Cream custard tart

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient

Doucetes. Take Creme a gode cupfulle, & put it on a straynour, thanne take yolkes of Eyroun, and put ther-to, & a lytel mylke; then strayne it throw a straynour in-to a bolle; then take Sugre y-nowe, & put ther-to, or ellys hony forde faute of Sugre, than coloure it with Safroun; than take thin cofyns, & put it in the ovynne letre, & lat hem ben hardyd; than take a dyssche y-fastenyd on the pelys ende, & pore thin comade in-to the dyssche, & for the dyssche in-to the cofyns; & whan they don a-ryse wel, teke hem out, & serue hem forth.

Pulverised dried saffron strands Shortcrust pastry made with 225 g/8 oz flour, 65 g/2½ oz butter, 40 g/1 ½ oz lard, and cold water to mix 6 egg yolks 350 ml/12 fl oz/ 1 ½ cups double cream 125 ml/4 fl oz/ ½ cup milk 65 g/2 ½ oz white sugar ¼ teaspoon sea salt I first noticed this version of the old recipe in The Babees Book, and it seemed just right as a sweet dish for the youngsters being taught from that book. There is a richer version made with almond milk for fast days outside Lent.

Soak the saffron in 2 tablespoons water until the water is deep gold in colour. Use the pastry to make a case 5 cm/2 inches deep in a 20-cm/8-inch pie plate or cake tin with a loose bottom. Bake 'blind' in a pre-heated oven at 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 15-20 minutes, then remove the filling of dried beans and return the case to the oven at about 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for 6-8 minutes until dried out and firm.

Remember a cake tin is deeper than a pie plate so the case in it may need longer baking than usual.

Beat the egg yolks lightly in a bowl, then beat in the cream, milk, sugar, saffron water and salt. Pour the custard into the pastry case. Bake it at 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for about 45 minutes or until it is just set in the centre. Serve warm.

Make small tarts if you prefer. The full recipe quantity of pastry will make 36 tarts, using a 7½ cm/3 inch cutter. You will need two thirds of the filling for them. from The Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black Chapter 5, "Of Manners and Meals" posted by Tiffany Hall-Graham Submitted By BARRY WEINSTEIN On 04-19-95

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