[Sca-Cooks] Pasty in Mason & Brown and Prospect Books

Johnna Holloway johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu
Fri Jul 27 17:32:30 PDT 2007

Laura Mason and Catherine Brown Traditional Foods in Britain
traces the Cornish Pasty back to the mid 19th century.
It was originally baked on a bakestone or iron plate and covered with
a iron bowl on which coals were heaped.

The Glossary at Prospect Books has this to say--

PAST: pastry; but it may also mean a paste. A variety of types of pastry 
are called for, see the index. See also Coffins. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

PASTE (pastry). Most of the recipes are vague about what sort of pastry 
to use and how to make it. Mrs Peasly, however, does provide recipes for 
sweet paste, hot paste, puffpaste, and paste for meat pies or pasties. 
(See Part II, pp. 127-8.) It is worth noting that she eschews egg as a 
binder and does not use any rising agent. Mrs Peasly’s pastry recipes 
are simpler and cheaper than those provided by aristocratic and court 
cooks of the period. For interesting comparisons see Henry Howard’s 
England’s Newest Way in all sorts of Cookery, Pastry, and all Pickles 
that are fit to be Used (London, 1727), Robert Smith’s Court Cookery or, 
The Compleat English Cook (London, 1723), and Patrick Lamb’s Royal 
Cookery or, The Compleat Court-Cook (third edition, ‘with considerable 
additions’, London, 1726). (Richard Bradley, 1736)

PASTE, PASTRY. Hannah Glasse gives recipes for, or refers to, several 
sorts. Standing crust 73, and again ‘top and bottom’ 74, was the 
standard pastry for dishes baked in crust. Karen Hess (1981, 81-2) has 
written on its history and ways of reproducing it. In addressing the 
Captains of Ships, Hannah Glasse gives advice on how to make a good, 
thick crust of the same sort, suitable for both pork and apple pies, 
123-4. The recipe for crackling crust, 76, follows that of John Nott 
(1726) who echOED the instructions given earlier by Massialot (Nouvelle 
Instruction pour les Confitures ...) for Pate croquante, to be used in 
making the base for open tarts, and for decorations on top. The original 
French suffered slightly in the translation. Those English authors who 
adopted the recipe (including Mrs Eliza Johnston in The Accomplish’d 
Servant-Maid, 1747, a very rare book) failed to make entirely clear, as 
Massialot had done, that the same paste which is used for the bottom 
crust is used for the decorations. They do not give the impression that 
they had tried the recipe, or really understood it. The facts that the 
title of the recipe is a straight translation from the French, and that 
there is no recipe at all for crackling crust in a number of important 
English cookery books of the period, also suggest that it may not have 
represented any English practice. Puff-paste crust, 122, is another 
whose history has been dealt with by Karen Hess (1981, 156-8). It would 
appear that, mutatis mutandis, Hannah Glasse’s puffpastry was not so 
different from more modern versions. Instructions for a paste for making 
‘vermicella’ (vermicelli) are also given, 155.(Glasse, 1747)


If one has Brears' book All the King's Cooks, the chapter
titled "From the Pastry Yard" is worth checking out for what it says 
about pastries and pies in general.
Also MWBofC has Karen Hess' s comments too.


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