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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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