The History of the Pie

The history of the meat pie can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians. The bakers to the pharaohs incorporated nuts, honey, and fruits in bread dough, a primitive form of pastry. Drawings of this can be found etched on the tomb walls of Ramses II, located in the Valley of the Kings.

Historians believe that the Greeks actually originated pie pastry. The pies during this period were made by a flour-water paste wrapped around meat; this served to cook the meat and seal in the juices. These were called “Artocreas”, and were simply a pastry crust, onto which cooked meat was spooned.

The Romans took it a step further by adding a top and bottom crust.

The purpose of a pastry shell was mainly to serve as a baking dish, storage container, and serving vessel, and these are often too hard to actually eat. For hundreds of years, it was the only form of baking container used, meaning everything was a pie.

The first pies, called “coffins” or “coffyns” (the word actually meant a basket or box) were savory meat pies with the crusts or pastry being tall, straight-sided with sealed-on floors and lids.

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