[Sca-cooks] Coffyn pan?

silverr0se at aol.com silverr0se at aol.com
Fri Jan 18 10:50:30 PST 2008

Once upon a Thanksgiving many years ago one of our guests brought a gorgeous free-standing apple pie.

Naturally I was quite?happy to see this modern descendant of a fine Medieval pie and the other guests were suitably impressed. 

But, in the finest Medieval tradition, the beautifuly decorated crust was just about inedible. I don't think it was made with lard or it would have tasted better. Play-Doh, maybe. I did warn people...


-----Original Message-----
From: Nancy Kiel <nancy_kiel at hotmail.com>
To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 3:50 am
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Coffyn pan?

Can you give some examples of free-standing pies made with a crust of something 
other than hot-water-and-lard?

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.

> Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2008 08:17:50 -0500
> From: adamantius1 at verizon.net
> To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Coffyn pan?
> On Jan 16, 2008, at 6:53 AM, Nancy Kiel wrote:
> > 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.
> One problem to be dealt with is the fact that it's popular in the SCA  
> to assume that free-standing pies and tarts are made with what amounts  
> to a modern-ish hot-water-and-lard, or equivalent, pastry, when the  
> relatively few pie crust recipes available don't really establish this  
> as a given.
> It'd be interesting to use malleability versus strength (the ability,  
> say, to hold a filling or a liquid without leaking, breaking, or  
> collapsing before, during, or after baking) as a test for various  
> dough types, such as rye not-very-short-crust, wheat crust with cream,  
> a hot-water dough of wheat, wheat and egg yolks, etc.
> Of course, one thing to look for would be the ability to tolerate, and  
> hold through baking, molded or otherwise fine detail.
> Over this past weekend I had occasion to make a hot-water-and-lard  
> dough (steak, mushroom, and egg, no kidneys on hand I wasn't using),  
> and in spite of using AP flour, boiling liquid, lard, _and_ letting it  
> rest before baking, I was surprised to note the amount of what one  
> might call glutinous distortion of my design in baking.
> Not that it was a big deal; it wasn't the Palace at Versailles or  
> anything, just some hand-fluting and a few cutouts to mark the  
> location of some marrowbones inside. But after having taken all those  
> steps to prevent it from changing shape while baking, I was a little  
> surprised. It'd be interesting to see which of our available pie dough  
> recipes works the best, and under which conditions.
> Adamantius 
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