The Cornish Pasty
This page is simply a list of references to pasties from Wikipedia - Pasty.
Source: A Classical & Archaeological Dictionary,
by P. Austin Nuttall, 1840 D
Acknowledgement: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Pasty.
There are apparently several recipes for pasties in Le Viandier (Reference 3, above, in Wikipedia), linking HERE to a translation that I have not yet examined. Having now examined this link I have still not recognised "pasties" - maybe one should search for "leaven" as a clue? Or perhaps "pie" as early pies were not cooked in dishes but in pastry cases a la pasty style (see "huff paste" below).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_cuisine : "The completely edible shortcrust pie did not appear in recipes until the 15th century. Before that the pastry was primarily used as a cooking container in a technique known as 'huff paste'."
Huff paste was a cooking technique involved making a stiff pie shell or coffyn using a mixture of flour, suet, and boiling water. The pastry when cooked created a tough protective layer around the food inside. When cooked, the pastry would be discarded as it was virtually inedible, However the shell became soaked with the meat juices and was often eaten by house servants after the meal had concluded.
Its main purpose being simply to create a solid container for the pie’s ingredients. The flour itself was stronger than normal flour, often made from coarsely ground rye, and suet, which was mixed with hot water to create an early form of hot-water crust pastry. Clean water was not always available and therefore people’s hands were often dirty which may have been a reason why the pastry cases were thrown away.
Huff paste could be moulded into a variety of shapes, called 'coffyns' or 'coffers', similar to a Cornish pasty. Another benefit of these early pies was that meat could be preserved for several months and the food contained within was protected from contamination. It also allowed food to be preserved so that country dwellers could sent it over long distances as gifts to their friends in other towns or other areas.
Occasionally shells of huff paste were baked empty, or "blind". After baking, the pastry was brushed with egg yolk to give it a golden color. Later, the shell was then filled with a mixture of meat and spices and then baked.
We have not researched this page except for:
no. 6 - Plymouth Pasty (1510) - this page has the full details.
no. 9 - Edward Kidder, lamb pasty and venison pasties, - expanded on here.
no. 12 - earliest written Cornish pasty recipe (1746) - while widely referenced on the internet, the item is currently untraceable in the Cornwall Records Office.