Food from the Medieval Market

Selection of cookies and baked goods displayed in birch bark boxes for sale at the Turku Medieval Market.

Selection of cookies and baked goods displayed in birch bark boxes for sale at the Turku Medieval Market.

While at the Turku Medieval Market, there were many different food vendors. What really attracted me wasn’t so much the types of food being offered, but the unique and interesting ways that the food was being prepared, displayed, and plated.

I thought that I’d share this, largely for my friends in the SCA who are passionate about the culinary arts. I don’t know how many of these foods are historically accurate to the middle ages; if you have thoughts on them, please share with me and other readers in the comments!

Continue reading

Period Cooking – Apple tart

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.

Apple tart/pie progress… next shot… me eating them. Not shown… cus… delicious !

A post shared by Dawn (@sadinadawn) on

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 ūüôā

Period…ish

Apple tart in a puff pastry shell - using backyard apples

Apple tart in a puff pastry shell – using backyard apples

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.

Read more!

Read more about the Montengarde Culinary group on their blog: http://montengardeculinarygroup.blogspot.ca/ & see what else I might be making by following me on Instagram!

Want to see when I post new articles to the blog? Either click the “follow” link, or join my Facebook page to get updates in your news feed, OR follow me on Twitter for tweets about my posts.