An extremely large, highly decorated, raised hot-water crust pie filled with a mixture of meats or game in jelly. A celebration pie. Repeatedly mentioned in 18th and 19th Century literature as an indication of good times and full bellies. A Trunk Pie.
Original Receipt in 'The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy' by Hannah Glasse, 1747 (Glasse 1747);
To make a Yorkshire Christmas-Pie
FIRST make a good standing crust, let the wall and bottom be very thick; bone a turkey, a goose, a fowl, a partridge, and a pigeon, Season them all very well, take half an ounce of mace, half an ounce of nutmegs, a quarter of ah ounce of cloves, and half an ounce of black-pepper, all beat fine together, two large spoonfuls of salt, and then mix them together. Open the fowls all down the back, and bone them; first the pigeon, then the partridge; cover them; then the fowls then the goose, and then the turkey, which must be large; sea- . son them all well first, and lay them in the crust, so as it, will look only like a whole turkey; then have a hare ready cased, and wiped with a clean cloth. Cut it to pieces, that is, joint it; season it, and lay it as close as you can on one side; on the other side woodcocks, moor game, and what sort of wild-fowl you can get. Season them well, and lay them close; put at least four pounds of butter into the pie, then lay on your lid, which must be a very thick one, and let it be well baked. It must have a very hot oven, and will take at least four hours. This crust will take a bushel of flour. These pies are often sent to London in a box, as presents; therefore, the walls must be well built.
'Tom Brown at Oxford' by Thomas Hughes (1861) has; "Then there would be a deep Yorkshire pie, or reservoir of potted game, as a piece, de resistance", and Charles Dickens' 'The Holly-Tree' tells of; "a Yorkshire pie, like a fort".
Francatelli 1846 gives directions including a whole turkey and a brace of pheasants and notes that; "The quantity of game, &c. recommended to be used in the preparation of the foregoing pie may appear extravagant enough, but it is to be remembered that these very large pies are mostly in request at Christmas time. Their substantial aspect renders them worthy of appearing on the side-table of those wealthy epicures who are wont to keep up the good old English style, at this season of hospitality and good cheer."
Denby Dale Pie
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