This modern recipe for meat-filled tarts—also called patties—evolved from a combination of several historic recipes of the Colonial and early Federal periods. Patties were baked and generally served as side dishes. In her recipe, Hannah Glasse asserted that five of the tarts “will be a dish.”
Glasse offered a decorative approach to the pastry shells as an alternative to the simple, filled patties. “Cut some long narrow bits of paste and bake them . . . for handles,” she wrote, and after the baked shells have been filled with the hot meat mixture, “set the handles across the patties; they will look like baskets if you have nicely inched the walls of the patties.”
This recipe is a modern adaptation by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.
1 pound ground chicken
1 pound ground pork
8 ounces ground beef
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth (preferably homemade)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 recipe Common Pie Crust (page 00), chilled
Fresh parsley sprigs for garnish
1. Combine the chicken, pork, beef, and onion, mixing them together thoroughly. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat mixture and cook, stirring and breaking the meat apart, until it is browned and thoroughly cooked. Drain the excess fat from the pan, and return to medium heat. Add the pepper, nutmeg, thyme, parsley, and salt, stirring until well blended.
2. Mix the butter and flour to form a paste. Blend into the browned meat, stir in the broth, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir constantly until the liquid is smooth and has thickened. Add the cream, and blend together well. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-cup patty-pan tin or muffin pan with lard or vegetable shortening.
4. Roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into about 24 circles. Fit half the circles into the cups of the prepared tin or pan.
5. Divide the meat mixture among the prepared dough cups. Cover with the remaining dough circles, tucking each one into the sides of the cups and around the meat mixture. Poke a small hole in the center of each top crust.
6. Bake the patties for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crusts are lightly browned.
7. Serve the patties on a platter garnished with parsley sprigs.
Serves 6 to 8
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