[Sca-cooks] Coffyn pan?

Nancy Kiel nancy_kiel at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 16 03:53:55 PST 2008

I always assumed these types of pies were made without pans, using a thick stand-alone crust (sometimes made with rye flour) that was not intended to be eaten.  That way the cook could make any shape he wanted, such as a fish or a lobster.  Robert May, although post period (1685), has a number of pie designs throughout his cookbook that would have to be made free-hand.

Nancy Kiel
nancy_kiel at hotmail.com
Never tease a weasel!
This is very good advice.
For the weasel will not like it
And teasing isn't nice.

> From: t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
> To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
> Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2008 14:38:47 -0600
> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Coffyn pan?
> The term coffyn has it's origins in a Greek word meaning "basket" was 
> transferred into Latin then came into English via Old French, where it meant 
> "little basket," "case," etc.  Thus the shape may be immaterial to the 
> definition as the coffin was created to meet the needs of the contents.  The 
> idea in the SCA that the coffyn should be rectangular may be an artifact of 
> the modern usage of the word, a box to hold a body.  This usage first occurs 
> in English around 1525 (although the same usage in French dates from around 
> 1330).
> In the sense that coffyn is used on this list, it is: (1) a shaped mold of 
> dough to hold a pie, (2) a pie crust, and (3) a dish to hold a pie.
> I haven't seen much about the size and shape of hand raised coffyns, but for 
> pies shaped in a pan I suspect that many of the baking dishes were 
> terracotta or ceramic and that circular baking dishes are easier to produce 
> than square or rectangular ones.
> Bear
> But, Gunthar, weren't Medieval coffyns round?  I sort of got that impression 
> from most of the existing illustrations, but I may be wrong <sigh>.  The 
> Charlotte Mold might be a better choice.  But, why not some of the round 
> spring molds?  They are fairly tall (at least 4" tall), and would probably 
> release fairly easily.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Meisterin Katarina Helene von Schönborn, OL
> Because of the really cool bread baking pan that was linked
> (which I will definately be purchasing) I've been browsing
> the Williams-Sonoma catalogue. I saw this and, although
> meant to be a Pate' en Croute pan I was thinking this might
> be good for making coffyns. I'd love to make period coffyns
> but can't find a pan with the correct sides. I know some people
> have built up coffyn pans with paper but I'd like a full metal
> mold someday. This might fit the bill for some types.
> http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/sku7708/index.cfm?pkey=cBKWSPTI
> Gunthar
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