We found a sketchy recipe for Dartmouth Pie in Cassell’s Dictionary of Food. It was more a description than a recipe, in fact – a mutton pie with spices. We worked on the idea, fleshing it out with memories of a venison and dried fruit pie that we used to make at the Hole in the Wall, and this was the result. The well-spiced seasoning and natural sweetness of the dried fruit give it an almost medieval air.
If you can’t get real mutton, substitute well-hung beef or venison rather than lamb – you need a meat that will stand up to the concentrated flavours of spice and fruit.