Medieval Recipes #4: Mushroom Pasty


January 27, 2014 by phicks2012

This time around I decided to try something baked, and this sounded too good not to try. I also thought it possible that I’d eaten it at an event or two and found it good, so why not try to prepare it myself!!!

I like mushrooms and cheese, had all of the ingredients on hand — which is not necessarily something I can say for a lot of Medieval recipes that call for things like galyngale and grains of paradise and hyssop — so this recipe was also convenient.

Internet Source:


PERIOD: France, 14th century | SOURCE: Le Ménagier de Paris | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: A mushroom and cheese pie

Mushrooms of one night be the best and they be little and red within and closed at the top; and they must be peeled and then washed in hot water and parboiled and if you wish to put them in a pasty add oil, cheese and spice powder.

– Power, Eileen. The Goodman of Paris (Le Ménagier de Paris). A Treatise on Moral and Domestic Economy by A Citizen of Paris (c. 1395). New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1928.

1-1 1/2 lbs. whole button or sliced mushrooms
2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup grated or shredded cheese
1/2 tsp. each salt and ginger
1/4 tsp. pepper
one 9″ pie shell (lid optional)
Parboil or sauté the mushrooms; drain. Add oil, cheese, and spices. Mix well. Place in pie shell, add lid if desired, and bake at 350° F for 35-40 minutes, or until pastry is a golden brown.
While I prefer using grated parmesan or a combination of parmesan & cheddar cheese, feel free to use any variety of cheese or combination that suits you. Finer cheeses, such as brie, also work quite well, and brie itself is very appropriate for a recipe of French origin. Some other period cheeses include Farmers and Mozzarella.

This is an absolutely delicious pie and is one of my favorites!

This was very quick and easy to make, but not nearly as good as I expected. While I might have done something wrong, the ingredients, when prepped, did not fill a normal pie plate. I wound up transferring them to a smaller ramkin, and using part of the cut-down bottom crust to fashion a “lid”.

When cooked, the outside looked great, but the interior of the pastry seemed to me to be swimming in oil, and while I used more than the required half-cup of grated (Cheddar) cheese the flavor of the cheese was almost undetectable. I tasted mainly the olive oil.

Once I added up the calories and the Weight Watcher’s Points the recipe was in no way “diet friendly”, and while I suspect this didn’t matter much to period diners it does matter rather a lot in this century.

So, the next time I made it — and I DID want to try for a different outcome — I cut the olive oil by about 75%, added a dash of wine, and used a cup of low-fat cheese (Mozarella this time). I also left off the “lid” to cut down on the high number of calories pie crust contributes. I also (accidentally) substituted ground cinnamon for ginger.

The results were gratifying. Adding extra cheese allowed me to use the same quantity of mushrooms and split the recipe up between two ramkins.


Once baked, I shared the dish with a housemate, who had also sampled my first attempt, and she proclaimed this one far better as well.


Next time I’d like to try the same proportions with perhaps a low-fat chedder or other stronger cheese. Wish me luck!!


2 thoughts on “Medieval Recipes #4: Mushroom Pasty

  1. Chef Christy says:

    Cheddar is a very oily cheese. Switching to the mozzarella was a good call. Keep working with it, sounds like you are making great headway!

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