In late August the culinary group for my SCA was testing recipes for Samhain, an event in November. One of the members brought an apple pie/tart that was super delicious, and with my backyard tree producing SO many big apples this year, I kept a few for myself and made a pie/tart myself similar to the one she’d made.
I didn’t go to a period source right off the bat to make my pie – I didn’t want to spend hours trying to figure things out… Instead I started with a recipe from Anecdotes & Apple Cores, for a puff pastry apple tart.
I wasn’t feeling especially “follow the directions”-ish though – and since she was using regular store-bought apples, and I was looking at backyard apples which are smaller and more tart, I figured I could wing it a bit anyways.
The culinary member opted to leave the skins on the apples, so I did as well – which I think will improve the fibre of the dish, and lets the apples keep more of their shape.
I did three different versions:
|Version one||Version 2||Version 3|
|Used sweetener and brown sugar||Used less sweetener and brown sugar than Version 1||Same sweetener as Version 2|
|Diced the apples to 1cm cubes approx
Used 4 backyard apples for 2 tarts
|Sliced apples instead of dicing them
Used 8 backyard apples for 5 tarts
|Same apples as Version 2|
|Only spice used was cinnamon||Added cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg||Added cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg
Added pecan halves
When all my pastry was used up, I added the remaining liquid from version 2 to one tart (version 2.1…) which made it really juicy, the juice didn’t spill when I ate it, but I pinched the tart a lot to keep it sealed – which is good, because a little bit of juice I spilled on the parchment burned and was unpleasant.
Although we wouldn’t do the version with nuts for the feast (because of allergies) – the pecan one was absolutely my favourite. They were all good at room temperature, but better when warm out of the oven 🙂
Puff pastry was apparently invented in 1645, which puts it within the SCA period, but really late. The culinary group member opted to use store-bought puff pastry because it would be faster than making her own pie crust this time around, and the group liked it so much it’s the intention for the feast itself.
I did find several pie & tart recipes from the SCA period – but none of them used puff pastry…
From A Propre new booke of Cokery, a recipe is remarkably similar to the one I used for the apples…except I didn’t include the ginger. I also pre-cooked the apples, rather than having them cook in the shell- since I didn’t want to over-cook the pastry.
Das Kochbuck der Sabina Welserin, a 16th century collection of German recipes is likewise similar, though omits butter.