A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

Tart de ffruyte

PERIOD: England, 15th century | SOURCE: Harleian MS. 4016 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: A pie of dried fruits & pine nuts, topped with fresh salmon pieces


Tart de ffruyte. ¶ Take figges, and seth hem in wyne, and grinde hem smale, And take hem vppe into a vessell; And take pouder peper, Canell, Clowes, Maces, pouder ginger, pynes, grete reysouns of couraunce, saffroñ, and salte, and cast thereto; and þeñ make faire lowe coffyns, and couche þis stuff there-iñ, and plonte pynes aboue; and kut dates and fressh salmoñ in faire peces, or elles fressh eles, and parboyle hem a litull in wyne, and couche thereoñ; And couche the coffyns faire with þe same paaste, and endore the coffyñ withoute with saffron & almond mylke; and set hem in þe oveñ and lete bake.

- Austin, Thomas. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 & Harl. MS. 4016, with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1429, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. London: for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888.


Tart of Fruit. Take figs, and boil them in wine, and grind them small, and put into a vessel; and take pepper, cinnamon, cloves, mace, ginger, pine nuts, raisins of Corinth, saffron, & salt, and add; and then make fine shallow pie shells, and put this stuff therein, and plant pine nuts on top; and cut dates and fresh salmon in nice pieces, or else fresh eels, and parboil it in a little wine, and place on top of the filling; and place on top of the pie shells a lid made of the same pastry, and endore the pie shells on the outside with saffron & almond milk; and set them in the oven and let bake.


Unfortunately, this section of the recipe is still under construction. It is my belief, though, that any decent cook can prepare this dish by following the instructions, sans measurements, below.

  • figs
  • wine (white or red)
  • pepper, cinnamon, cloves, mace, ginger
  • pine nuts
  • raisins
  • saffron (or few drops yellow food coloring)
  • salt (to taste)
  • one 9" pie shell with lid
  • fresh salmon (or fresh eels)
  • dates
  • Almond Milk
Place the figs in a saucepan, cover with wine, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium simmer and continue to cook until figs are very soft and and thin syrup has formed. Remove from heat and let cool. Mash both the figs and the liquid together, by hand or with a food processor, until well blended. Add the pine nuts, raisins, and spices and mix well together. Place this mixture in the bottom of a pre-baked pie shell, and on top of this filling place a thin layer of pine nuts.

Poach the salmon until tender and flaky; arrange pieces of cooked salmon and sliced dates on top of the fig mixture & pine nuts (or mix salmon and dates together and place combined ingredients on top of filling). Add the pie lid and brush top with Almond Milk. Bake in a 350° F oven until pastry is golden brown, approx. ½ hour to 45 minutes.

Pine nuts are often very expensive; for the financially-minded cook, slivered almonds may be substituted.

Metric, Celsius, & Gas Mark Equivalencies

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Tart de ffruyte © 2000 James L. Matterer

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