A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

Tart in Ymbre Day

PERIOD: England, 14th century | SOURCE: Forme of Cury | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: An onion & cheese pie


173. Tart in ymbre day. Take and perboile oynouns & erbis & presse out þe water & hewe hem smale. Take grene chese [brede AB] & bray it in a morter, and temper it vp with ayren. Do þerto butter, saffroun & salt, & raisons corauns, & a litel sugur with powdour douce, & bake it in a trap, & serue it forth.

- Hieatt, Constance B. and Sharon Butler. Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth-Century (Including the Forme of Cury). New York: for The Early English Text Society by the Oxford University Press, 1985. 


Amber Day Tart. Take and parboil onions and herbs & press out the water & cut them small. Take green cheese [see note: bread] & grind it in a morter, and mix with eggs. Add butter, saffron, salt, currants, and spices, & bake it in a pie shell, and serve it.


  • 3 - 4 small onions, chopped
  • 2 bunches of parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (OR ½ cup unseasoned bread crumbs)
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tbs. melted butter
  • 1/8 tsp. saffron
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup currants
  • ¼ tsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. each cloves and mace
  • 1 nine-inch pie shell
  • optional spices - ½ tsp. each of any of the following type of herbs: sage, basil, thyme, etc.
Parboil or sauté the onions and parsley; drain well. Mix with all other ingredients and place in pie shell. Bake at 350° F for 35-40 minutes or until pastry is brown and filling is set.

Although the original recipe clearly indicates "grene chese" as a main ingredient, other versions of this tart appear in period manuscripts with "brede" instead of cheese, which is why I include both in the Medieval recipe. Clearly, both can be considered correct, and I suggest you try either version, or make your Amber Tart with both cheese and bread crumbs. "Grene chese" is any well-aged cheese; I like using a fine English Cheddar.

"Powder douce" was a mild mixture of spices, often containing sugar with cinnamon & related spices, but without pepper.

Metric, Celsius, & Gas Mark Equivalencies

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Tart in Ymbre Day © 2000 James L. Matterer

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