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Pies and Chewitts

Game Pie

This magnificent paté de gibier is illustrated in Agnes Marshall's Cookery Book (London: 1880).

Copper pie form

As a result of the invention of the sprung metal pie form. these 'French' raised pies became very popular in the nineteenth century These useful moulds were sold by braziers and kitchen equipment retailers, who marketed a great variety of designs. Because of the support the metal form afforded the pie during baking, it was possible to use a finer pastry than the old fashioned hot water crust which had been used since medieval times. Mrs Marshall's pastry recipe opposite makes a delicious crust for pies of this kind. Earlier pie makers had to raise their pies entirely by hand.

A slice of Mrs Marshall's pie

A slice of Mrs Marshall's pie.

A Yorkshire pie for Christmas served to the Royal Family at Windsor Castle on Christmas Day 1857

Earlier diners ate their pies by cutting off the lid and eating the filling with a spoon. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the English had a taste for pies made in very elaborate shapes. The designs published by Robert May, Henry Howard, Edward Kidder and John Thacker give us a very good idea of what these extraordinary pies, custards and florendines looked like. Ivan is a very experienced pie maker and has frequenly raised some very large pies by hand. He particularly enjoys making the shaped pies of the Stuart period, like the salmon pie of 1660 below. Move your cursor over the pie to see its garnish of oyster chewitts. Click it for MORE PIE RECIPES

Salmon Pie with Oyster Chewitts

A stack of chewitts, also from May.

Garrett's Game Pie with Darioles

A re-creation of Garrett's game pie with poached darioles of rabbit

French Raised Game Pie.
(Paté de Gibier à la Française.)

Prepare a raised pie paste, and with it line a No. 2 size French raised pie mould to scarcely a quarter of an inch thick; then prepare a farce or mince as follows: Take ten ounces of veal, twelve ounces of fresh pork, and chop very fine, or pass twice through a mincing machine; season with coralline pepper, salt, and arrange this on the paste in the mould. Fill in with fillets of pigeon, chicken, or any game you may have, strips of tongue, ham, or bacon, hard-boiled yolks of eggs that are masked with chopped parsley and seasoned with pepper and salt, button mushrooms, pistachios, truffles, pâté de foie gras, coekscombs - and any farced birds, such as larks, quails, or ortolans, so as to stand higher than the mould; cover in with more of the farce or mince, and then put a somewhat thinner layer of paste over the top, first wetting the edges of the paste round the mould, press the edges together, and trim off the paste; brush the top lightly over with cold water, stamp out some rounds of the paste and work them into leaves or other pretty designs, and ornament the top of the pie with them; fix a buttered paper round the mould standing some six inches higher than the top of the pie. Bake gently for about two and a half to three hours, taking care that the paste is not browned, as it should be a rich fawn colour when done; when cooked put the pie aside in the mould till it is cold, then remove the top by cutting the paste through round the edge of the mould, and fill up the pie with any nice meat jelly that is not quite set, and put aside again till the jelly is quite set; then cover the top with some chopped aspic and replace the paste cover. Remove the mould, dish on a paper, and it may be garnished round with aspic jelly. Care must be taken when filling up the mould that the jelly is not too liquid or it will go through the paste. This is excellent as a side dish, or for wedding breakfasts, ball suppers, and, in fact, for use generally.

Raised Pie Paste
Take one pound of fine flour and rub into it a quarter of a pound of butter, a pinch of salt, one whole egg, then mix it with cold water into a stiff paste and use.

From Agnes B. Marshall Cookery Book (London: 1880)

Garrett's Game Pie

A raised pie from Garrett's Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery garnished with darioles, aspic and chopped parsley.

Three pies were made from seventeenth century designs

These small pies, rather like modern English pork pies, were known as chewitts, arranged here in a stack. Recipes varied, but they frequently contained a mixture of meat and dried fruit like mince pies. In late Stuart court cookery, they were sometimes used to garnish the elaborate bisques, terrines and olios of the first course.

Make pies like these on one of our BAKERY COURSES

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