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The Cornish Pasty

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Early references to pasties
(excluding literature)

This page is simply a list of references to pasties from Wikipedia - Pasty.

  1. A 13th century charter (1208 AD) was granted by Henry III (1207–1272) to the town of Great Yarmouth. The town is bound to send to the sheriffs of Norwich every year one hundred herrings, baked in twenty four pasties, which the sheriffs are to deliver to the lord of the manor of East Carlton who is then to convey them to the King.[8] The original source for this has not been located yet, but Google Books shows:

P.Nuttall, 1840 AD
Source: A Classical & Archaeological Dictionary,
by P. Austin Nuttall, 1840 D

  1. The 13th century chronicler Matthew Paris wrote of the monks of St Albans Abbey "according to their custom, lived upon pasties of flesh-meat"[9]
  2. 1393 - "Le Menagier De Paris," (venison, veal, beef, & mutton)[10]
  3. 1420 - 15th century cookery-book has a 'venysoun pasty' served at A Royal feast for the Earl of Devonshire [11]
  4. 1465 - The installation feast of George Neville, archbishop of York and chancellor of England, there were served 4,000 cold and 1,500 hot venison pasties.,[12]
  5. A 16th century (1510) Audit Book and Receivers Accounts for the Borough of Plymouth, show the financial cost of making a pasty, using venison from the Mount Edgcumbe estate just across the Tamar River, is housed in the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office. [13]
  6. 1672 - To Make a Venison Pasty from The Queen-like Closet or Rich Cabinet by Hannah Wolley [14]
  7. 1690 - Rare and Excellent Receipts by Mary Tillinghast[15]
  8. 1720 - Lamb and venison pasty recipe from Edward Kidder's Receipts of Pastry and Cookery [16]
  9. 1742 - Mary Swanwick's `Her Cookery Book'[17]
  10. 1747 - The Art of Cookery, by Hannah Glasse (venison pasty)
  11. 18th century - The Cornwall Records Office (CRO) in Truro has a recipe for a Cornish pasty of 1746. This is the earliest record of a true Cornish pasty recipe.

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). : "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

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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,[1] 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.[2]

A dish from Wiltshire called the 'Devizes Pie', is layered meat terrine cooked under a huff paste[3]


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