Honey & Saffron Tarts

From MS Harlein 279 (Two 15th Century Cookbooks), recipe xv


Take Creme a gode cupfulle, & put it on a straynoure; þanne take ȝolkys of Eyroun & put þer-to, & a lytel mylke; þen strayne it þorw a straynoure in-to a bolle; þen take Sugre y-now, & put þer-to, or ellys hony forde faute [leaf 40.] of Sugre, þan coloure it with Safroun; þan take þin cofyns, & put in þe ovynne lere, & lat hem ben hardyd; þan take a dysshe y-fastenyd on þe pelys ende; & pore þin comade in-to þe dyssche, & fro þe dyssche in-to þe cofyns; & when þey don a-ryse wel, take hem out, & serue hem forth.

A Sweetened Dish

Take a good cupfull of cream and put it on a strainer, then take egg yolks and put there-to and a little milk. Then strain it through a strainer into a bowl, then take sugar enough and put thereto or else honey for the fault of sugar, then color it with saffron. Then take thin coffins and put in the oven empty and let them be hardened. Then take a dish fastened on the the peels end and pour the filling into the dish and from the dish into the coffins and when they have risen well, take them out and serve them forth.


1 baked 9″ pie shell

1.5 c heavy cream
6 eggs
1/4 c. strong honey
1/8 tsp ground saffron (1 generous pinch ground)

Mix together the cream, eggs, honey and saffron. Pour into a precooked pie shell. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes or until set.

2 thoughts on “Honey & Saffron Tarts”

  1. This is an amazing twist on egg custard tart, cooked it many times for authentic retracting weekends, much larger of course.

    1. Meadbh ni Clerigh

      I like it a little more savory, but so far my experience is that diners expect a very sweet dessert. I have to bump up the honey slightly to meet that expectation.

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