Are you ready for a journey through time? Different epochs await us in the series Gorchlach the legend of Cordelia, of which we are official culinary partner. And it is actually to celebrate the national premiere of the series, Saturday, March 12th at Cartoomics in Milan, that we have decided to introduce a delight that comes to us from the Middle Ages: la Tourte parmerienne.
The shape of this medieval pie recalls quiches and modern tarts: a crumbly crust of pastry lightly sweetened encloses a savory filling :). The filling is a mixture of meat, dried fruits, pine nuts and spices, all hidden by a thin layer of spinach that gives a bright green color to the tart.
The idea of this rich pie comes straight from the Middle Ages in particular from the book “Du fait de cuisine” (About cookery) by Maître Chiquart. The chef tells of the complete organization of a medieval banquet, starting from the ingredients themselves and the necessary staff, but of course also of the recipes and prayers to be recited to cure diseases. The first thing that surprised us is the quantity and size of banquets, they were huge and needed such a perfect organization to be prepared properly. To give you an idea of what Maître requires for each day of feasting: 6000 eggs, 100 piglets, 300Kg of spices… We wisely decided not to organize a medieval banquet, at least not in such proportions 😉
But let’s get to the recipes, are they still usable? Are they still appreciable nowadays? Apart from some use of gold leaves and precious stones, the recipes are excellent and collect centuries of tradition, a must for the most refined palates. In particular we loved the recipes for meat, in which some elements are constant: the use of several types of meat mixed (i.e. in today recipe we have both chicken and pork; in the original recipe there were also pigeon and quail that we eliminated them to make the recipe more easy), the combination of meat with fruits or sugar or honey and, finally, a more or less marked mixture of spices that flavor up to the whole dish :D. Now after this preamble, you have no reason to doubt the goodness of the medieval pie; it is also easy to prepare, so what are you waiting for?
If you try one of the recipes on the blog, take a photo and publish it on Instragam with the hashtag #fratelliaifornelli and tagging our profile @fratelliaifornelli.
Tourte parmerienne - Medieval Pie
For the stuffing
- 200 g pork loin
- 300 g chicken breast
- 6 dates
- 4 dried figs
- 5 prunes
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 20 g pine nuts
- 100 g fresh Caciotta cheese
- 3 eggs
- 300 g spinach
- 2 sage leaves
- 1 pinch hyssop
- 1 pinch marjoram
- 0.5 cm fresh ginger
- 3 sage leaves
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 4 berries Guinea pepper optional
- black pepper
For the dough crust
- 125 g butter softened
- 250 g flour
- 25 g sugar
- 1/2 cup water cold
Start by preparing the pastry crust. Mix butter and flour.
Add salt and water, work quickly so that the dough does not get too warm. Once it has become homogeneous lay it in the fridge to rest. 🙂
Now, the filling. Put all the dried fruits (dates, prunes, figs, raisins) to soak in warm water for about 10-15 minutes.
Cut the meat into small cubes, brown them with butter together with spices (saffron, ginger, black pepper, Guinea pepper) and herbs (parsley, sage, hyssop and marjoram).
Add the dried fruits, also cut into cubes and pine nuts (slightly crushed).
Cook the meat for about ten minutes, turn off and let aside.
Saute the spinach with a pinch of salt and a small sprinkle of pepper. Leave aside these too.
Cut caciotta cheese into very small cubes, mix with the meat and the eggs.
Now, we just have to compose the medieval pie.
Cover the bottom of pan with baking paper and butter the sides.
With a rolling pin, roll out the dough very thin, cut a disc that covers the bottom of the pan. Now prepare the strips of dough for the sides of the pan; The strips should be wide enough so that they will cover the edges of the pan and leak out of about 3cm to enclose the cake a little bit. You will still have some dough. Keep it.
Now, fill the pie with the meat distributing it evenly.
Cover the meat with spinach and form a thin layer that hides completely the meat.
Take the leftover dough and form thin strips, place them onto the pie to form a grid; re-close the edges of dough you left open before.
Bake at 180 °C for 40 minutes, once ready let cool a few minutes before serving.