Pellerine Tarts

What, Where, When:

  • Eel and cheese pie, similar to a quiche.
  • Based on a recipe from central France, dated to approximately 1466.

Original Recipe and Translation

Tartes pellerines du melleu frommage que on pourra finer. Et seront les tartes descouvertes.  Et y aura dedans de l’anguille par groz petiz transons, en shascune tart .v ou .vi transons et qu’ilz soient pas tropt grans. – Le Recuil de Riom

Pellerine tarts of the best cheese which one can find. And the tarts are uncovered. And have put in eels cut into large, round slices, in each tart five or 6 pieces and they aren’t too big.  (Translation by Jennifer Soucy)

Alternative Recipe for Eel Tarts

Le Menagier: Large eels are cooked in water with parsley and eaten with white garlic; in pastry with cheese and finely powdered spices. Inverted, in hot sauce like lampreys.


This recipe is from Le Recuil de Riom, a source more fully discussed in the full translation.  

  • Eel pies with cheese or custard are found in many sources in the medieval corpus.  I chose to use a rich, creamy cheese, and added eggs and spices to make this dish almost like an eel quiche, although the eggs are not specified in either of the period sources I have quoted.
  • It is a very rich dish, which is why the tart Is very small.

Eel Pie


  • 2.5 oz boneless eel, in small pieces

  • 2 oz white “melting cheese”

  • 2 oz brie

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 oz milk

  • 1.5 tsp “strong spices”

  • Pie crust (butter, flour, water)


  • Cut eel and “melting cheese” into small pieces.
  • Place into prepared, unbaked tart crust.
  • Beat eggs, brie, milk and spices together, pour over fish.
  • Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until solidified.


Sources are detailed here.

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