Who said, `Peacock Pie'?

CHAP V Observations on PIES from
The Experienced English Housekeeper For the Use and Ease of Ladies, Housekeepers, Cooks, &c. ... By Elizabeth Raffald

RAISED pies should have a quick oven, and well closed up, or your pie will fall in the sides; it should have no water put in, till the minute it goes to the oven, it makes the crust sad, and is a great hazard of the pie running. --Light paste requires a moderate oven, but not too slow, it will make them sad, and a quick oven will catch and burn it, and not give it time to rise; tarts that are iced require a slow oven, or the icing will be brown, and the paste not be near baked.-- these sort of tarts ought to be made of sugar paste, and rolled very thin.


LET your chickens be small, season them with mace, pepper, and salt, put a lump of butter into every one of them, lay them in the dish with the breasts up, and lay a thin slice of bacon over them, it will give them a pleasant flavour, then put in a pint of strong gravy and make a good puff paste lid it and bake it in a moderate oven: French cooks generally put morels and yolks of eggs chopped small.

Rather than my usual pie, this weekend I am bringing pasties to share with the camp. I used the above recipe as inspiration for the filling, substituting cooked chicken breast for the whole chickens and regular white mushrooms for the suggested morels. I added crumbled bacon, chopped hard cooked egg yolks and a splash of chicken stock along with a healthy dose of mace for flavor. My favorite pie crust recipe, which uses all butter rather than lard or shortening, was rolled into small rounds & filled before being folded in half & pinched closed. My "moderate" oven was 350* for approximately 45 minutes.

Of course I had to try one before cooling & packing them for the drive tomorrow. The mace has a good flavor, similar to it's growing partner nutmeg, but a bit more orange in tone. The egg completely disappears, although I can see how they help the filling hold together. Of course the crust is my favorite part, flaky & buttery with just enough egg wash to give each pastie a nice golden color.

I am adding this to the successful 18th century recipes folder! Lets hope that everyone else in camp agrees. If nothing else, at least I'm not torturing them with another onion pie, or worse (spinach pudding anyone)!