Cookery Corner - Sweet and Savoury Pies | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Cookery Corner – Pies

The Tatler |12 November 1959

In our Cookery Corner this month, we are diving into comforting pie dishes.  Whether sweet or savoury, there is nothing better than the smell of a freshly baked pie. In our Local English Fare post last month, we found a recipe for an eel pie. This month we will look at other savoury pie recipes as well as a few sweet treats too.  Finding recipes for pies was incredibly easy.  Simply by searching for +pie +ingredients we received thousands of results for hundreds of pie varieties.  By adding the word ingredients, we were given more recipes rather than advertisements for pies.

Let’s take a look at the first result, Halloween spicy pear pie, perfect for this time of the year.  The recipe calls for a short crust pastry with 2lb of pears, peeled, cored, and sliced; 2oz brown sugar; lemon juice; 6 pieces stem ginger, chopped; 1 teaspoon ground ginger; and a little egg, beaten to glaze.  A perfect pie to enjoy on a spooky Halloween night.

Halloween spicy pear pie
Aberdeen Press and Journal | 26 October 1971



Before we go further, we have found recipes for the various types of pastry you will find in these recipes.  The pastry recipes will help you to create the base for pies.

Pastry recipes
Short crust – Bristol Evening Post | 4 October 1939        Raised pastry – Lancashire Evening Post | 13 July 1937          Puff pastry – Linlithgowshire Gazette | 7 December 1928



Lemon meringue pie
Lancashire Evening Post | 29 November 1937

Since we have started with a sweet pie, we will continue and look at more sweet recipes.  Here we have a recipe for a lemon meringue pie, which uses the rind of one lemon and the juice of two, to get that zesty lemon taste.  You can use either short or puff pastry.

Coming into the Halloween season, we often hear about the American tradition of pumpkin pie.  This excitement over pumpkin has extended past pie and now we have pumpkin lattes, pumpkin cookies, and more.  If you are curious about pumpkin pie, we found a recipe from 1952 that explains how to create a pumpkin pie using a whole pumpkin rather than using the imported tinned pumpkin puree from the States.

Pumpkin pie recipe
Birmingham Daily Gazette | 6 February 1925
Marshmallow plum pie
Aberdeen Press and Journal | 12 August 1969



For something a little different, we came across a marshmallow plum pie.  You will need self-raising flour, mixed spice, salt, butter, sugar, one egg, 20 dessert marshmallows halved, and 1lb plums.






Let’s move on to the savoury pie dishes, the ones that give you comfort during these cold and stormy evenings. We found a wide range of recipes and ingredients for savoury pies – vegetables, bacon and liver, potato and onion, turkey, cauliflower.  Pies can have any combination you want.

We found multiple recipes for the classic British cold meat dish – Pork Pie.  The first prize-winning recipe includes a hardboiled egg in the centre of the dish, surrounded by chopped, raw, seasoned pork.  The second recipe, from Cheshire, adds layers of sliced apple sprinkled with sugar to the pork.  And a third recipe adds gravy to the mixture.

Pork Pie recipe
Derby Daily Telegraph | 1 December 1949
Cheshire pork pie
Leeds Mercury | 21 January 1928








Third pork pie recipe
Derry Journal | 21 November 1941


We have found some recipes for a couple more classic pie recipes – steak & kidney pie and chicken & mushroom pie.  For the steak & kidney pie, the article explains that some people use uncooked meat, while others prefer to stew their meat before covering it with pastry. ‘The latter seems preferable as it allows the pastry to be cooked quickly, and for only as long as pastry requires; and a meat stew often improves in taste if it is left for a while after (even for as long as a day) after cooking’.

Steak pie
Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News | 30 January 1963
Chicken and mushroom pie
Aberdeen Press and Journal | 15 December 1970









Meatless pies

We found a couple meatless pie recipes for a light meal. Pastry is the key for a meatless pie.  ‘An important point with meatless pie is to make a really good pastry with full measure of fat and allow for a generous covering of crust, or, if the pie is to be covered with potato, cream it with plenty of margarine and milk’.

Cauliflower cheese pie
Britannia and Eve | 1 May 1951
Potato pie
Brechin Advertiser | 1 September 1953








Feed a whole party with one pie

The Tatler |12 November 1959

For our final pie recipe, we found a cookery challenge not for the faint of heart:  an 18th century pie that was adapted for the 1950s.  The original recipe, called a Yorkshire Christmas pie, came from The Art of Cookery, published in 1796.  It is filled with poultry and game, including turkey, capon, goose, partridge, and hare.  After cooking, it weighs 19lbs (8.6kg) and can feed 20 people!  With the prep time, it takes two days to create this colossal pie.



Yorkshire Christmas Pie
The Tatler |12 November 1959
Yorkshire Christmas Pie
The Tatler |12 November 1959











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