybrayed color wyÞ safroun wel & do yt in a cofyn & do yt forth to bake wel.

For to make tarts in apples, take good apples and good spices and figs and raisins and pears and when they are well pounded, color with saffron well and do it in a coffin and bake it well.

I used the Middle English Dictionary to translate terms I didn't understand.

Bray means well-pounded or cut into very small pieces.

2 Apples (Gala apples are similar to European apples)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Clove
1/3 tsp Coriander
1/8 tsp Mace
3 oz Figs
2 oz Raisins
1 Pear
1/4 tsp Saffron
1/4 tsp salt
Single batch of Pie Dough (use the same recipe as in the pork tart)

Peel apples and pears. Peel and chop apples, pears, and figs into small pieces. Add raisins and spices. Mix well.

The original recipe calls for a thick free-standing pie crust about 1" to 2" tall, but a thinner pie crust in a pan will work. Roll pie dough for 9" pies or 4" mini tarts. Put mixture to pie dough and bake at 350°F until done. I was doing 4" rounds folded over on themselves, so they were taking about 15 minutes.

I wanted a pie that could be hand-held, didn't make a mess, and eaten cold. I started by cutting the dough into about 4" rounds and folding the sides up and sealing the top and ends. Success on the hand-held part.

The figs and raisins provide all the sweetness for the filling; no sugar is necessary. As a result, I don't have a syrupy filling, which is all to the good. No goo oozes out of the pie and onto hands or clothes. Success on the not making a mess part.

These pies are excellent cold. In fact, I think they are better cold than warm. Definite success on the eaten cold part.

I definitely recreated the recipe backwards. I started by making a large batch of pies (70+ 4"inch rounds) so I didn't really pay much attention to how much filling I made. I also had dithered between making the pies totally hand-held or putting them into individual tart pans and didn't make a decision until I started rolling out the dough. Let's just say I had oodles of filling left over, so I plan to use it in as a compote with shortbread later. I have scaled the above recipe down from the initial experiment. I'm not entirely sure how many pies this recipe will fill; I was making little tarts.

No comments: