Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tarte Owt of Lente: A Cheese Tart From the 16th Century

A Tart Owt of Lente: A Cheese Tart From a 16th Century Recipe

This recipe is from an online class by FutureLearn called A History of Royal Food and Feasting and was presented in Week 1 of the course which focuses on the foods eaten by Henry VII and his court at Hampton Court Palace, particularly the foods that may have been served at the christening of King Henry's only son, Edward, on 15 October 1537. Other than wafers, there is no mention of the menu for the Christening. However, it is possible that a cheese tart such as the one described below may have been on the menu for such a momentous and special occasion. It is made with many ingredients that were banned during lent such as cheese, butter, cream and eggs; therefore, it was a bit decadent.

Original Recipe: Tarte Owt of Lente
Gentyll manly Cokere (MS Pepys 1047, c.1500)

Take neshe chese and pare hit and grynd hit yn A morter and breke egges and do ther to and then put yn buttur and creme and mell all well to gethur put not to moche butter ther yn if the chese be fatte make A coffyn of dowe and close hit a bove with dowe and color hit  a bove with the yolkes of eggs and bake hit well and serue hit furth.

Modern Recipe Adaptation 
(partially from  Future Learn's Course entitle A History of Royal Food and Feasting, University of Reading and partly my own)

  • 100g/3.5 Ounces Cheshire Cheese 
  • 150ml/2/3 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Large  Egg 
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • Shortcrust or other pastry 
  • Egg yolk to glaze
1. Place the cheese in a food processor and pulse until it forms into a paste.
2. Add the cream, butter, egg, and pepper. Continue to pulse until well-blended.
3. Make a pastry tart case, about 25cm (10inches) diameter – you can use a regular-size tart tin if easier – and thin pastry lid.
4. Fill the case with cheese, cream, egg and butter mixture, then put on the pastry lid – seal and glaze with egg yolks.
5. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes or until golden. 

Unbaked Tart Ready For the Oven
Tarte Owt of Lente Slice

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