The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Geoffrey Chaucer's Onion Tart

hanseata's picture

Geoffrey Chaucer's Onion Tart

Before I grab my cooke's knyfe I just have to share this. Enjoy!

Onion Tart

à la Geoffrey Chaucer

225g plain shortcrust pastry

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

25g butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 onions, finely sliced

Salt and black pepper

2 teaspoons caster sugar

A quarter teaspoon each of grated nutmeg and ground ginger

2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks

425ml double cream

Large pinch of saffron strands


On a floured board roll pastry that it be thinne,

Caste thereto with thyme and line a deep tinne.

Trimme the edges neat with a cooke's knyfe,

Then bake it blinde at gasse mark fyve.

Melt the butter and oyle in an heavie panne,

Covered wiv a lidde, as knoweth every man.

Then adde onyons in slices fine ywrought,

And caste thereto sugar and salte.

Cover the panne and turn the heat down low,

Stirre every while, else the onyons stick to.

Remove the lidde and seethe for ten minutes mo,

That the sauce reducteth and darke growe.

Strewe thereto nutmeg grated, tho keep some by,

And grounde gyngere, and return to the fyre.

Lightly beat the eggs and zolkes together,

And season wiv both salt and black pepper.

Heat the crème till just warme with saffron rich,

Then adde the eggs for to mix.

Spoon the onyon sauce into the pastry case,

Then pour egg and crème custard into the base.

Bake in the oven for minutes xxv,

Til golden brown our tarte be.


You can find this and, also Virginia Woolfs "Clafoutis Grandmere" and Raymond Chandler's "Lamb with Dill Sauce" here:

Emelye's picture

As you may gather from my name, I'm a Chaucer fan.  I loved the rhymes and the middle English words and I can't wait to try the recipe myself.  Thanks for the big smile I got when I read it!

hanseata's picture

Are you also a fan of Wilhelm Busch?


Emelye's picture

Indeed!  I'm glad somebody recognized her!  ^_^

highmtnpam's picture

A wonderful rhymeth.!