A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

Tartes of Frute in Lente

PERIOD: England, 15th century | SOURCE: Harleian MS. 279 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Fruit and Fish Pie


Take Fygys & sete hem wyl tyl they ben neyssche; than bray hem in a morter, & a pece of Milwel ther-with; take ham vppe & caste roysonys of coraunce ther-to; than take Almaundys & Dates y-schred ther-to; than take pouder of Pepir & meng with-al; then putte it on thin cofynne, & Safroun thin cofynn a-boue, & opyn hem a-bowte the myddel; & ouer-cast the openyng vppon the lede, & bake hym a lytel, & serue forth.

- 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.


  • Pastry dough for 1 nine-inch pie and lid
  • 2 C figs
  • 1 pound filleted fish
  • 1 C currants
  • 1/2 C slivered, toasted almonds
  • 1 C pitted dates, quartered
  • Pinch each black pepper and saffron
1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. In a saucepan, over medium heat, cover the figs with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about half an hour, or until the figs are mushy. Drain the figs and allow them to cool.

3. In a bowl, mash the figs with a vegetable masher or in a blender, reducing them to paste.

4. In a saucepan, over medium heat, simmer the fish in a little water until it is tender. Drain, cool and shred the fish.

5. In a bowl, stir together the fig paste, shredded fish, currants, quartered dates and spices.

6. Line a pie pan with pastry dough, and fill it with the fruit and fish mixture. Cover the pie with a second crust and pierce it.  Put it in the oven and bake it for forty-five minutes.

Serves eight to twelve.


I have chosen to make this pie primarily a fruit pie, with the fish as sort of an afterthought. Milwel is not a top-quality fish, so feel free to use whatever fish is cheapest. I also cook the fish before I add it to the pie filling.

Tartes of Frute in Lente is featured in Servise on a Fisshe Day

Metric, Celsius, & Gas Mark Equivalencies

A Boke of Gode CookeryRecipes from A Newe Boke of Olde Cokery

Tartes of Frute in Lente © 2002 Rudd Rayfield | This page © 2002 James L. Matterer

A Newe Boke of Olde Cokery

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