Yorkshire Christmas pie

The pie is designed to be presented at the table as a glorious hand raised pie that’s heavily decorated. Inside is a big bird, stuffed with a smaller bird etc etc – think of it as an edible Russian doll covered with elaborately decorated pastry.

The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse (1740) gives a recipe for the pie using ‘whatever sort of wild fowl you can get’ alongside four pounds of butter and four bushels of flour for the pastry – which seems like rather a lot to me.

Harewood House used a recipe in the nineteenth century that involved a goose as the largest bird.

The Yorkshire pie may also be described as a stand pie because the pastry crust is hand raised.

For further information on Yorkshire pies follow here: https://countryhousereader.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/yorkshire-christmas-pie/

Pies with elaborate crusts have been served at feasts since medieval times.

Medieval plum porridge

Hannah Glasse The art of cookery made plain and easy published in 1747.

Sounds lovely – and it is the forerunner of Christmas pudding but it was served by way of an appetiser and was more of a broth than a pudding. In fact it contained meat, vegetables and raisins. Essentially this is an upmarket version of a pottage and could be boiled in a cauldron. Why do I get the feeling that I’m not particularly selling it to you?

As time passed more in the way of bread crumb was added as well as egg to thicken the whole concoction. Eventually the meat would be replaced by suet and it progressed from an introduction to the festive meal to the pudding.