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Spinach Tarts with Apple Puree

The Elizabethans were particularly fond of spinach, the juice often being used as a green colouring. The following recipe comes from a Book of Cookery published in 1584 during the reign of Elizabeth I. Particularly interesting is the use of apples to sweeten the spinach, and I have used this as a basis for a modern version. These little tarts are especially good as an accompaniment for roast pork. The original recipe reads thus:
Boyle your spinage very tender and three or foure apples with it, and when it is very tender, strain it throw a faire [clean] cloth and then season it with the yolke of an Egge, cinnamon and ginger.

ingredients

200 g (8 oz) shortcrust pastry
150 ml (1/4 pint) cream or top of milk
2 egg yolks
4 large apples
1 kg (2 lb) fresh spinach
salt and pepper

method

1. Roll out the pastry and line small patty pans.

2. Peel, core and slice the apples, boil until tender and puree.

3. Wash the spinach well changing the water several times.

4. Put it into a pan with a little salt and just the water that clings to the leaves.

5. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. Drain well and chop finely.

6. Mix the spinach and apple puree.

7. Beat the egg yolks, add to the cream, season and stir gently into the apple and spinach.

8. Pour a little into each patty case. Cook at 190°C (375°F) mark 5 for 30 minutes.

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