Friday, 7 May 2010

A Faire Tarte

I actually like cooking so long as it is something special, and for an appreciative audience (And nothing goes horribly wrong!). Tomorrow, I'm producing a LARP meal for 14. That means lots of courses and medievalish recipes, and today will be spent largely in the kitchen. I say "ish" because LARPers don't fuss much about historical accuracy, so long as it gives the right feeling. The menu goes:

The First Remove:
Pottage of Barley yseethed
Brede and sweet butter
The Seconde Remove:
A faire Tarte of Brie Cheese and Saffron
Salat of Herbes

The Third Remove:
A Grete Pye of Beeff and good Beer
A Coffyn Pye with Rootes laid thereto
Sweet Apple Rapeye

The Fourth Remove:
Hony Cake
A white rosewater Leche

Faire Cheeses shall be served thereafter

The most inaccurate thing on the menu, btw, is the vegetable pie.

Anyway, I thought I'd share the recipe for Brie and Saffron Tart, which is quite easy to make for a special meal. It's not cheap, it's not low-carb and it's not low calorie, but it's well worth it, I promise! And you'll be hooked on saffron forever...

  • 1 teaspoon saffron stems (that's the expensive bit!)
  • Flakey/puff pastry (you can buy it in packs - you need a 400g lump or approx 3/4lb)
  • 3/4 pint (400ml) of double cream
  • 1/2lb (225g) Brie cheese (can you get that in the US? I hear it is a cheese wilderness over there...)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 eggs + two extra yolks

1) Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and use it to line a 10-inch flan dish, discarding excess pastry. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 10 minutes. It'll expand like a pastry shoggoth balloon, but collapse once you get it out to cool, so don't worry. Turn the oven right down to 200 degrees F (100 degrees C)

2) Put the cream, saffron and chopped cheese (including rind) in a covered bowl in the oven for 20-30 minutes: the cheese should melt and the saffron should dissolve into the cream, colouring it yellow.

3) Transfer mix to a blender and blend briefly - a few lumps add character. Add the ginger and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.

4) In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Then whip them into the cheese mixture.

5) Pour into the pastry case, and bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 30 minutes, until set firm and golden. Eat hot or cold.

I bet you'll want seconds!


Beth said...

I can't afford saffron but perhaps I should have a go at Shoggoth bread from this recipe:

Jo said...

Did you by any chance see that programme with Sue... someone the comedian and Giles... someone, the journalist, where they live as people from certain eras for a week or so, dressing as them, eating all their's really entertaining.

I was amused to see how fashionble spices were at one point when they started being imported. EVERyTHING was spicy :)

Janine Ashbless said...

Sue Perkins and Giles Coren, doing "Supersizers Go..." you mean? I watched it avidly!

Janine Ashbless said...

Beth - shoggoth bread looks a lot like Herman, which I remember from when I was 14 or so. Anyone else remember it? There was a huge craze for breeding and sharing Herman cake. And it was delicious, as I remember, but there was always too much of it ...

Jo said...

Gah, Janine, I clicked on your link. I'm going to be sick :)

Oh it's sourdough. Now I get the breeding... I was baffled by the friendship cake idea.

That's the programme, of course. They're great.