Medieval to Victorian, Savory Pies

posted in: Kitchen, Medieval, Victorian | 0
Victorian Raised pies
Victorian Raised Pies, made with hot water crust pasty

Raised Pies

Although dessert pies are more common today – at least in the States – Savory Pies have been around for centuries and began as a way to transport food without the benefit of modern day tupperware.

Early raised pies in the Medieval era were made with a hard crust that was not so much for eating as it was for packaging. Hot water crust, still used today for raised pies (free-standing pie), makes for a very sturdy crust vs a buttery, flaky crust. If you need your pie to stand up without the crutch of a tin or pie plate, hot water crust dough is usually the way to go.

In days of yore, this pie crust was called a ‘coffin,’ and was usually discarded after the contents were eaten.

More hot water crust, mini pies

Mini Raised Savory Pies

Mini raised pies come in various shapes. The above are done with an initial mold. Half-way through cooking, once they’ve baked up a bit, the mold is taken off, and the outside is brushed with egg wash to get a golden crust.

Medieval pouch pies, free formed, raised pies.
Pie pouches

Pork pies pouches or purses are the perfect picnic ‘hand’ food. Free-shaped around the bottom of a jam jar, they’re a little quirky in their un-uniformness. These have a very medieval look and would be great for a Halloween party.

mini raised pies with lattice
Short crust pasty

Short Crust or Puff

Two other types of pasty I often use for savory pies are short crust and puff. If it’s puff, then it’s storebought for me, but perhaps you’re more industrious.

Mini-pies always look good with a nice lattice.

Savory Pie with Tudor Rose decoration from the Game of Thrones cookbook.
Tudor Rose, Game of Thrones Pie

Game of Thrones Pie

Truth – this should be a pigeon pie, but it isn’t.
Pigeon isn’t easy for me to come by, and I didn’t want to use duck, so I went with chicken thighs (since they’re a dark meat). Otherwise, I followed the recipe for Pigeon Pie, in the official Game of Thrones companion cookbook, A Feast of Fire & Ice.

In the Medieval era, the spices used are usually the ‘warm’ one – cloves, mace, cinnamon etc. This recipe was no exception, except there was no cinnamon. But if you’ve prepared medieval recipes before, you’ll recognize the flavors.

I found it to be an easy recipe to make and it turned out quite nice. I went with a tudor decoration, but if you’re a die-hard GoT fans, you could come up with your own trim.

Redware pie pan from Townsends 18th century cooking

The pie dish I used for this was one I bought from the Townsends, who sell 18th century wares to re-enactors. It holds heat beautifully, and my pie was still hot a half hour it came out of the oven.

Today’s Savory Pies

Although I said sweet pies are more common in the U.S., savory pies are gaining popularity. And by that, I mean outside of the frozen chicken pot pie.

If you’re intersted in trying your hand at savory pies, whether raised or not, I have a few books to recommend, and sources follow.

Pie, by Angela Boggiao
A Feast of Fire & Ice, by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer

Raised Pie Molds, Pie Plates:
Alan Silverwood – the small pies with herbs were made with the small oval tins
Townsends – redware pie plate from the tudor pie photo