Until the late seventeenth century there was a tendency to serve spinach as a sweetened dish. After the eighteenth century there was no longer any question of serving a leaf vegetable as a sweet dish, with the exception of sliced fruit in salads and
This spinach tart comes from a lady whose family has lived for three generations in the neighbourhood of Osterley. It included a few prunes, which show its long pedigree and seem to go well with the spinach.
Roll out the pastry and line a
Meanwhile heat the spinach in a heavy saucepan. When heated through, pour off all the liquid, pressing the spinach to get out
When the pastry case is ready, put the ham strips in the bottom and then fill with the spinach, almost to the top. Smooth over and arrange the halved prunes around the edge, pressing them into the filling so that they are only just visible. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the tart, being careful that each prune has cheese over it. Dot with tiny knobs of butter about
Put the tart into a medium
©1980 The Estate of Elizabeth Ayrton