Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tarte owt of Lente #blogjune Day 23

Two of my favourite interests are history and cooking. And at the moment I am enjoying both with my MOOC through FutureLearn.  It's conducted by the University of Reading in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces and the theme is food cooked in the royal palaces of Britain. It goes for five weeks and covers five monarchs. It's called "A History of Royal Food and Feasting".   Apart from the historical exploration, there is cooking exploration and each week we have recipes to experiment with.

This Tarte owt of Lente is my first recipe, a Tudor cheese pie which includes all the ingredients people would have eaten in Lent: cheese, butter and cream.  I know these are not necessarily what all would think of as fasting, but there you go. Tudor recipes, such as this one, are guides for cooking rather than prescriptive lists of ingredients and procedures. We watched a video cooking demonstration as part of the course. But I didn't want to cook it quite as the demonstrator had done, so I enjoyed myself playing around with possibilities. I used a combination of ricotta and Cheshire cheese, while he used just Cheshire, though we were told that soft cheeses were also used. Yummy!


375 gr ricotta
30 gr Cheshire cheese
2 eggs
100 ml thick cream
2 sheets shortcrust pastry
Freshly ground pepper



Preheat oven to 180c
Remove pastry from freezer (in my lazy case) or make with butter and flour
Crumble the Cheshire into a mortar
Pound with pestle until soft and combined
Scrape the Cheshire into a mixing bowl
Add ricotta and combine cheeses
Add one egg to the cheese mixture and combine until smooth
Add cream and stir to combine
Add generous amounts of freshly ground pepper and stir
Line a pie or tart dish with pastry base
Add cheese mixture
Beat the remaining egg with a fork in a cup
Cut the pastry lid for the pie and cover the pie, using the egg mixture to seal
With a pastry-brush cover the top of the pie with the egg mixture
Bake in 180c oven for 45 minutes

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Have you ever read the blog The Old Foodie ( It is written by my former GP Janet Clarkson. She is taking a break from writing at the moment but it is worth a look over the blog archive. She has also written a couple of books of food history.


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