Food Timeline: history notes-pie & pastry (2023)

Tomato pie
19th century American cookbooks offer several recipes for "tomato pie." These were typically green or ripe tomatoesbaked in a traditional pie crust. The tomato was used as any other fruit; sliced and spiced. Tomato pie, the pizza from South NJ/Trenton/Philadelphia, evolves from Italian culinary traditions. Tracing the origin andevolution of this delicious regional specialty takes some sleuthing. Happy to share our notes.

[1901: Green Tomato Pie (sweet, like apple pie made with tomatoes)]
"The pie connoisseurs who have been enumerating and classifying the different brands of pie in print of late have been guilty of a grievous omission in leaving out green tomato pie. Like sweet potato pie, the green tomato articled is indigenous to the southern section of the great pie belt, but there it is in high favor. There is no geographical reason why it should not become equally popular up North. The tomatoes distinguishing it are sliced and stewed in sugar the in a way very taking to the sweet tooth, but they must first of all be green. Pie is still hopelessly unfashionable, but now that the doctors have come out with a denial that it is unhealthy, it bids fair to be in for a new lease of popularity, in which green tomato pie deserves to be included."
---"Don't Forget Green Tomato Pie," Washington Post, March 12, 1901 (p. 6)

[1921: Tomato Butter Pie made with apples, NJ]
"Tomato Butter Pie. Tomato pie is usually made by filling crust with ordinary tomato butter. To make the tomato butter peel and cut tomatoes into halves and press out the seeds. To 5 pounds of tomatoes allow 8 pounds of apples, pared, cored...Weigh the whole mixture and to each pound allow half a pound of sugar and the juice of half a lemon. Boil the tomatoes and the apples together, stirring carefully until you have a thick, smoothe paste. Add the sugar and the lemon juice. Boil for 20 minutes and it will be ready for future use."
---"Contributed Recipes, Trenton Evening Times [NJ], August 18, 1921 (p. 11)

[1937: Tomato Pie with macaroni base]
"Chef Wasser's Tomato Pie. Boil one-half pound macaroni in salted water fifteen minutes. Drain and line bottom and sides of nine-inch plate. Scald, peel and seed six large ripe tomatoes and quarter. heat tow tablespoons olive oil in skillet and add some finely chopped garlic or onion and all but five of tomato quarters. Cook five minutes. Add one cup cornmeal and cook ten minutes, then add some ground camino seeds and salt and pepper. Fill plate with mixture blended with one cup cooked kidney beans, place slices fried tomato on top and arrange macaroni crisscross between slices. Sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Bake in moderate oven about ten minutes, or until browned."
---"Tomatoes rate New Popularity," Lona Gilbert, Los Angeles Times, August 15, 1937 (p. D11)

[1947: Tomato Pie synonymous with pizza]
"Who's that hiding behind the walrus mustache? That's Jerry Colonna, Bob Hope's pal, the professor. What's he doing in the kitchen? Building a pizza, an Italian tomato pie, but one American-tailored. Jerry grew up in Boston...His folks are Italian and Italian dishes were the thing at the home table."
---"Jerry Builds a Pizza," Clementine Paddleford, Los Angeles Times, August 31, 1947 (p. E16)

[1950: Jersey Shore Tomato Pie]
"Many boardwalk concessionaires plan to keep open their varied attractions--games, auctions, frozen custard and tomato pie."
---"Autumn Shoreline: Jersey Resorts Expect Record Business to Continue Throughout the Fall," William M. Myers, New York Times, September 24, 1950 (p. X18)
[NOTE: no recipe or description for tomato pie.]

[1973: Tomato pie different from pizza]
"On Tuesdays we had a thick crusted tomato pie (there is a version now called pizza) made with fresh tomatoes and melted slices of provolone cheese cut from the hanging blimps bought at the Italian grocery."
---"Pasta Fazoolie, Without Beans," Joseph Mastrangelo, Washington Post, October 27, 1973 (p. D2)

[2002: Jersey Tomato Pie]
"...you who want the crackerlike crunch of a crust against the hot and soft sweet tomato against the melted-to-almost-crusty mozzarella, with crust bubbles tinged to deepest brown, even black...then De Loreno's Tomato Pies is where you'll want to stand in line and eventually eat."
---"Thin is in: It was never out at a basic pizza place offering the classic Jersey Tomato Pie," Karla Cook, New York Times, July 28, 2002 (p. NJ 10)

[2008: Jersey Tomato Pie]
"...Palermo's, an unassuming pizzeria that serves an exemplary rendition of a New Jersey specialty: tomato pie. Unlike pizza, the Jersey tomato pie is 'cheese first, sauce on top,'...The sauce, ladled on in dollops, is chunky, fruity and finished with a little olive oil...The crust is so thin that we can't serve tomato pie by the slice."
---"The United Plates of New Jersey," Betsy Andrews, New York Times, March 28, 2008 (p. F1)

[2010: Trenton Tomato Pie]
"Compared to every other kind of pizza, Trenton tomato pies are put together backwards. Cheese and toppings go on first. Only then comes the tomato sauceseasoned, crushed plum tomatoes, to be precisespooned on with the individual pizzamakers signature flair. It wouldnt be a true tomato pie if there was tomato sauce in every bite, as in a regular pizza. You dont want sameness in every bite. You want the tomatoes to have a bit of bulk and gather themselves in little red hillocks on the pie. Normally, pizza is coated in cheese, and you take one bite and the cheese all comes off, says Rick DeLorenzo Jr., who runs DeLorenzos Pizza on Hamilton Avenue in Trenton. With tomato pie, you really taste the tomatoes.Nick Azzaro remembers his grandfather, Joe Papa, one of the founding fathers of Trenton pizza, relating a tale that could, in part, account for the nature of the tomato pie. Back in Naples, Azzaro says, The story was they were making bread, and they put some sliced tomatoes on it, and cooked it, and that was it.Papa opened Papas Tomato Pies on South Clinton Avenue in 1912, at age 17. He had emigrated from Naples during the prior decade and settled in Trenton in the burgeoning Italian neighborhood of Chambersburg. Before launching his own restaurant, he worked at Joes Tomato Pies. Joes opened in 1910 and is regarded as the second pizzeria established in America after Lombardis, which opened on Spring Street in Manhattan in 1905."
---New Jersey Monthly, January 2010

[2012: Southern New Jersey Style Tomato Pie]
"Southern New Jersey Style Tomato Pie. On the surface, this pizza appears similar to the New York style, but there are several distinct differences. Typically dough formulation will not include olive oil. While the hand -stretching method is the same as New York style, this pizza is topped with locally-produced shredded mozzarella before the sauce is applied. Sauce is smooth, but thicker than New York style sauce and is splashed on the pizza randomly, with Romano or domestic Parmesan cheese added on top. The 'cheese first' method produces a crisper crust with creamier melted cheese. Traditional toppings are limited to anchovies, or sliced sausage that is pre-cooked and then distributed on thepizza before baking."Philadelphia Style Tomato Pie. While similar in name to the New Jersey pizza, this type is actually quite different. Dough is made from all-purpose flour, allowed to ferment and then stretched and placed on a square black steel pan that is coated with olive oil or baked directly on the stones of an oil-fired oven. A light sprinkle of shredded mozzarella is generously covered by a chunky slow-simmered tomato sauce that contains yellow onion, fresh garlic and a large amount of extra virgin olive oil. The pizza is topped with grated Parmigiano Reggiano before baking."
---A Slice of New Jersey: Your Ultimate Guide to Pizza in the Garden State, Peter Genovese [Star Ledger Munchmobile]
2012 (p. 21-22)[NOTE: these definitions are attributed to John Arena, the co-founder of Metro pizza in Las Vegas.]

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French pizza? Oui!
Many people assume
pizza originated in Italy. Certainly there is ampleevidence. Onthe other hand? Food does not respected man-made political boundaries. Countries sharingcommonborders likewise share similar dishes, ingredients, and flavors. Pizza-type foods are popularthroughout theMediterranean region. Yes, there is French pizza. It flourishes in the balmy southeast region of the country. Theingredients arequite similar to those of neighboring Italy.

"Pissaladiere. A specialty of the Nice region, consisting of a flan filled with onions and garnishedwith anchovy fillets and black olives. It is traditionally coated with a condiment pissalat beforebeing cooked, hence the name. A good pissaladiere should have a layer of onions half as thick asthe base if bread dough is used; if flan is made with shortcrust pastry (basic pie dough), the layerof onions should be as thick as the flan pastry. It can be eaten hot or cold...Pissalat. Also knownas pissala. A condiment originating from the Nice Region, made of anchovy puree flavored withcloves, thyme, bay leaf and pepper and mixed with olive oil. Originally pissalat was made from thefry of sardines and anchovies, but because this is not readily available outside the Mediterraneanarea, anchovies in brine may be used instead."
---Larousse Gastronomique, completely revised and updated [Clarkson Potter:New York]2001 (p. 899)

"A pissaladiere is in effect a Provencal version of the pizza. It consists of a base of bread dough(or sometimes fried slices of bread) with a savoury topping. Nowadays this is usually onionsstewed in olive oil, or a mixture of tomatoes and anchovies, or a puree of anchovies andgarlic...all threee decorated with black olives, but originally it would have been a mixture of tinyfish, typically fry of sardines, anchovies, etc., preserved in brine. This was known as pissala(presumably a derivative of Latin piscis, 'fish'), and gave its name to the pissaladiere. (Despite thestriking similarity, there does not appear to be any direct etymologial link with Italianpizza.)"
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p.258)

"Though the French influence is everywhere in this country, a few foods that are common inFrance have managed to escape our dragnet. The French pizza is one example. Yes, pizza.Although it is most often known as a pissaladiere, it is what it is: a round, flat bread, crisp on thebottom, simply garnished on top, rustic and yet urbane. Travel through the regions of France withyour eyes open for anything that looks like pizza, and you'll come back impressed not only byhow plentiful these pizzas are but also by their variety. Some, like the galette de Perouges, aresweet rather than savory. And many of them are served at room temperature. In fact, the pizzas ofFrance and Italy, despite having different tendencies in herbs and cheese, have more in commonwith each other than they do with most of those produced here...The Provencal version of thepissaladiere is often garnished with two of the region's signature ingredients: black olives andsliced tomatoes, both in minuscule amounts by our standard. It is usually served at roomtemperature as often as not because in Provence, and throughout France, pizza is snack bread.Because it lacks gobs of cheese congealing on top, it retains its appeal even when cool. It is sosimple--mostly just sweet onions on a wonderful crust. And yet it was so much more.Ifpissaladiere is the most familiar of the French pizzas, galette de Perouges is the most surprising.This is the best-known product of Perouges, a well-preserved and perfectly restored medievalvillage not far from Lyons. Although galette is a word used for many free-form tarts in France,this particular galette seems more familiar than most: a large, round pie, slid into an oven on apaddle and cut into crisp wedges. On closer inspection, however, and especially on tasting, this isno common variation on pizza. The crust is rich and sweet--a yeasted dough made with butter andsugar, and rolled nearly flat. And the topping is butter and sugar; no more. The galette is baked ina hot oven until the sugar caramelizes and the crust becomes brittle; unlike most pizzas, thisdough is not chewy but crunchy. The tarte flambee of Alsace may be the world's northernmostindigenous and legitimate pizza. You see it everywhere, although it is most common in the north,around Strasbourg. Alsace is French, of course, but the food, language and appearance are quiteGerman in character. In this regional crossroads, there are many variations, based largely on thebackground of the baker. Tarte flambee is a bit puffier and less flat than most pizza. Although it isusually spread with fromage blanc, bacon and onion before baking, there are many variations.There is a peculiar convention in tarte flambee: Each wedge is rolled from the wide crust end toits point, and the rolls are eaten end to end. Because French pizzas are so difficult to find outsideFrance--and are among the easiest of all pizzas to make--it makes sense to try them athome."
---"Vive la Pizza: An Italiam Classic Gets a French Makover," MarkBittman, New York Times, Sept. 23, 1998 (p. F1)

First pizza delivery?
Legend likes to claim the first pizza delivery took place in Italy, 1889:

"The first pizza delivery was in 1889, by Raffaele Esposito owner of the famous pizzeria Pietro il Pizzaiolo in Naples. The recipients were visiting King Umberto I and Queen Margherita. Refusing to go to the likes of a pizzeria, the queen ordered in."
---"PIZZA: SOME TOPPING FACTS, "Press Association November 11, 2002

Our survey of articles published in the New York Times (ProQuest database) uncovered an advertisement for this franchise opportunity "Fresh Pizza Trucks, "The Pizzeria on Wheels" (NYT, June 5, 1960, p. F26). Another article from 1971, describing the meeting of the North American Pizza Association, clearly indicates home pizza delivery was a long established and popular activity. Then, as today, the industry was plagued with bad drivers having accidents while on company time:

"During a discussion on pizza delivery, one man asked his fellow pizzamakers what he could do about his high accident rate. He said that his delivery men had wrecked six cars in the last six years and that his insurance had been cancelled. "How about a rubber car?" one man jokingly suggested from the rear."
---"When Else Would Call Hamburgers the Enemy?," Judy Klemesruds, New York Times, March 31, 1971 (p. 38)

Frozen pizza
The earliest print reference we find to manufactured frozen pizza (in the USA) is patent
2,688,117, "Method for Making Frozen Pizza," filed by Jo Bucci, Philadelphia PA, August 10, 1950. We also find evidence of refrigerated pizza products penetrating grocery stores. It was just a matter of time before frozen pizzaswere competing with TV Dinners for space on the consumer's ubiquitous living room feeding tray.

[1950]
"...Leo Giuffre has introduced his ready-to-cook pizzas in... the last two weeks. Already the cheese and tomato-topped "pies," which made their debut in Bean Town three months ago, are available for 49 cents each in a few stores here, including Kaboolian's Market, 389 Avenue of the Americas, and Philip's Quality Market, 80-28 Thirty-seventh Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens. The pizzas, which are kept under refrigeration but not frozen, are ready to pop into the oven...One pizza (about nine inches in diameter) yields two generous servings, or three for not quite such ambitious appetites...Though Mr. Giuffre's Roma Pizza Company, Inc. has been operating in Long Island City for only a little more than ten days, it is already turning out 3,000 of the delectable pastries daily."
---"News of Food: Pizzas Now Offered Here Ready-to-Cook," New York Times, June 28, 1950 (p. 34)

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[1951]
"With almost every jobbing musician in the local working at another trade or business during the day, it remained for Emil De Salvi, band man about town, to finally shelve his music vocation when his odd-hour avocation paid off highter than the union scale. De Salvi has perfected a frozen pizza pie, six fanciful fillings, for the television viewing home trade."
---Tower Ticker," Savage, Chicago Daily Tribune, February 7, 1953 (p. 23)

[1951]
"Giuseppi's Frozen Pizza Pie, Philadelphia."
---"Advertising News & Notes," New York Times, December 7, 1951 (p. 50)

[1951]
"Del Buono Frozen Pizza, Camden NJ."
---"Advertising News," New York Times, December 19, 1951 (p. 56)

[1953]
"Pizza, not undergoing a curious gustatory vogue, is a hot freezing item in New York and Chicago with at least a half dozen local concerns in action. E. De Salvi, president of Pizza-Pro Corp. of Chicago, who claims to do 95% of the frozen pizza business in the Windy City, is now trying to line up distributors in St. Louis, Nashville, Rockford, Indianapolis and surrounding points. But the competition is tough. In St. Louis, Mr. De Salvi found a local tavern owner who was freezing the Italian specialty during slack times at the bar."
---"Frozen Foods: Nation Eats Mountain Tonnage of Them as Competition Cuts Prices," Wall Street Journal, March 5, 1953 (p. 1)

[1954]
"Another of the week's 652 patents was granted to Joseph Bucci of Philadelphia for a method of making in frozen form that popular delicacy, pizza, sometimes called tomato pie. He says the method applies also to other edibles that combine layers of dough with liquid or moist filing, such as upside-down cakes, puddings and dumplings. After he shapes the pizza shell out of dough, Mr. Bucci spreads on a "sealing agent" such as tomato puree, and bakes it. The sauce is cooked separately, cooled and placed on the shell. Optional items such as cheese trips are added and the whole is then frozen. The patent number is 2,688,117."
---"Walking Truck-Boat Just Puts one Pontoon Before the Other: Frozen Pizza...," Stacy V. Jones, New York Times, Feburary 6, 1954 (p. 23)
[NOTE: Mr. Bucci's patent can be viewed online.]

[1954]
"Feast on frozen foods from famous houses...Like "Little Bo-Pizzas," delightful miniature hors d'oeuvres pizzas from the Petite Food Corporation."
---"Live to Eat in Macy's Food Festival," New York Times, April 22, 1954 (p. 7)

[1954]
"Petite Foods Corporation, Brooklyn...its line of frozen food specialties, one of which rejoices in an unlikely name, of Little Bo-Pizzas, a miniature frozen pizza product."
---"New Business," New York Times, October 7, 1954 (p. 35)

[1954]
"Frozen pizza is available in many groceries, ready to eat after heating in the kitchen oven."
---"Pizza Pies Hit Big Time in America," James D. Schacter, Washington Post, March 9, 1954 (p. 25)

"A war cloud, no bigger than a press agent's mind, is hanging over Chicago, if you are going to believe Folger S. Decker, a manof his word--thousands of them, in fact. This is to be a gustatory grapple, Mr. Decker said, with the pizza pie on the one side,and the hot dog, weiner or tepid puppy, on the other. He said is would be cold war, of course, as many of these pizza pies are frozen...."Do you realize," continued Mr. Decker, "that the pizza has made terrific infroads on the hot dog market? During the last twoyears alone, Mr. Emil De Salvi, who purveys frozen pizzas, has blanketed the country with 5 million pizza pies.""
---"Cold War Looms: Pizza Pie Vs. Hot Dog," Thomas Morrow, Chicago Daily Tribune, August 3, 1954 (p. 18)

[1955]
"It's new--A new frozen food product, Little Bo-Pizzas are the first miniature pizzas to make their apperance. Tasty rounds of a special dough blended with imported type aged cheese, spices, olives and tomatoes, Little Bo-Pizzas are ideal for a party canape tray. Also nice served with salads or cold cuts for luncheon; and ideal for bridge or canasta nibblers. Just pop them in the oven until crisply touched with brown--about 8 minutes, serve."
---"It's New," Washington Post and Times Herald, February 18, 1955 (p. 67)

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[1957]
"Frozen pizza crust ready for you to top with anything that pelases the whimsey or taste of your family, is the newest twist in the pizza craze. Holton's Pizza Crusts are partly cooked, ready to brown and serve. The bottom of each crust is pierced with holes to allow the heat to penetrate and crisp the batter. You can top it with anything from sausage to ice cream. It is frozen, but if it is partly thawed when it reaches your kitcen it can be refrozen safely, acording to the manufacturer. Each package contains three individual portions."
---"'Round the Food Stores: for a look at the latest ideas," Lois Baker, Chicago Daily Tribune, July 12, 1957 (p. B17)

[1966]
"For a teenage get-together or a family supper, you can't go wrong when you serve Miniature Pizzas. With one recipe you get 30 pizzas--to bake and serve or store in the freezer for a spur-of-the-moment gathering. They're easy to make with refrigerated biscuits, a seasoned tomato sauce and grated cheese. Topped with anything you choose to mix, match or even scramble, these make-ahead finger foods are fun. Heap them on a serving tray, hot from the oven, and watch them disappear."
---"They're Frozen Assets," Washington Post, July 21, 1966 (p. D3)

[1967]
"One of the best sellers it the Grotto is a $.75 snack--the famous Pizza Tichinese, somewhat similar to the pizzas of southern Italy. You can make an excellent facsimile back home using a frozen pizza for a base. "Pizza Ticininese, U.S.A. For each person provide 1 individual-size frozen pizza..."
---"The Fast Gourmet," Poppy Cannon, Chicago Daily Defender, June 1, 1967 (p. 24)

[1972]
"If your taste runs to pizza, we have some good news and some bad news. As snack foods go, frozen pizza is remarkably nutritious. But judges by CU's test of 41 products, it isn't apt to be very good. We were disappointed by the crusts, taste or high bacteria counts on all but four brands, and we could rate those bands only Fair. Our tests centered on the four most popular pizza styles. We evaluate 17 brands of cheese pizza, 14 of sausage, seven of pepperoni and three topped with hamburger. By way of comparison, we also bought and tested at least one sample of fresh pizza in each of those four styles. On average, our frozen pizzas contained a bit more dough than a fresh pizza of the same type, and a bit less cheese. The ran neck and neck in the amount of sauce. Our taste-tests indicated though, that liberality or stinginess with any given ingredient wasn't a reliable guide to eating quality...Chemical analysis indicated that the samples averaged roughly half water, about 30 per cent carbohydrate, 10 per cent protein and, depending on pizza variety, anywhere from 6 1/2 to nine per cent fat. A typical, four-ounce serving would provide 220 to 304 calories. So, despite their status as a snack food, the pizzas we checked fulfill many of the nutritional requirements of a main dish...pizza's balanced protein-calorie relationship, uncommon in a snack food, might well promote the use of pizza as a meat substitute in your meal now and then...Pizza's main pitch for the buyer's dollar is based on sensory appeal. Accordingly, CU's food technologists evaluated from three to six samples of each frozen pizza fro flavor, aroma, texture and appearance...Unfortunately, very few crusts filled the bill even well enought to be rated Fair...No CU food project would be complete without a close look at product cleanliness. We accordingly analyzed duplicate samples of every product for viable microbes. Our first effort was a total bactyeria count per gram of pizza. That's usually a pretty good indicator of a food's sanitary status...our findings were far from reassuring...To be fair, such a dismal bateriological showing doesn't necessarily mean that a food is leaving the factory in filthy condition. Those bacteria can thrive at freezing temperatures will get a chance to increase inordinately in a pizza that's mishandled or stays overlong in a retail showcase...A check of the pizzas for extraneous matter also yielded disquieting results--about 96 per cent of the samples tested contained some quantity of insects or insect fragments. Those unsavory intruders turned up in every brand, and represent a higher level of such contamination than we have found in any other food category...As far as taste goes, we think most would do well to buy a freshly cooked pizza at a pizza parlor they know to be good and freeze it themselves..."
---"Frozen Pizza," Consumer Reports, June 1972 (p. 364-367)

[1976]
"Coming to Chicago [and other markets] shortly as a part of a national roll-out is Stouffer's French Bread Pizza, a frozen prdouct in test in four markets including Indianapolis, through a good part of 1975."
---"Souffer's Heats Up Frozen Foods Mart," Chicago Tribune, February 26, 1976 (p. C10)
[NOTE: Records of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office indicate this product was introduced to the American public October 4, 1973. Registration #73414283]

Pork pies
Dishing out the history of pork pies is quite the challenge for any food historian. The practice of encasing sweet or savoryminced contents in pastry (aka
"pie" dates to Medieval times. Early recipes varied according to culture, cuisine,and Christian season (Lent, Christmas). They often combined meat with fruit (apples, raisins) and spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, etc.)Pork, being a versatile and common fall-ready meat, was often employed as pie filling. Popular regional versions are Old World Cheshire, New World Tourtiere. From thistradition sprang two primary recipe lines: savory raised pies and sweet compact mincemeat dishes. Melton Mowbray Pork Piesare protected by EU law. Some modern pork pies don't contain any pork at all.

"The British pork pie...are survivals of the medieval tradition of raised pies, and have changed surprisingly little. This particularpie, simply known as 'pork pie', is of a form distinct from other pies which merely happen to be made with pork. The filling is offresh pork without other major ingredients, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a small quantity of herbs, especially sage. At Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, long famous for its pork pies, anchovy essence was added not only for its flavour butbecause it was thought to give the meat an attractive pink colour, while pies from other districts were brownish or greyish."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2006 (p. 625)

Sweet vs savoury?

"By the middle of the seventeenth century, pies had become a peculiarly Engish specialty; even the French were prepared to concedesuperiority. By the time [Eliza] Smith was writing, they had a long an honourable past, and were thus less susceptible to foreign influences than the made dishes at which the French were held to excel. If it is true that there was a parallel trend inboth countries towards separating savory from sweet, it is not surprising that the English pies should have followed the general movement, but it is noticeable that they did so very much more slowly than made dishes. English books of the eighteenthcentury contain many receipts for meat pies with sweet and sour elements...What is perhaps the best-known English mixture of meatand sugar, the mince-pie, retained this combination until well into the nineteenth century, and survives, without the lean meat butwith beef suet, to our own day. But even in the area of pies, the distinction between sweet and savory was beginning to operate and was visible in English texts before 1700. A sweet element, either sugar or dried fruit, was almost always present in Markham's receipts...The distinction between savoury and sweet pies did not become really obvious in the cookery books until around1720. The cooks closest to French culinary practice removed the sugar entirely...E. Smith gave pies with chicken and with lamb in both savoury and sweet versions, but allowed the confustion of flavours to persist in her vegetable and mince pies--in other words,those where the sweet-savoury association lingered the longest."
---The British Housewife: Cookery Books, Cooking and Society in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Gilly Lehmann [ProspectBooks:Devon] 2003 (p. 194-5)

Selected 19th century British recipes

[1861]
"PORK PIES (Warwickshire Recipe).

835. INGREDIENTS.For the crust, 5 lbs. of lard to 14 lbs. of flour, milk, and water. For filling the pies, to every 3 lbs. of meat allow 1 oz. of salt, 21/4 oz. of pepper, a small quantity of cayenne, 1 pint of water.Mode.Rub into the flour a portion of the lard; the remainder put with sufficient milk and water to mix the crust, and boil this gently for 1/4 hour. Pour it boiling on the flour, and knead and beat it till perfectly smooth. Now raise the crust in either a round or oval form, cut up the pork into pieces the size of a nut, season it in the above proportion, and press it compactly into the pie, in alternate layers of fat and lean, and pour in a small quantity of water; lay on the lid, cut the edges smoothly round, and pinch them together. Bake in a brick oven, which should be slow, as the meat is very solid. Very frequently, the inexperienced cook finds much difficulty in raising the crust. She should bear in mind that it must not be allowed to get cold, or it will fall immediately: to prevent this, the operation should be performed as near the fire as possible. As considerable dexterity and expertness are necessary to raise the crust with the hand only, a glass bottle or small jar may be placed in the middle of the paste, and the crust moulded on this; but be particular that it is kept warm the whole time.Sufficient.The proportions for 1 pie are 1 lb. of flour and 3 lbs. of meat.Seasonable from September to March..."

LITTLE RAISED PORK PIES.
836. INGREDIENTS.2 lbs. of flour, 1/2 lb. of butter, 1/2 lb. of mutton suet, salt and white pepper to taste, 4 lbs. of the neck of pork, 1 dessertspoonful of powdered sage.Mode.Well dry the flour, mince the suet, and put these with the butter into a saucepan, to be made hot, and add a little salt. When melted, mix it up into a stiff paste, and put it before the fire with a cloth over it until ready to make up; chop the pork into small pieces, season it with white pepper, salt, and powdered sage; divide the paste into rather small pieces, raise it in a round or oval form, fill with the meat, and bake in a brick oven. These pies will require a fiercer oven than those in the preceding recipe, as they are made so much smaller, and consequently do not require so soaking a heat.Time.If made small, about 11/2 hour.
Seasonable from September to March."
Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management, Isabella Beeton

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[1875]
"Pork Pies.
--Pork pies are generally made of the trimming taken from a hog when it is cut up. Make and shape the pies according to the directions given in the following recipe, and remember that the pies must be moulded while the paste is warm, and that they are much more easily made with a mould than without one. As a mould is not always at hand, those who are note particularly expriernced in the work (and it requires skill) may mould the pie round a jelly-pot or bottle, which has beeen made warm by beining immersed for some time in warm water. Cut the meat into pieces the size of a small nut, and keep the meat and fat separate. Season the whole with pepper and salt, half a dozen young sage-leaves finely shred; or a tea-spoonful of dried and powdered sage, one ounce of salt, two and a quarter ounces of pepper, and a pinch of cayenne, may be allowed for a pie containing three pounds of meat. Pack the fat and lean closely into the pie in alternate layers until it is filled. Put on the cover, press and pinch the edges, and ornament according to taste. Brush over with well-beaten egg, and bake in a slow oven, as the meat is solid and requires to be soaked thorugh. Neither water nor bone should be put into pork pies, and the outside pieces will be hard unless they are cut small and pressed closely together. The bones and trimmings of the pork may be stewed to make gravy, which should be boiled until it will jelly when cold, and when this has been nicely flavoured, a little may be poured into the pie after it is baked through an opening made in the top. When pies are made small they require a quicker oven than large ones. Time to bake, about two hours for a pie containing three pounds. Probable cost, 3s."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 610)

"Pork Pies, Pastry for.--Put a quarter of a pound of finely-shred beef suet--or five ounces of lard, or a quarter of a pound of mutton suet--and an ounce of fresh butter into a saucepan with half a pint of boiling water and a pinch of salt. Stir the mixture until the fat is dissolved, and pour it boiling hot into a pound and a half of flour. Knead well to a stiff paste, and add a little more warm water if required. Shape the dough, and get it into the oven while it is warm. If the pie is to be baked in a mould, lay a piece of the proper shape in the bottom. Press long pieces into the sides, and fasten thesee to the top and the bottom with white of egg. If a mould is not to be used, cut off as much apstry as will make the cover, and wrap it in a cloth to keep warm. Mould the rest with both hands into the shape of a cone, and make the sides smooth and firm. Press the top down with the knuckles of the right hand, and with the left press the outside closely to keep it firm and smooth. Be careful that the walls are equlally thick in every part. Fill the pie, put on the cover, pinch the edges, fasten securely with white of egg, ornament the outside in any wan thay may suit the fancy, brush over with yolk of egg, and bake in a slow oven if the pie be large, in a quicker one if it be small."
---ibid (p. 610-1)

[1894]
"Pork Pie, Raised.
--Those who kill pigs of their own have no trouble in obtaining suitable pie meat; those who buy it should be careful to get the best quality, and to see that it is free from the slightest taint, every slice being carefully looked over. Required: for a medium-sized pie, a pound and a half of pork, the same weight of paste, about a teaspoonful and a half of salt, or, for some, two teaspoonfuls will be none too much, nearly as much pepper, and herbs if approved, and a little gravy. Cost, about 7d. per pound. The meat should be fairly fat, and is best from a bacon pig, but the loin or neck of pork may be used; the foreloin is preferred by many. Cut into dice (by means of a mincer, or by hand), the pieces bieng even in size, the fat and lean mixed will, and the seasoning thoroughly blended with the meat; the meat should be sprinkled with a spoonful of water or stock during the mixing, as it tends to bind it. Full directions for the raising of the paste will be found on page 785, and either of the reicpes on page 748 may be followed in making it; the medium paste is suitable. Those who possess moulds sometimes prefer a pork pie raisied by hand, and baked out of a mould, as the consider the flaour is better. The meat should be packed in firmly, and the lid put on after the inner edges have been egged over; the edges should be crimped with the paste nippers (opage 741), and leaves put round the side and on the lid; make a hole or two, and put a centre ornament of paste or not, as preferred. Then egg the pie over, and put in a good oven. (See the directions for RAISED PIES, page 785). This will take about two to two and a half hours; the latter will not be too long in most cases, and a skewer should be passed into the middle of the meat to test it. The gravy should be made from the bones and any skinny and gristly parts of the meat, seasoned as required, and strenghthened with gelatine or meat of a gelatinous sort; the liquor form boiled pork should be used in place of water at the start, should any be handy; supposing, for instance, the feet and ears of a pig to have been boiled, there is in the liquor a good foundation for the gravy of the pie. NOTE.--Should herbs be used, any of those named under PORK SAUSAGES in a previous chapter will answer; but sage is generally liked. If fresh, about half a teaspoonful would be enough to flavour the above for most people. Doupble the quantity of dried sage could be suet. We may mention that at a certain farmhouse in the Midlands, the pork pies are always made with layers of stoned raisins betweent the layers of pork. We never met with these pies elsewhere, but can recommend them."
---Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book, Lizzie Heritage [Cassell and Company:London] 1894 (p. 782-3)
[NOTE: the Raised Pie recipe referred to above (p. 785+) is too long to transcribe. We can mail/fax/scan if you like.]

Cheshire Pork Pie
Cheshire Pork Pie descends from the long and venerable line of English meat pies. Food historians traces these dishes to the Middle Ages, if not before. Ingredients, cooking methods and size vary according to place and period. The pairing of
pork and apples is ancient. Mincemeat pies are closelyrelated.

"Cheshire Pork and Apple Pie. Since I wrote about this pie some years ago, readers have occasionally queried its status as a raised pe. Unless the pastry walls are thick, the juice burst out and spoil its appearance...So I returned to Hannah Glasse. Her instructions are vague, but it is placed among the dish pies (raised pies start six recipe later). Later in the book she gives instructions for a Cheshire pork pie to be made at sea, with salt pork, and potatoes instead of apples; and this pie is clearly a double crust pie made in a dish. The question remains, should the pie be eaten hot or cold? By its position, I would say hot, like the chicken pie before it, and the Devonshire squab pie that follows. But it tastes so good cold. By leaving the pie for 24 hours, you wil find that the flavours blend together in the most delicious way.

Shortcrust pastry
1 kilo (2 lb) boned loin of pork
4 rashers (2 lb) streaky green bacon, chopped
250 g (8 oz) chopped onion
Salt, pepper, nutmeg
275 g (12 oz) Cox's orange pippins, or similar dessert apple
Brown sugar
Butter
150 ml (1/4 pt) white wine, dry cider or light ale
Beaten egg or top of milk, to glaze
Line a 1 1/4 litre (about 2 pt) capacity pie dish with pastry. Slice and cube the pork, them put in a layer. Mix bacon, onion and seasonings and scatter some over the pork. The peel, core and slice the apples and arrange them on the meat; scatter with a little brown sugar; the amount depends on the sweetness of the apples, but it should not be overdone. Repeat the layers until the ingredients are used up. Dot the top with butter--about 60g (2 oz)--and pour on the alcohol. Cover with pastry in the usual way, and brush with beaten egg or top of the milk. Bake at mark 7, 220 degrees c (425 degrees F), for 20-30 minutes, then lower the heat to mark 3, 160 degrees C (325 degrees F), and leave for a further 45 minutes, or until the pork feels tender when tested with a larding needle or skewer through the central hole in the pastry lid."---English Food, Jane Grigson [Penguin Books:London] 1994 (p. 231-2)

Compare these 18th & 19th century recipes:

[1747]
"A Cheshire Pork-Pye.

Take a Loin of Pork, skin it, cut it into Stakes, season it with Salt, Nutmeg, and Pepper; make a good Crust, lay a Layer of Pork, and then a large Layer of Pippins pared and cored, a little Sugar, enough to sweeten the Pye, then another Layer of Pork; Put in half a Pint of White Wine, lay some Butter on the Top, and close your Pye: If your Pye be large, it will take a Pint of White Wine."
---The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1747 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 72)

"Cheshire Pork Pye fo Sea
Take some salt Pork that has been boiled, cut it into thin Slices, and equal Quantity of Potatoes, pared and sliced thin, make a good Crust, cover the Dish, lay a Layer of Meat, seasoned with a little Pepper, and a Layer of Potatoes; then a Layer of Meat, and a Layer of Potatoes, and so on till your Pye is full. Season it with Pepper; when it is full, lay some Butter on the Top, and fill your Dish above half full of soft Water. Close you Pye up, and bake it in a gentle Oven."
---ibid (p. 125)

[1817]
"Cheshire Pork Pie.

Take the skin of a loin of pork, and cut it into steaks. Season them with pepper, salt, and nutmeg, and make a good crust. Put into your dish a layer of pork, then a layer of pippins, pared and cored, and sugar sufficient to sweeten it. Then place another layer of pork, and put in a half a pint of white wine. Lay some butter on the top, close your pie, and send it to the oven. If your pie is large, you must put in a pint of white wine."
---The Female Instructor: Young Woman's Guide to Domestic Happiness [Thomas Kelly:London] 1817 (p. 452)

Cape Breton Pork Pie
Food historians tell us traditional European
pork pies date to medieval times. Modern Cape Breton pork pies, however, are different. Why? Pork is not an ingredient. Recipes suggest this item evolved from themincemeat/mince pies tradition.

Why are they called pork pies when they have no pork?
Excellent question. Up until the 20th century, lard and suet were common ingredients inpies and pie crusts. In the Old World beef suet was the norm. In the New World hogs wereplentiful. It is quite likely the original Cape Breton pork pies employed lard from these animals. Now butter and other shortenings are used, thus rendering the moniker "pork pies" a deliciousrelic of times past.

(Video) Why Was Baking The Most Deadly Job In The Victorian Era? | Victorian Bakers | Absolute History

Canadian English, a real mouthful

[1977]
"Cape Breton Pork Pies

How these little tarts got their name remains a mystery to us. It could be that pork fat was onceused as the shortening, or it might be a reflection of the wonderful Cape Breton sense ofhumor.
Tart Shells
1 cup butter
4 tablespoons icing sugar
2 cups flour
Cut the butter into the flour; add the sugar and knead until well blended. Press small amounts ofcough into small muffin tins. Bake in a 425 degrees F. Oven for 10 minutes. When cool fill withthe following:
Filling
2 cups chopped dates
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
Lemon juice
Simmer the above ingredients until the dates are of a soft consistency. Cool; then fill the tartshells. Ice with butter icing."
---Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens, Marie Nightingale [McCurdy PrintingCompany:Nova Scotia] tenth printing May 1977 (p. 164)

FAQs

What can you say about the history of pies and pastries? ›

The Ancient Egyptians created the first example of what we know as pies today. Later on, closer to the 5th Century BC, the Ancient Greeks were believed to invent pie pastry as it is mentioned in the plays of the writer Aristophanes and it was possible to work as a pastry chef in this era, a separate trade to a baker.

What is the history of pies? ›

The history of the pie has its roots in ancient Egypt and Greece. The ancient Greeks ate pie (artocreas), though it was of the savory type with meat in an open pastry shell. The Romans may have been the first to create a pie that included a top and bottom crust.

What are the tips to ensure success in baking pies and pastries 3 tips only? ›

  1. Keep ingredients cold. ...
  2. Refrigerate the dough after every step. ...
  3. Handle the dough as little as possible. ...
  4. Use as little flour as possible when rolling out the dough. ...
  5. Bake plain crusts or filled pies in a hot oven to set the crust's structure. ...
  6. Vent double-crust pies. ...
  7. Use aluminum foil or "pie shields" to protect the crust.
Oct 6, 2022

What was one historical use for pies? ›

The colonists cooked many a pie: because of their crusty tops, pies acted as a means to preserve food, and were often used to keep the filling fresh during the winter months. And they didn't make bland pies, either: documents show that the Pilgrims used dried fruit, cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg to season their meats.

What was the first pie flavor? ›

The written record tells us that food was baked in dough in Ancient Greece, and according to the American Pie Council, the first recipe for pie, "a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie," was published by the Romans.

What is a pie food? ›

A pie is a baked dish which is usually made of a pastry dough casing that contains a filling of various sweet or savoury ingredients.

Why is it called pie? ›

"Pie" was the word for a magpie before it was a word for a pastry, from the Latin word for the bird, Pica (whence the name of the disorder that makes you eat weird things). Pica morphed into "pie" in Old French, following the proud French tradition of actually pronouncing as few consonants as possible.

What is the number 2 most important thing when making pie crust? ›

#2—Add cold water

Before you start making the dough, fill a glass with ice and water. Add the ice water gradually to the dough, about one tablespoon or so at a time, and stop when the dough is just moist enough to hold together when a handful is squeezed.

What are the things that needed to consider when baking pastries? ›

Every baking skill you need to know
  • Softening butter. Butter should be at room temperature before you start, to avoid the batter curdling. ...
  • Melting the chocolate. ...
  • Creaming the butter and eggs. ...
  • Sifting the flour. ...
  • Baking the cake. ...
  • Checking it's cooked. ...
  • Cooling the cake. ...
  • Icing the cake.

What were early pies called? ›

The first pies, called “coffins” or “coffyns” (the word actually meant a basket or box) were savory meat pies with the crusts or pastry being tall, straight-sided with sealed-on floors and lids.

Who invented pastry? ›

Pastries were first created by the ancient Egyptians. The classical period of ancient Greece and Rome had pastries made with almonds, flour, honey and seeds. The introduction of sugar into European cookery resulted in a large variety of new pastry recipes in France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

How is pie made? ›

pie, dish made by lining a shallow container with pastry and filling the container with a sweet or savoury mixture. A top crust may be added; the pie is baked until the crust is crisp and the filling is cooked through.

What is the most popular type of pie? ›

Apple Pie. Coming in at number one on the list is apple pie. This classic dessert is not only a staple at the American dinner table, although it didn't get its start in America.

Is pie a pastry? ›

Small tarts and other sweet baked products are called pastries as a synecdoche. Common pastry dishes include pies, tarts, quiches, croissants, and pasties.

What is pie short for? ›

PIE
AcronymDefinition
PIEPublic Internet Exchange (various locations)
PIEPrice in Effect
PIEProcess Improvement Experiment
PIEPersonal Information Environment
67 more rows

What is pie called in America? ›

Pizza was first called pie when Italian immigrants arrived in the United States in the late 1800s. Pizza had similarities to a pie – with a crust, sliced triangle portions and its circular shape. Italian-Americans sold and popularized the pizzas, and the exotic dish picked up the English name “tomato pie”.

What is the difference between pies and pastries? ›

While pies have a thin and smooth crust, tarts have a rather thick and crumbly crust which crumbles down when pieces are cut from the tart. Pies are served in the same dish they are made in, while tarts are often taken out and molded, if needed.

What are the four main ingredients in pastry dough? ›

Identify and prepare pastries. 1. Pie crusts are made from four basic ingredients: flour, fat, salt, and water.

Which pie has the most sugar? ›

In the pumpkin pie, calories and saturated fat are lower while protein and calcium are higher. But the apple pie takes the cake when it comes to fiber, sugar (both total and added) and sodium. So what's a pie aficionado to do?

What is a pie like pastry? ›

A galette is a French pastry similar to a tart or a pie; it's essentially pastry dough wrapped over a filling made from fruit, sugar, and butter. This free-form pie-like pastry doesn't require a special pan — just a nice flat surface for baking.

Is cake a pastry? ›

In a nutshell, all pastries are cakes, but not all cakes are pastries. And the main difference lies in the fact that cakes involve many ingredients that are nutritious too, while pastries use only a few ingredients.

What are the three basic ingredients of pies and pastries? ›

The three primary ingredients of pastry are fat, flour and water. The ratio and handling of these ingredients give us the full spectrum of pastry, from delicate tenderness to brittle flakiness.

What is the full form of pie? ›

PIE - Pulsed Irrigation Evacuation.

Is pizza a pastry? ›

A savory pastry, yes. Technically, it is, because Pizza P I E, technically.

Is pizza a pie? ›

In America, pizzas are considered a pie. This definition refers to the pie being made of tomato sauce, cheese, and meat and then covered with dough. The name comes from the ingredients layered on top of each other. Then, the dough is added on top.

What is the best flour for pies? ›

Flour: It's all about the protein

What kind of flour makes the best pie crust? Well, not high-protein bread flour! Use that for your chewy bagels. What you want for pie is flour that yields a tender, flaky crust, which means medium-protein all-purpose flour or low-protein pastry flour.

What is the secret to a good pie crust? ›

The Best-Kept Secrets for Perfect Homemade Pie Crust
  1. Start with the Right Pie Baking Tools.
  2. Cut in the Butter until You See Peas.
  3. Choose Lard.
  4. Use Ice-Cold Water.
  5. Don't Overmix.
  6. Keep the Dough Cool.
  7. Pick the Right Plate.
  8. Bake with the Rack on the Bottom.
Oct 4, 2017

Is oil or butter better for pie crust? ›

Oil pie crusts are easy to work with because, unlike butter, the fat is already melted. This means that it incorporates into the flour more easily than a solid fat does. The end result is still a flaky, delicious, and satisfyingly rich crust.

What temperature do pies bake at? ›

Most fruit pies bake at a temperature between 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Some recipes call for baking the pie in a 450 degree F oven to begin with, then turning down the oven to about 350 degrees F.

What is the best way to bake a pie? ›

Place the pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet (to catch any drips), and put the pie and baking sheet onto the lowest rack of your oven. Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 60 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.

What makes a good pie? ›

The following are characteristics of a good pie:

Crust is uniformly browned and golden brown around the side, somewhat lighter brown on bottom. Crust is flaky and tender. Filling is firm, smooth, and sufficiently cooked. Flavor is well-blended, with the filling characteristic for that kind of pie.

What are the 4 main methods of baking? ›

So today we'll walk you through the 4 basic methods of baking so you don't end up with a disaster cake.
  • WHISKING.
  • CREAMING.
  • MELTING.
  • RUBBING IN.
Apr 4, 2022

What are the things you need to prepare before starting to bake? ›

5 Things You Should Never Forget to Do Before Baking a Cake
  • 1 Check if you have all the tools and ingredients that you need. ...
  • 2 Preheat your oven. ...
  • 3 Check the position of your oven racks. ...
  • 4 Know how to prep your cake pans. ...
  • 5 Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature or at the temperatures that they should be in.
Jan 31, 2018

What are the basic steps in preparing and baking? ›

12 Steps
  1. Step 1: Scaling. All ingredients are measured. ...
  2. Step 2: Mixing. ...
  3. Step 3: Bulk or Primary Fermentation. ...
  4. Step 4: Folding. ...
  5. Step 5: Dividing or Scaling. ...
  6. Step 6: Pre-shaping or Rounding. ...
  7. Step 7: Resting. ...
  8. Step 8: Shaping and Panning.

What is pie and pastry? ›

Pies are defined by their crusts. A filled pie (also single-crust or bottom-crust), has pastry lining the baking dish, and the filling is placed on top of the pastry but left open. A top-crust pie has the filling in the bottom of the dish and is covered with a pastry or other covering before baking.

Where did fruit pies originate? ›

Fruit pies or tarts (pasties) were probably first made in the 1500s. English tradition credits making the first cherry pie to Queen Elizabeth I. Pie came to America with the first English settlers. The early colonists cooked their pies in long narrow pans calling them "coffins" like the crust in England.

Why are pies called pies? ›

"Pie" was the word for a magpie before it was a word for a pastry, from the Latin word for the bird, Pica (whence the name of the disorder that makes you eat weird things). Pica morphed into "pie" in Old French, following the proud French tradition of actually pronouncing as few consonants as possible.

What were early pies called? ›

The first pies, called “coffins” or “coffyns” (the word actually meant a basket or box) were savory meat pies with the crusts or pastry being tall, straight-sided with sealed-on floors and lids.

Who invented pastry? ›

Pastries were first created by the ancient Egyptians. The classical period of ancient Greece and Rome had pastries made with almonds, flour, honey and seeds. The introduction of sugar into European cookery resulted in a large variety of new pastry recipes in France, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.

When was pastry invented? ›

It was not until about the mid-16th century that actual pastry recipes began appearing. These recipes were adopted and adapted over time in various European countries, resulting in the myriad pastry traditions known to the region, from Portuguese "pastéis de nata" in the west to Russian "pirozhki" in the east.

What is the full form of pie? ›

PIE - Pulsed Irrigation Evacuation.

Is pizza a pie? ›

In America, pizzas are considered a pie. This definition refers to the pie being made of tomato sauce, cheese, and meat and then covered with dough. The name comes from the ingredients layered on top of each other. Then, the dough is added on top.

What is pie short for? ›

PIE
AcronymDefinition
PIEPublic Internet Exchange (various locations)
PIEPrice in Effect
PIEProcess Improvement Experiment
PIEPersonal Information Environment
67 more rows

What is the difference between pies and pastries? ›

While pies have a thin and smooth crust, tarts have a rather thick and crumbly crust which crumbles down when pieces are cut from the tart. Pies are served in the same dish they are made in, while tarts are often taken out and molded, if needed.

What is a pie dish? ›

(paɪ dɪʃ ) a shallow dish that you cook pies in. a 3-pint pie dish.

Is pastry a food? ›

A baked food group which contains items made from flour and fat pastes such as pie crust; also tarts, bear claws, Napoleons, puff pastries, etc. (uncountable) The type of light flour-based dough used in pastries.

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