[Sca-cooks] pumpkins and squashes
t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Mon Jul 21 20:03:02 PDT 2008
> Again, as a guess, this was a replacement for sweet potato pie which is
> Elizabethan treat and probably not generally available in Virginia at
> time. >>>
> Ah, okay. Sweet potato would be much closer to the texture/processing of
> a pumpkin pie. I'm somewhat surprised though that sweet potato would be
> common enough in England that the colonists would have been aware of it,
> yet not be growing it in the colonies.
Presumably Catherine of Aragon introduced Henry Tudor to sweet potatoes. I
haven't found any references to prove that point, but it is reasonable. That
would give an initial introduction date between 1509 and 1533. There is
proof that John Hawkins ate sweet potatoes around 1550 and Francis Drake
talks of eating them shortly after. Since the first English colony did not
land in Virginia until 1854 (and Jamestown is 1607), we're talking a minimum
of 30 years of introduction to the sweet potato. By the end of the 16th
Century, they were known widely enough to be referenced in a couple of
England's sweet potatoes were imports initially. Cultivation was attempted
in Elizabeth's reign, but I haven't encountered any information on the
success of the venture.
Pumpkin pie might also derive from a gourd pie, but I don't recall any
examples of a gourd pie recipe.
> <<< Also, you are being far to restrictive in your idea of pie. You
> appear to
> be assuming a dessert, where as pie in the Elizabethan usage may be an
> intergral part of the meal and not necessarily sweet. >>>
> No. I was thinking more of texture and processing rather than sweet/
> savory. Although all the pumpkin pies I've eaten have been sweet. I guess
> with added sugar. Did these Elizabethan sweet potato pies tend to be
> savory then, rather than sweet?
To my knowledge, Elizabethean sweet potato pies were sweet, using the
natural sweetness of the sweet potato and adding sugar and spices similar to
those used in pumpkin pie.
> <<< I've made artichoke
> pie and within easy reach I have Elizabethan recipes for eel and onion
> apple and orange pie, and olive pie. The olives in olive pie are slices
> stuffed meat. >>>
> None of these, I think, end up with a custardy, well chopped/pureed
> filling. They are all larger chunks and pieces. I thought oranges were
> more of a Spanish item during Elixabethan times. So oranges, perhaps the
> non-sweet ones, were available in England? And these Elizabethan apple
> and orange pies were savory, not sweet?
You are assuming that Elizabethean pumpkin pie was custardy, why? Without
a recipe, we can only speculate as to how the filling was made, but consider
that cooking the pumpkin and mashing it, then baking it with wine, sugar and
spice would produce a soft, but not necessarily smooth filling tghat has no
relationship to custard.
A lot of spices came to Elizabethan England from the Lisbon spice market
until 1594, when it was closed to traders from Protestant nations. Oranges
became relatively plentiful because of the trade.
The apple and orange pies were sweet.
More information about the Sca-cooks