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Parma Tarts

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This recipe is very similar to the one for Grete Pyes, except that it uses pork instead of beef. There is a much larger and fancier recipe in "Du fait de cuisine" that adds banners and gold or silver leaf, as well as a number of herbs. The first time I made this the pork seemed a bit dry, so you might want to add a few tablespoons of butter and/or more dried fruit to the filling before covering and baking.


1 pound roasted pork
2 Tbsp. lard

1/2 pound chicken, boiled
1/4 cup ground pine nuts
1/4 cup currants
2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. powder fine
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch saffron

pastry for a double-crust pie


Cut pork into small pieces, about 1/2 inch cubed, and pan fry in lard. Add to remaining ingredients, mix well, and place in pie crust. Cover with top crust and bake until golden. Serve hot, breaking the top crust and dishing out the meat as desired.

Source [Le Viandier de Taillevent, J. Prescott (trans.)]: Parma tarts. Take mutton, veal or pork meat, cook it, chop it appropriately, spice it extremely reasonably with Fine Powder, and fry it in lard. Afterwards, have large uncovered pies the size of little platters, with pastry sides higher than for other pies, and made in the manner of crenellations. The pastry should be strong so that it can hold the meat. If you wish, mix some pine nut paste and currants with the meat, and crumble some sugar on top. Take some boiled and quartered chicken, and in each pie put 3 or 4 chicken quarters in which to fix the banners of France and of the lords who will be in the [royal] presence. Gild them with sprinkled saffron to be more attractive.

If you do not wish to depend so much on chicken, you need only make some flat pieces of roasted or boiled pork or mutton. When the pies are full of their meat, glaze the top of the meat with a little egg yolk and egg white beaten together, so that the meat will hold together more firmly for inserting the banners. Have some gold, silver, or tin leaf for gilding the pies in front of the banners.

Published: October 26, 2008

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