A Timely Tart

timelytart

“The medieval times” conjures images of thrones, knights on horses, princesses in towers, tall cobblestone castles. What if you could transport yourself several centuries in the past to a room flickering with slow burning candles, an infinitely long table heaped with roasted duck nestled in vegetables, pies with filling gushing through latticed dough, enormous pots of stew? Better yet, what if you could bring all that to the future?

Co-creators Tricia Cohen and Lisa Graves of Thyme Machine Cuisine have tapped into this magic to bring the medieval banquet of our wildest imaginations to the present day, channeling the splendor of medieval eating onto a modern plate.

A Thyme and Place: Medieval Feasts and Recipes for the Modern Table is Cohen and Grave’s first project together, a clever cookbook of recipes adapted from historic eating. Inside, you’ll find snippets about medieval holidays and their seasonal recipes, accompanied by Grave’s own charming illustrations.

Traditionally eaten for Easter alongside a hearty stew, these tarts are the quintessential spring appetizer. With perfectly in-season onions, creamy crumbled cheese, aromatic lavender, and honey, spring’s most emblematic flavors combine in every flaky, buttery mouthful.

This recipe is adapted directly from A Thyme and Place. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 tsp lavender (*use cooking approved lavender, not the stuff in bags in your closet)
  • 2 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 lb Double Gloucester cheese with blue Stilton, crumbled (if you cannot find this combination, buy the items separately and crumble together)
  • 8 large eggs
  • Pie crust (you can use store-bought, but homemade is better)

Instructions

  1. Heat the heavy cream and lavender together over low heat until it warms, not boils. Shut the heat off and allow the ingredients to infuse for 10 minute. Strain and discard the lavender. Set the cream aside.
  2. We made four individual pies, using our piecrust recipe and individual springform pans. However, you can use a single crust if you wish. We will say that the individual pies are perfect for a brunch or a single portion. Whatever you choose, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  3. Mix the onions, salt, honey, cheese, and eggs together. Gently mix. Add the lavender-infused cream and stir. Pour the mixture into the crust of choice. If you have any extra cheese, sprinkle the crumble onto the top of the mixture.
  4. Place the pan(s) on a cookie sheet to capture any spillage. Cook for 50 minutes (individual) to 60 minutes for a larger size. You may need to adjust the cooking time depending on your oven. Look for a firm center and a golden top.