14th/15th c Italian tart for twelve people.
Take a good fat capon and a large pork loin, two large onions, half a pound of sweet and fine spices, three pounds of fresh grease that isn’t salted, and take as much flour as it takes to make three loaves of bread, the best that you have. Chop the capon and the pork loin into small pieces, and do the same with the onions, put all these things to fry in a good quantity of the fresh pork belly fat, adding the said sweet spices, enough saffron and a little salt. When everything is well fried add a beaker of water and allow it to cook to completion. Take the flour and blend it well with fresh salted water and knead it very well. When it is well kneaded take a tinned copper tart pan and grease it well with the fresh lard that you have. Take the well mixed dough and roll it out very thinly, layer the pastry in the tart pan, brushing with lard between each layer until there are twelve layers. Then put the capon batter and the other things in a single
layer in this tart, and put several more sheets in layers, well greased with lard between each one and make a crust above the tart like a package. This tart should be given a little heat below and a good fire on top to cook it. To make it for more or less people take the ingredients in the same ratio.
The original crust for this pie is made with many layers of thin dough it seems to be like filo dough. I chose to use a regular crust for the pie. It also calls for three pounds of fresh grease that is unsalted, I did not have access to this so I used unsalted butter instead.
I chopped chicken and pork and onions. In a pan I rendered the fat from pork belly. The onions, chicken, and pork were fried in the pork fat. While they were fried, spices were added including ginger, nutmeg, saffron, & salt. Once the meat and onions were browned I added a little water and let it all cook through.
This filling was then added to a pastry crust and a crust was put on the top and the pie was baked until the crust was a golden brown.
Libro di cucina/ Libro per cuoco (14th/15th c.) (Anonimo Veneziano)
Translated 2003 to January 2005 CE by Helewyse de Birkestad, OL (MKA Louise Smithson) from the transcription of Ludovico Frati (ed.): Libro di cucina del secolo XIV. Livorno 1899 prepared and made available online by Thomas Gloning. Last updated March 28th 2005.