“Here’s the challenge, read it: I warrant there’s vinegar and pepper in’t.” -Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare
These tarts contain pepper and vinegar, to create a sweet/savory balance. Peppercorns, popular since ancient Greece and Rome, and traded as money in Medieval times, were often included in sweet dishes in Shakespeare’s day.
4 large naval oranges
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground 5-color peppercorns
3 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons verjus (or white wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon honey
15 ready-made tiny phyllo tart shells (1-inch diameter)
Use a vegetable peeler to cut the peel from the oranges and lemons, removing any white pith. Soak the peels for 10 minutes in cold water, then drain and coarsely chop.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add peels, pepper, ginger, sugar, and wine, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool mixture to room temperature, stir in verjuice and honey. Spoon the filling into the tart shells and serve.