Yesterday, though, we heard the king of farts,Yes, yes, earlier I promised Portuguese Farts, and as with any recipe with a name like that, by all the Gods I'm going to deliver! This comes from the online transcript of A Book of Cookrye. The last time we made a recipe out of A Book of Cookrye, it was only slightly scary looking and tasted disappointingly normal. Hopefully, today's recipe will be a real gas (rimshot!).
It smelled as sweet as honey tarts,
While it wasn't in the strongest of voice,
It still came on as a powerful noise.
I'd like to note that unlike a lot of my other middle-of-the-night baking escapades, not only did I have friends over, but friends bearing cupcake pans! So Mike, thanks for bringing your mom's pans. After you repeatedly told me not to, I made damn sure not to scratch them so when she finds out you lent them, it won't be from finding new claw marks all over them. And Maria, who cleaned the kitchen when we weren't looking. Seriously, it was like we like a benevolent kitchen spirit- we'd turn around and hey look, the stove's been wiped!
Here's the original:
To make Farts of Portingale*.
Take a quart of life Hony, and set it upon the fire and when it seetheth scum it clean, and then put in a certaine of fine Biskets well serced, and some pouder of Cloves, some Ginger, and powder of sinamon, Annis seeds and some Sugar†, and let all these be well stirred upon the fire, til it be as thicke as you thinke needfull, and for the paste for them take Flower as finelye dressed as may be, and a good peece of sweet Butter, and woorke all these same well togither, and not knead it.
*Portingale- the 1500s name for Portugal. Thanks, OED!
†I decided after dumping in all that honey that I could leave this out.
I desperately hope that this recipe's name is not a mistype. If the original book calls it Tarts of Portingale, I will be very very sad.
½ c. butter
Flour (sorry, didn't measure)
2 sleeves graham crackers*
1 (24 oz.) honey bottle†
Heat oven to 350°.
Make the little crusts:‡
Mix the butter and flour together salt, adding more until you've got a kind of coarse meal that barely holds together when you squeeze it in your hand. Add enough cold water that you can roll it out (some people use iced water, I just take it right from the tap), and then roll it thin.
Tear off pieces of the dough and press them into ungreased cupcake tins- you should end up with 12.
Bake until cooked through and somewhat golden. Take out of the tins- they should fall right out. Set them on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Make the filling:
Pulverize the graham crackers- I just set them on the counter and took a rolling pin to them. Put in a saucepan and add honey to get a sort of thin paste. Add the spices- be very generous with the cinnamon and nutmeg, moderate with the anise, and conservative (but not overly so) with the cloves. Cook it a bit over medium-low heat to soften the crumbs, and add more spices to taste. Pour or spoon into the shells.
Bake until the tops are crispy, but don't leave them in too long.
*Apparently biscuits in the UK are cookies in the US, so I'm figuring it was also true in 1590s England. Also, I'm being shamelessly cheap- or at least as cheap as you can be while dumping a whole bottle of honey into one recipe.
†No, you won't use all of it.
‡Or you can buy premade shells; I was just
|Making the crust- I just threw in a stick of butter and guessed at the flour.|
|I deliberately went for that "homemade charm."|
|I didn't know if this was a promising or ominous beginning.|
|It's ominous. We have gritty sludge.|
|Enough time on the stove and it actually got really smooth.|
|Y'know, it honestly doesn't look so bad.|
|Surprisingly fluffy farts.|
|Other things that are really satisfying at midnight: Cooked pie crust scraps.|
And these were delicious! I baked them a bit too long thinking they were supposed to get completely set, but the flavor was really good and oddly like pumpkin bread. Fortunately, the insides were still soft even though the tops were kind of crunchy due to an inability to realize they were ready to take out of the oven.
|There should have been more gooey center, but I was just guessing at when to take them out.|
The crust itself was very plain, which went well with the very sweet and flavorful filling. I think it was actually better for me not buying those tartlet shells that are pretty much pie crust-shaped cookies. Mike suggested, and I think I will do this next time, adding nuts into this.
Yes, the only reason I made this was because it's called farts (And who wouldn't at least look twice over a recipe like that?). But it turned out good enough to make again.