So that's what I did. Simple. What? More explanation you say? Do you really think it's needed?
The above is Robert May's Medlar Tart recipe from 1660. As you may remember I got hold of some Medlars earlier in the year and made Medlar 'Fudge' (which I have since re-christened Medlar Medley) at the time I also came across this recipe on the 'net. The original URL now seems to be broken but thankfully I had copied it into a word document. As I now have several jars of Medlar Medley to use up I thought I'd experiment a bit to make a Medlar tart.
I'm blogging it mostly because it's an interesting exercise to try and use a 300+ year old recipe rather than out of any expectation that anyone may actually rush out and copy it. The basis of the recipe seems to be a puree of the medlars mixed with eggs, sugar and spices. 'Laying it in a paste' apparently means to put it in a pie shell so the recipe now begins to look very similar to a modern American pumpkin pie, which I looked to for technical details like cooking times and temperatures.
My main problem is that I don't have fresh medlars but I decided to treat my Medlar Medley as the Medlar puree, already mixed with sugar and spices. The upshot was this:
A Tart of Medlars.
1 block ready made short crust pastry (I know, I know, learning to make pastry is next on my list)
1 jar Medlar Medley
Half a small tin of evaporated milk, or single cream. (this bit I added from the pumpkin pie recipes)
Roll out the pastry and line a greased, floured baking dish. Prick the bottom with a fork and brush with beaten egg (this can be taken from the eggs used in the main tart recipe) Bake at GM 5 for half an hour. Meanwhile mix the Medlar, eggs and evaporated milk together to make a pourable mixture. When the pie shell is lightly browned, fill with the Medlar mixture and bake at GM 4 for a further 40 minutes, or until the filling has set. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.
To be fair, the finished tart is not a thing of beauty being, as it is, filled with brown sludge. However, the flavour is there is spades, spicy caramel with a strong, fruity, Medlar tang. At the risk of sounding a complete ponce, it's a privilege to experience a taste of the 17th Century.