As so often happens I was craving sweet this afternoon, so I decided to make something sweet after dinner out of the sad fruit that was sitting around. I had two grumpy pears and a few grumpy apples sitting around as well as some puff pastry in the fridge – which of course meant that I had to do a version of a medieval or early modern Pear and apple pie.
As fare as I know puff pastry is not really medieval but more of a early modern thing. So lets call it a renaissance pear pie. Yeah that sounds nice. I decided to use a medieval recipe for the filling though. But Denmark was renowned for having old fashioned food tastes, I will call it plausible. Also I really like the taste of powder douce. The renaissance pear pie recipe I was looking at used only ginger and cinnamon though. If I had my postej pastry out of the freezer I would have a more medieval pie.
I based this on a recipe from Forme of Cury from circa 1390:
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.1
Or in understandable readable english: “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.”2
I have modified it a little bit or rather mixed it with other recipes from the period so that I cut the fruit instead of mashing it together. If you need a recipe for Powder douce you can find it at medievalcookery.com. I have a jar of it now – it is really tasty – I put it into our chili this evening.
If you don’t have puff pastry setting in the fridge you can make a great short crust to use instead, which is what I have done for the last pies in the pictures
The finished pear and apple pie
The pie turned out to be really tasty, spice and not too sweet, since there is next to no sugar in it other than what comes from the fruit.