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Tudor Meals: Tarte of Apples and Orange Peels

For this month’s Tudor recipe, we tried to make a pie with apples and orange peels. It wasn’t easy, but if you are up for a baking challenge and love the taste of oranges, then we do recommend making this tarte. 

The recipe is in its original format and comes from ‘The Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin’ by Thomas Daswon, 1597. We followed the recipe from this website, since the original didn’t include measurements. Some parts were rather complicated, so we changed a couple things to make this a bit easier for you. 

Ingredients

  • The peels from 3 oranges
  • 2 cups of honey (660 in grams)
  • 5 apples, peeled and sliced into thick rounds
  • 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup + 4 tbsp raw sugar (50 and 100 in grams)
  • 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1/4 cup butter (57 in grams)
  • Pastry for top and bottom of pie
  • 2 tsp of rosewater

The recipe

Day 1
On the first day you will need the oranges. Peel the oranges as thin as you can and try to remove as much of the white pith as possible. Slice these very fine and place them in a bowl of water. Leave them submerged overnight. 

Day 2
Step 1. First, start off by draining the peels. Put them in a saucepan and add the honey and an equal amount of water. On a high heat, bring to a low boil. Then reduce to low heat and let that simmer for two hours. This makes your house smell delightful! The recipe calls for letting this sit for yet another day, but we decided against that and went straight ahead with baking the tarte. 

Step 2. Begin with preheating the oven at 350F/176°C.

Step 3. Then chop your apples into small cubes and mix them with the ¼ cups (50 grams) sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1tsp of ginger together. We didn’t chop the ginger fine enough, so we recommend using either ground ginger or cutting with extra care. 

Step 4. Then for the orange peels. If there is any excess water, drain them. Mix these with ½ cup (100 grams) of sugar, ½ tsp of cinnamon and ½ tsp of ginger together. 

Step 5. Next, line your cake pan with the tarte pastry. Make sure this is a pastry specific for baking pies/tartes, because we used a puff pastry and the flavour did not quite fit the sweetness of the fruit filling. After placing the pastry in the pan, add pieces of butter on the bottom.

Step 6. Once this is done, add a layer of apples and cover them with a portion of the orange peel mixture. Repeat this step until finished. 

Step 7. Then cover the pie with the rest of the pastry and decorate it the way you want. 

Step 8. Bake the pie for 50 minutes. 

Step 9. In a small bowl, mix 4 tbsp of sugar with the rosewater. Take the pie out of the oven and brush the top with this mixture.

Step 10. Return the tarte to the oven for another 10 minutes until it is a golden brown. 

Taste test!

Although it sounded very promising, we found the taste a bit too orangy for our liking. That is why we suggest cutting down on the orange peels if you also aren’t as big of a fan of an overpowering citrus flavour. But if you like oranges, you will absolutely love this pie! If you end up making this Tudor tarte, send us a picture or tag us.

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Tudor Meals: Tarte of Apples and Orange Peels

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