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A large or small enclosed pastry cases filled with sweet (such as apple) or savoury (such as pork) fillings. Some varieties are eaten cold, other hot.

Some varieties - such as fish - are not strictly pies, but a mixture cooked in bowl, then covered with mashed potato. In the 14th-16th centuries elaborate pies, sometimes made with many types of fowl, would be the centre of large banquets. Yorkshire Christmas Pie is an example of a pie of this type.

Originally the pastry crust "Coffyn" wasn"t designed to be eaten but as a method of transportation, as pies were often made in the country, and it take a while to transport them to the cities; in much the same way as good cheese or smoked salmon might be regarded nowadays. See "Fruit, dried"; "Harleian manuscripts"; 'Yorkshire Christmas Pie'

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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