These are slightly addictive little morsels, and with good reason. Take a fruit as tasty and decadent as figs, dice them, spice them, put them in buttery pastry, then fry them? Yes. The unique spice forte mix gives the tarts a really unexpected bite without interfering with the innate sweetness of the figs. I used a Killer Bee honey to baste mine, which upped the flavor to a wonderful new level.
Why it should be in the Next Book:
It’s figs! It’s fried! All it’s really missing to be the ideal GRRM dish is bacon. Which isn’t that bad an idea… Overall, though, this is a great medieval recipe, and well worth a try at home!
Medieval Fig Tart Recipe
Take figus & grynde hem smal; do þerin saffron & powdur fort. Close hem in foyles of dowe, & frye hem in oyle. Claryfye hony & flamme hem þerwyt; ete hem hote or colde. –Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth-Century
- 8 oz. fresh Figs
- pinch of Saffron
- 1 tsp. Powder forte – a Medieval blend of strong spices. For this recipe, use 2 parts cinnamon to one part each a combination of pepper, ginger, mace, and clove, to your taste.
- 1 Tbs. your favorite variety of honey, plus more for basting
- Pastry dough- enough for 2 9″ shells (see this recipe)
- Oil enough to coat the bottom of the pan
Finely dice the figs as small as possible by hand or purée with a processor; mix in the saffron, powder forte spice mixture, and the 1 Tbs. honey. Roll out the pastry dough and cut into medium-sized circles. On one pastry circle place a spoonful of figs, then cover with another circle of dough; seal the edges well. Fry the pies in hot oil until lightly browned & crispy; remove from heat and allow to drain. In a pot, heat the honey, skimming off any scum that rises. As soon as the pies have drained, brush on the honey. Eat hot or cold.