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Hungarian Tart

Recipe by Jennifer Marshall-Craig

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3-4 pounds chicken
3-4 pounds pork
2 large onions
1 1/2 tsp. sweet spice
1 1/2 tsp. fine spice
1/8 tsp. saffron
pinch salt
pastry dough


Chop meat and onions into small bite sized pieces and brown in a skillet. Season with sweet spice, fine spice, saffron and salt, add water and simmer until meat is completely cooked and onions are tender.

Roll out pastry dough thinly (or just use phyllo dough). Lay a sheet of dough into a tart pan, brush with lard, layer with another sheet of dough. Continue this way for 12 layers. Fill with meat mixture and cover with 12 layers of dough, brushing between layers with lard as on the bottom. Roll bottom and top edges of dough together and tuck into tart pan. Bake in a 375°F oven for about 30 minutes until crust is browned well.

Alternately, you could use pie crust instead of thin sheets of dough layers.

CXIII Hungarian tart for twelve people. Take a good fat capon and a large pork loin, two large onions, half a pound of sweet and fine spices, three pounds of fresh grease that isn’t salted, and take as much flour as it takes to make three loaves of bread, the best that you have. Chop the capon and the pork loin into small pieces, and do the same with the onions, put all these things to fry in a good quantity of the fresh pork belly fat, adding the said sweet spices, enough saffron and a little salt. When everything is well fried add a beaker of water and allow it to cook to completion. Take the flour and blend it well with fresh salted water and knead it very well. When it is well kneaded take a tinned copper tart pan and grease it well with the fresh lard that you have. Take the well mixed dough and roll it out very thinly, layer the pastry in the tart pan, brushing with lard between each layer until there are twelve layers. Then put the capon batter and the other things in a single layer in this tart, and put several more sheets in layers, well greased with lard between each one and make a crust above the tart like a package (?). This tart should be given a little heat below and a good fire on top to cook it. To make it for more or less people take the ingredients in the same ratio.

* The final instruction to make the top crust like a "vardia" is difficult. There is no translation for vardia. The florio dictionary indicates it may be an alternative form of Guardare – to look. Which could mean the crust above is arranged for looks. Another alternative is an alternative spelling of fardo which means package.

CXIII. Torta ungaresca per xii persone. Toy uno capone ben grasso e toy uno lombolo de porco grande e do cepole grosse e meza libra de specie dolze e fine e toy trelibre d' onto fresco che non sia salato e toy tanta farina che sia tre pani, la megliore,che tu poy avere; e toy lo caponi e 'l lombolo del porco [e] fane morselletti e de le do cepole fane morselletti e meti queste cosse a sofriger in lo songiazo fresco [in] quantità; e dele dite dolze e zafarano assay e un poco de sala; e quando è ben sofrito mitige un bichiero d' aqua ch' el se cocha senza compimento, e toli la farina e destruta con aqua fresca insalata con un pocho de salina e menala molto forte, e quando è ben menato, toy uno testo de ramo ben stagnato e onzilo ben de questo lardo fresco che tu ay. Toy la pasta e menala e sotiliala con una mescola e fala sotille, e siate due a traer sotille a foglio con lardo e fane infina a xviij fogli, et postea toy questo batuto de capon e de altre cosse fane uno solo suso questa metà, e poni altre tante fogle sopra questo solo ben inaffiato ziaschuno pe si di lardo e fa una crosta de sopra per vardia. Questa torta vole poco foco de sotto e bon foco di sopra, e poy fare per piú, o per men, toiando le cosse a questa mesura.

Published: 2012-03-10