PGC2019: Meisterin Christian Baier’s Genovese Tart

Category: An item of food or drink your persona may have grown, prepared, consumed, or known of.  “Do you think because you are virtuous, that there shall be no more cakes and ale?”

Persona period inspiration and use:

This recipe comes from Sabina Welserin’s cookbook, Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin (1553). The Welser were international mercantile bankers and venture capitalists, members, with the Fugger and the Hochstetter families, of the mercantile patriciate of Augsburg.  These recipes, compiled for a rich urban German household, seem suitable for a noble Saxon women like Christian, although she probably would not have baked them herself. The recipe collection was not originally intended for publication or circulation; it may have been possibly written by the Sabina herself, but was more probably written by her kitchen professionals on her behalf.

I made these pies to take for a picnic lunch at an event; they are ideal for this purpose as they taste good hot or cold, and (as the pies have a top crust) they travel well.  For picnics I tend to make small finger-food-sized pies for convenience, but when cooking a feast these pies work equally well as individual or ‘family’ sized pies.  They are a good protein dish for vegetarians, and also a useful pie for those who don’t eat eggs.

Design, Materials and Construction:

  • Recipe 30: To make Genovese tart.  Take eighteen ounces of chard or spinach, three ounces of grated cheese, two and one half ounces of olive oil and the fresh cheese from six ounces of curdled milk. And blanch the herbs and chop them small and stir it all together and make a good covered tart with it.
  • The Kochbuch has a number of recipes for pastry, or you could substitute your own recipe.  I tend to use less olive oil than the original recipe, to make a less-wet filling, which makes the pie more robust for travel and I prefer the taste.  The flavours of this tart will vary with the greens, or the types of cheeses, you choose (see Bach for a discussion of German cheeses). You can make fresh cheese yourself, or use any type of fresh cheese you prefer.   
  • I forgot to take a photograph on the day, so please forgive the tatty-looking leftover pie that made it into my lunch box several days later.


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