The Lady’s Tourte, and Christmas Tourte a la Châtelaine

Lady’s Tourte.


To make this Tourte, which, when filled, is of pretty appearance, two paste-cutters are requisite, one the size, or nearly so, of the inside of the dish in which the entremets is to be served, the other not more than an inch in diameter, and both of them fluted, as will be seen by the engraving. To make the paste for it, throw a small half saltspoonful of salt into half a pound of the finest flour, and break lightly into it four ounces of fresh butter, which should be firm. Make these up smoothly with cold milk or water, of which nearly a quarter of a pint will be sufficient, unless the butter should be very hard, when a spoonful or two more must be added. Roll the paste out as lightly as possible twice or thrice if needful, to blend the butter thoroughly with it, and each time either fold it in three by wrapping the ends over each other, or fold it over and over like a roll pudding. An additional ounce, or even two, of butter can be used for it when very rich pastry is liked, but the tourte will not then retain its form so well. Roll it out evenly to something more than three-quarters of an inch in thickness, and press the large cutter firmly through it; draw away the superfluous paste, and lay the tourte on a lightly floured baking-tin. Roll the remainder of the paste until it is less than a quarter of an inch thick, and stamp out with the smaller cutter—of which the edge should be dipped into hot water, or slightly encrusted with flour—as many rounds as will form the border of the tourte. In placing them upon it, lay the edge of one over the other just sufficiently to give a shelllike appearance to the whole; and with the finger press lightly on the opposite part of the round to make it adhere to the under paste. Next, with a sharp-pointed knife, make an incision very evenly round the inside of the tourte nearly close to the border, but be extremely careful not to cut too deeply into the paste. Bake it in a gentle oven, from twenty to thirty minutes. When it is done, detach the crust from the centre, where it has been marked with the knife, take out part of the crumb, fill the space high with apricot-jam, or with any other choice preserve, set it again for an instant into the oven, and serve it hot or cold. Spikes of blanched almonds, filberts, or pistachio-nuts, may be strewed over the preserve, when they are considered an improvement; and the border of the pastry may be glazed or ornamented to the fancy; but if well made, it will generally please in its quite simple form. It may be converted into a delicious entrée, by filling it either with oysters, or sliced sweetbreads, stewed, and served in thick, rich, white sauce, or béchamel. Lobster also prepared and moulded as for the new lobster patties, will form a superior dish even to these.

Obs.—Six ounces of flour, and three of butter, will make sufficient paste for this tourte, when it is required only of the usual moderate size. If richer paste be used for it, it must have two or three additional turns or rollings to prevent its losing its form in the oven.

Christmas Tourte à la Châtelaine.—Make the case for this tourte as for the preceding one, and put sufficient mince-meat to fill it handsomely into a jar, cover it very securely with paste, or with two or three folds of thick paper, and bake it gently for half an hour or longer, should the currants, raisins, &c., not be fully tender. Take out the inside of the tourte, heap the hot mince-meat in it, pour a little fresh brandy over; just touch it with a strip of lighted writing-paper at the door of the dining-room, and serve it in a blaze; or if better liked so, serve it very hot without the brandy, and with Devonshire cream as an accompaniment.*

* Sufficient of cream for this purpose can easily be prepared from good milk.