April 8, 2016

Civil War Era Open German Tart Recipe from Godey's Lady's Book

Civil War 1860s Recipe Apple Tart

This recipe was cooked for the Historical Food Fortnightly. A yearly challenge that encourages bloggers to cook a historical food every two weeks. I had such a hard time thinking of something that I would actually eat. I didn't have a need for a pretty cake or fancy marzipan dish but this tart is as delicious as it is pretty and you likely have the ingredients on hand!

The Challenge: Pretty As A Picture (March 25 - April 7) If you’re a fan of cooking competition shows (like I am!), you know how the saying goes: we eat first with our eyes. Make a dish that looks just as spectacular as it tastes. Extra points for historically accurate plating - and don’t forget to post pictures!

The Recipe:

"OPEN GERMAN TART—Half a pound of flour, quarter of a pound butter, quarter of a pound sugar, and one egg, to be rolled out and baked on a flat surface, having first covered the top with slices of apples or plums. A round shape looks best, with a little rim of the paste round the edge." -Godey’s Lady’s Book March 1863.

Civil War 1860s Recipe Apple Tart

The Date/Year and Region: Philadelphia 1863. This recipe was published the same year in Peterson's Magazine 

How Did You Make It: 


- 3 cups Flour
- 1 cup Sugar, plus 2 Tablespoons
- 1 stick of Butter (1/4 pound)
- 1 Egg

- 2 Apples, peeled and sliced
- Lemon Juice


Peel and slice your apples, set aside. In a medium sized bowl, mix sugar, softened butter and egg. Slowly add the flour until it forms a stiff dough. Add a little cold water if needed. Divide the dough in half and roll out on a floured surface. Roll the dough on to your pin and transfer to a baking sheet. Fill with the slices from one apple and fold the sides of the dough up. Drizzle lemon juice and a tablespoon full of sugar on top on the apple slices. Repeat with second tart. Bake in a oven preheated at 450 for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.    

Time to Complete: These made up very quickly. About 40 minutes, including baking time.

Total Cost: Very inexpensive. I had all of the ingredients on hand.

How Successful Was It?: Surprisingly good for not having any cinnamon or nutmeg. I was expecting it to be very plain but even my family enjoyed it, which is a major feat. 

How Accurate Is It?: Fairly accurate. Used sugar beet sugar instead of cane sugar.

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