The Parish Magazine June 2023

Serving the communities of Charvil, Sonning, and Sonning Eye since 1869

Serving the communities of Charvil, Sonning, and Sonning Eye since 1869


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Recipe of the month<br />

A Meatless Medieval<br />

Ember Days Tart<br />

From Medieval Cookery: http://www.medievalcookery.com/recipes/tart.html<br />

Ember days are times of prayer and fasting held four times a year, dividing<br />

the liturgical calendar into four quarters. Traditionally they are on the<br />

Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following St Lucy's Day on 13 December,<br />

the first Sunday in Lent, Pentecost and Holy Cross Day 14 September.<br />

Today, Roman Catholic and Anglican churches follow slightly<br />

different patterns and Ember days are generally observed as<br />

part of the ordination of priests, although this does not mean<br />

that others can't pray and fast. This month the Church of<br />

England liturgy has Ember days on Wednesday 28 <strong>June</strong>, Friday<br />

30 <strong>June</strong>, and Saturday 1 July.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Catholic Church Ember Day tradition forbade meat,<br />

although cheese and eggs were allowed. This led to the creation<br />

of the 'Ember Day Tart' that was served on fasting days.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Original Medieval Recipe for Tart in Ymber Day<br />

Tak & parboyle oynons & erbes & presse oute þe water & hewe<br />

hem smale, tak brede & bray hit in a mortar & temper hit wit<br />

ayron, do þerto butter, safron, & salt & raysons corans & a litul<br />

sugar wiþ poudor douce, & bak hit in a trap & serue hit forth.<br />

Which translates as: Tart in Ember Day<br />

Take and parboil onions and herbs and press out the water<br />

and chop them small, take bread and pound it in a mortar and<br />

temper it with egg, do there to butter, saffron and salt and<br />

raisins and a little sugar with fine powder and bake it in a shell<br />

and serve it forth.<br />

Ingredients<br />

1 pound onions<br />

½ tsp salt<br />

½ cup bread crumbs fresh<br />

8 large eggs<br />

1 pie crust (see Paest Royall opposite)<br />

2 tsp butter<br />

¼ bunch parsley<br />

A pinch of saffron<br />

¾ cup currants<br />

½ tsp sugar<br />

¾ tsp powder douce — This is a spice mix used in Medieval and<br />

Renaissance cookery. Like modern spice mixes such as Italian<br />

seasoning, garam masala, taco seasoning, etc. <strong>The</strong>re was not a set<br />

ingredient list, it varied from cook to cook.<br />

In the Bible Garden<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>June</strong> <strong>2023</strong> 31<br />

Method<br />

Bring pot of water to boil. Peel and quarter onions, place in<br />

boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then drain. Chop onions and<br />

parsley and combine with breadcrumbs, eggs, butter, currants,<br />

sugar, salt, and spices. Pour into prepared pie crust and bake at<br />

350°F for 30-40 minutes, ensuring that the egg is set. Let cool<br />

for 10-15 minutes before cutting into serving sizes.<br />

Paest Royall — Ember Day Pie Crust<br />

<strong>The</strong> following recipe is taken from A Proper Newe Booke of<br />

Cokerye, (16th Century) by Catherine Frances Frere, found in<br />

A Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks compiled by<br />

Duke Cariadoc of the Bow and Duchessa Diana Alena:<br />

To Make Pyes …. yf you wyll have paest royall, take butter and<br />

yolkes of egges and so paste the paste to make the paste.<br />

Which translates as:<br />

To make pies: If you will have paste royal, take butter and<br />

yolks of eggs and so temper (ie mix with) the flour to make the<br />

paste.<br />

Ingredients: 1 cup flour; ⅓ cup butter; 2 egg yolks; water<br />

Method<br />

Cut butter and egg yolks into flour until crumbly, add water<br />

and knead mixture until it forms a ball of dough. Roll out<br />

dough then place into pie pan.<br />

References<br />

A full list of references and further background notes on<br />

the translations and transcriptions can be found on:<br />

http://www.medievalcookery.com/recipes/tart.html<br />

SIGNS OF SUMMER COMING (left to right): Bethlehem Star, Apple blossom, Grape Vine, Broom and Pomegranate

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