Medieval Fig Tarts
koppie Thu, 07/31/2014 - 21:55
Spicey honey fig tarts. Holy freaking cow.
This one came from The Inn at the Crossroads, an incredible recipe blog based on the food from the Game of Thrones series. I didn't really notice when I read the books, but it turns out there are some amazing foods described between the pages, and they're all based on real medieval recipes. Either GRRM did a hell of a lot of homework on medieval food, or he has an uncanny knack for guessing.
Either way, the geniuses at IATC did their own homework and have provided a series of recipes based on foods described in the book. Typically they'll show the medieval/ancient recipe, translate it into modern recipe standards (list of ingredients and whatnot), and then offer a modern take on the same thing. Also they have a cookbook.
Figs arrived in our organic box for the first time this year. That's one of the wonderful things about our box: unlike the grocery store, the foods in our box vary with the seasons. It gives you a sense of being connected with the earth and watching the seasons go by. It's also exciting: "figs are here again! Yay!!!!!"
Last year we had several blissful weeks of figs, and I pretty much ended eating all of them straight out of the box. This year I promised myself I'd actually make the recipe.
The recipe is a marvelous thing from the 14th century. It uses the letter thorn. It also calls for Powder Forte, which is a heady mix of spices. I don't know why this isn't a thing any more. It should be.
This is me making Powder Forte
If you know me, you know I care about authenticity, but I'm sorry to say I took a shortcut and used premade pastry shells from the frozen aisle. (I have zero experience with pastry dough.) As a result, the pastries were baked, not fried, which I guess made them healthier. I still basted them with honey, using Trader Joe's organic raw honey for extra points. I put the caps back on the shells to make it more of an enclosed pastry.
The result: one of the best things I've ever tasted in my entire life. First you taste the flakey, buttery crust, and the sweet figs and honey. Then the powder forte hits you and it's like jumping into hyperspace. You're on a whole new plain of existence, one that includes spicey honey fig tarts. This is absolutely one of my new favorite dishes.
The best part: They're not that hard to make. I will definitely be making this recipe again, when I feel like impressing someone. My only regret is not tripling the recipe. Trust me, you'll want more.