The word 'coffin' originally just meant 'casing' and appears in many English cookbooks before about 1600 as the word for a pie crust. See; Battaglia Pie, Blackbird Pie, Calf's Head, Chewitts
Original Receipt in 'The Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin' 1594 by Thomas Dawson, (Huswife 1594)
To make Paste, and to raise Coffins.
Take fine flower, and lay it on a boord, and take a certaine of yolkes of Egges as your quantitie of flower is, then take a certaine of Butter and water, and boil them together, but že must take heed že put not too many yolks of Egges, for if you doe, it will make it drie and not pleasant in eating: and žee must take heed že put not in too much Butter for if you doe, it will make it so fine and so short that you cannot raise. And this paste is good to raise all maner of Coffins: Likewise if že bake Uenison, bake it in the paste above named.
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