I have a good friend who went on a summer trip to England a few years ago and she brought me back this wonderful book, A Recipe Book in the Tudor Fashion. In this book is a Tudor recipe for a strawberry tart, taken from the cookbook A Proper Newe Booke of Cokerye. Books dating this far back can be a little difficult to decipher, but luckily the book did all the work for me. I halved this recipe because it's just me and Mr. Man and I didn't want to make too much, however this recipe only makes enough for two 18-inch pans, so it's really not a lot to begin with.
To make short paest for tarte.
Take fyne floure and a cursey of
fayre water and a dysche of swete butter and
a lyttel saffron, and the yolckes of two egges
and make it thynne and as tender as ye
To make a tarte of strawberyes.
Take and strayne theym wyth the yolkes
of foure egges, and a lyttle whyte breade
grated, then season it up wyth suger and
swete butter and so bake it.
The taste was not necessarily bad, however the texture of the strawberries inside was a little strange for me. I also think I should've baked my tart a bit longer, so that may be part of it. I much prefer my strawberries at least partially intact. This tart was not very sweet either, but I've come to find that a lot of historical recipes are not very sweet. Probably due to changing tastes, I imagine. Anyway, this is okay, but I would not make it again. I'd rather eat a strawberry pie.
(Adapted from A Proper Newe Booke of Cokerye)
250 grams PLAIN FLOUR
100 grams UNSALTED BUTTER, softened
pinch of SAFFRON (for color, omit if desired)
2 EGG YOLKS, beaten
4 tablespoons COLD WATER
1. Grind the saffron to powder (use the back of a spoon if you don't have a mortar and pestle) and add to the flour.
2. Add the flour to the soft butter and rub it between your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Add the egg yolks and some water if necessary to create a dough which sticks together.
4. Roll out thin and use to line a greased 18cm flan tin.
250 grams STRAWBERRIES
3 EGG YOLKS, beaten
50 grams WHITE BREADCRUMBS
3 tablespoons SUGAR
25 grams UNSALTED BUTTER, softened
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Puree the strawberries in a blender and pour into a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
2. Pour strawberry mixture into the prepared (unbaked) tart crust and decorate the top with the trimmings.
3. Use milk or egg yolk as a glaze and bake until the pastry is golden.
That is a fine looking tart, is it not? Also a very attractive picture.