Sweet pie, or open tart, filled with warden pears spiced with, for instance, mace and cinnamon. AW 1591, Markham 1615, Gent.Delight 1653 etc.
Original Receipt in 'A book of cookrye. Very necessary for all such as delight therin', gathered by "AW" (AW 1591);
How to bake Wardens.
Core your wardens and pare them, and perboyle them and laye them in your paste, and put in every warden where you take out the Core a Clove or twain, put to them Sugar, Ginger, Sinamon, more sinamon then ginger, make your crust very fine and somewhat thick, and bake them leisurely.
The term 'warden' is known since the 14th Century for small cooking pears. It may originate with the type of Worcester Black Pear first recorded at the Cistercian Abbey of Warden in Bedfordshire.
Shakespeare's Winter's Tale has; "I must have Saffron to colour the Warden Pies".
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