The Complete Practical Cook

After a long and unusual blog on butchering a pig, I thought something light would be nice. For the last year I have been looking at the picture of a Banniet Tort from a receipt of Charles Carter. I first saw this tort on Ivan Day’s* site and knew I would one day want to make it. Ivan Day is best known for his recreations of historic table settings, and has forty year’s experience of cooking period food. A Banniet Tort is made of many layers of pancakes, sugared fruit, sack and orange juice. We were having company that evening, so I thought it was time to make the tort.

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I started in the afternoon making paste and candying oranges peels. I had a jar of candied lemon and orange peels leftover from Christmas but wanted more orange. Next, I made the pancakes. I did not want them to be very thick so I made a very loose batter, somewhere between a pancake and a French crepe. I ended up with eight lovely brown thin pancakes. In a bowl, I mixed the fruit, some sugar and squeezed in a bit of orange. I would have used the sack, as in the receipt, but forgot to pick it up at the store. Not much cooking liquor in the cabinet after the holidays. I buttered the pan and cut parchment paper for the bottom and sides. I buttered the bottom paper and put the pasty in the pan. I sprinkle some of the fruit on the bottom of the pasty then started layering the pancakes and fruit. I brushed the pancakes with a little butter.  I folded over the sides and put a top on it and I squeezed the oranges so I would have juice for later.


I had a brisk fire going and put the kettle right inside to heat it up for about 20 minutes. Carter says to bake it off pretty quickly. In went the tort and I turned it every eight minutes or so. Well it was a hot kettle alright. After 15 minutes I looked and the top was flaky but black. Quickly I took the tort out of the kettle and brought it to the kitchen where I found the top peeled off very nicely. I thought for sure it was so burned it would be inedible. However, the rest of the tort was golden brown. Next time I won’t put so many coals on the top.

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We had swordfish for dinner, so something fruity and sweet was a perfect finish to the meal. After I cut it up, I poured in more orange juice and served it. Everyone liked it, and I’ll make this tort again, however, I’ll watch just how much heat I pile on the top.


  *Iva Day –