8. Mushroom pastries

Pies, pies, pies!  This time I’m trying a savory pie.  Mushrooms and cheese are pretty ubiquitous and vegetarian friendly.

I’m working out of Cariadoc’s Miscellany (see below) again, and this recipe is on page 41.  The original is from ”Le Menagier de Paris”,from 1395 (Friedman, p. 2, see below under ‘sources’) and closer to my persona’s time frame.  The recipe is presented as follows:

Mushroom Pastries Menagier p. M-25

Mushrooms of one night are the best, and are small and red inside, closed above; and they should be peeled, then wash in hot water and parboil; if you wish to put them in pastry add oil, cheese, and powdered spices.

Fine Powder of Spices (Menagier p. M-40):

Take an ounce and a drachm of white ginger, a quarter-ounce of hand-picked cinnamon, half a quarter-ounce each of grains and cloves, and a quarter-ounce of rock sugar, and grind to powder.

  • 1 lb mushrooms
  • 9 oz Parmesan
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t ginger
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • ⅛ t grains of paradise
  • ⅛ t cloves
  • 1/4 t sugar

Slice mushrooms and parboil (put into boiling water and cook two minutes); drain. Grate or chop cheese. Grind grains of paradise and mix up spices. Mix mushrooms, ⅔ of cheese, spices and oil. Put mixture into crust, put remaining cheese over. Makes scant 9" pie. Bake about 20-25 minutes at 350°.


Friedman, David and Elizabeth Cook (Ska: Cariadoc and Elizabeth). A Miscellany, 10th ed.  Accessed on Aug. 19, 2012.

On p. 2 of A Miscellany, the following information is given on the original source material:

”Le Menagier de Paris, 1395, tr. Janet Hinson (Lady Mairoli Bhan); also translated as The Goodman of Paris, Power and Coulton, tr., but with only selections from the recipes. Recipes from Power and Coulton are given as “Goodman;” recipes from Hinson are given as “Menagier.” Page references are to volume II of the collection of source material we used to sell. There is also a recent (and apparently complete) translation by Greco and Rose which we have not yet worked with. The Hinson translation is webbed here

The Venture

I used the “Short Paest” (cooking challenge 6) for the crust.  Since I don’t have grains of paradise, I used 17 black pepper corns and the contents of one green cardamom pod (what I had on hand).

There is no apparent binder in this recipe, such as eggs, and I was afraid it was going to turn out soupy/wet.  The blanching of the mushrooms seems to have broken them down enough to release the water sufficiently and avoid this problem.  The cheese provides enough binding.

The Verdict

The consistency is fine.  I associate this combination of spices (excepting pepper) with sweet pies, but they are fine, and perhaps I need to readjust my palate.  This pie would work well on a side board or lunch basket, and is quite tasty cold.  I might consider trying another firm cheese next time, like an aged gouda.

(Originally posted to LiveJournal: April 29, 2013)