Recipe by Felice Debbage
When I created this recipe, I took a few liberties in the design to speed up the process and make it taste a bit more like the dessert most people are familiar with. First, I didn't grind up the fruit in a mortar, as I was concerned that this could turn into applesauce pie. Some fruit pie recipes in period call for grinding, while others say to just cut up the fruit. Second, I decided to put butter in it. Some recipes in period call for butter or lard as a binder, while others don't. Seeing that modern apple pie is made with butter and chopped up apple bits, I decided it was reasonable to assume that someone in period could have made this sort of pie with butter and chopped fruit. So that's what I did, and my goodness, is it ever tasty.
When I made this for Mugmort Melees feast, I got Pillsbury crescent rolls and made individual hand-held pies for people to take along with them. Certain brands of instant crescent rolls happen to be vegan, some contain dairy or eggs, and some others inexplicably contain beef tallow. Read the ingredients carefully. You can also bake this in a pie crust with or without a top. Certain sources suggest that a "cofyn" may have been a pie crust without a top, but since many tarts and pies in period did have tops, I think it'd probably be reasonable to bake this one with a top, as well.
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried figs
2 Tbsp. butter, margerine, or vegan butter
1 tsp. powder douce
pinch saffron, to color
Take all fruits and cut them up into small pieces. Mix fruit, spices, and butter in a bowl until well combined. Place filling in a pie crust, and bake for 45-50 minutes or until done.
(The recipe can be made vegan. Serves 6-8 as a pie; 16 when the filling is placed inside biscuits or crescent rolls.)
Source [Forme of Cury, S. Pegge (ed.)]: XXIII. For To Make Tartys In Applis. Tak gode Applys and gode Spycis and Figys and reysons and Perys and wan they are wel ybrayed colourd wyth Safroun wel and do yt in a cofyn and do yt forth to bake wel.
[Take good apples and good spices, figs, raisins, and pears, and when they are well ground up, color with saffron, put it in a pie crust, and bake.]
Published: April 24, 2011
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