PERIOD: France, 15th century | SOURCE: Chiquart's "On Cookery" | CLASS: Authentic
DESCRIPTION: Fish and Fruit Pie
With that, Fish Pies: to instruct the person who will be doing this job--because not everyone is a master of it--he should get his fish, that is, good bellies of tuna, good big filets of carp, good big fresh eels--and of all that he should get the quantity that is needed for the number of pies that he is ordered to make; take all of it and cut it into good-sized pieces and set it to cook in a good clean cauldron appropriate in size for the amount you have; when it is cooked, take it out onto fine tables which are good and clean, and cull through all your fish to remove any scales or bones, then chop it up well. Get good candied figs, prunes and dates and slice these up small, to the size of small dice; get pinenuts and have them cleaned thoroughly and get candied raisins and clean them well so there are no seeds left; of all of this take an amount proper for the amount of the fish filling you are making, wash it well in white wine, then mix it in with your fish in a fine pan. Then get another pan which is good and clean in which you will clarify good fine oil; when it is clarified put enough of that oil into your filling for that amount of it, then set it on hot coals to heat up, and stir it continuously with a good spoon. Then get good spice powder and put in a reasonable amount of it, and a lot of sugar. Then order your pastry cook to make large or small pie shells for you, and they should be covered.
- Terence Scully, ed. and trans. Chiquart's "On Cookery" - A Fifteenth-century Savoyard Culinary Treatise. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc, 1986.
2. In a pot, over medium heat, bring water to a boil. Add fish, reduce heat, and simmer for about ten minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Drain.
3. Cut the fish up very small, removing any bones.
4. In a pot, over low heat, combine fish, dried fruit, spices, oil, and sugar. Heat the mixture thoroughly, stirring constantly, for about five minutes.
5. Line a pie pan with the crust. Fill the crust with the fish and fruit mixture, and cover the pie with the second crust, piercing it in several places. Bake for half an hour.
Serves eight to twelve.
NOTES ON THE RECIPE:
Fish and fruit pies seem to have been popular in the Middle Ages. I have used regular dried figs and seedless raisins, rather than candied ones. You don't need to clarify modern cooking oil. The good spice powder I use is ginger, pepper and cloves.
Fish Pies is featured in Servise on a Fisshe Day
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