I have never been one for making pastry, to the extent that I prefer my pumpkin pie baked in a 9x9” pan sans crust. But this is a cooking challenge and considering the apparent prevalence of pies, it was time to make a new attempt at it. This recipe is 16th c., rather late for my persona, but I need to start somewhere.
I used a recipe found in Cariadoc’s Miscellany (see below) on page 45 and comes from “A Proper Newe Booke of Cokerye, ed. Catherine Frances Frere, Cambridge, W. Heffer and sons, Ltd., 1913 (16th century)” (Friedman, p. 2). The recipe is presented as follows:
To Make Short Paest for Tarte from A Proper Newe Book p. 37
Take fyne floure and a curscy of fayre water and a dysche of swete butter and a lyttel saffron,and the yolkes of two egges and make it thynne and as tender as ye maye.
- 1 c flour
- 5 t water
- 6 threads saffron
- 2 egg yolks
- 5-6 T very soft butter
Cut butter into flour, then crush saffron into 1 t of water; mix that and the rest of the water with the egg yolks and stir it into the flour-butter mixture.
Friedman, David and Elizabeth Cook (Ska: Cariadoc and Elizabeth). A Miscellany, 10th ed. Accessed online on Aug. 19, 2012.
Another online source I looked at, but didn’t use this time is A Boke of Gode Cookery, particularly the pastry recipe.
I followed Cariadoc’s redaction to make a crust for a tart in the next cooking challenge entry. The pastry dough seemed a bit wet/tacky when mixing, but behaved beautifully once it was chilled for approximately an hour. For the strawberry tart, I blind-baked the pastry for 10 minutes before filling. There was a little shrinkage on the one side, but it didn’t flop. Yay!
The saffron made for a well-colored dough, but I don’t think it flavored the pastry much. The edges crisped up nicely and the rest of the baked crust was short/buttery and not soggy. I was pleased with the result and will likely use this recipe again, certainly until I find a more period-for-my-persona recipe that works.
(originally posted to LiveJournal: April 27, 2013.)