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Blackbird Pie

Pastries
Historic

From 'The Only True Mother Goose', 1833

Sing a song of sixpence
A pocket full of rye
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie
When the pie was opened
The birds began to sing
Was that not a tasty dish
To set before a king?



Original Receipt from 'Dressed Game And Poultry à La Mode' by Mrs De Salis, 1888

Blackbird Pie.

Stuff the birds with the crumb of a French roll soaked in a little milk, which put in a stewpan with 1-1/2 ounces of butter, a chopped shalot, some parsley, pepper, salt, a grate of nutmeg, and the yolks of two small eggs. Stir over the fire till it becomes a thick paste, and fill the insides of the birds with it. Line the bottom of the pie-dish with fried collops of rump steak, and place the birds on them neatly. Add four hard-boiled yolks of eggs, and pour gravy all over, cover with puff paste, and bake for one hour and a quarter.



See also: Crow Pie, Palpatoon

From the English version of 'Epulario' (The Italian Banquet), published in 1598;

"To Make Pie That the Birds May Be Alive In them and Flie Out When It Is Cut Up: Make the coffin of a great pie or pastry, in the bottome thereof make a hole as big as your fist, or bigger if you will, let the sides of the coffin bee somwhat higher then ordinary pies, which done put it full of flower and bake it, and being baked, open the hole in the bottome, and take out the flower. Then having a pie of the bigness of the hole in the bottome of the coffin aforesaid, you shal put it into the coffin, withall put into the said coffin round about the aforesaid pie as many small live birds as the empty coffin will hold, besides the pie aforesaid. And this is to be at such time as you send the pie to the table, and set before the guests: where uncovering or cutting up the lid of the great pie, all the birds will flie out, which is to delight and pleasure shew to the company. And because they shall not bee altogether mocked, you shall cut open the small pie, and in this sort you may make many others, the like you may do with a tart."



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