Yorkshire Christmas Pie

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Yorkshire Christmas pie a huge raised pie in the medieval tradition, which outlasted other kinds and became so popular in Yorkshire in the 18th century that pies were sent to London as festive Christmas fare. It was still being made in the closing years of the 19th century. It was one of those feats of ‘Russian doll’ stuffing which are better known as being made for Arab wedding feasts. A typical recipe is in Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Cookery (1747). A very thick crust enclosed a turkey, which was stuffed with a goose, the goose with a fowl, then a partridge, then a pigeon. All these birds were boned. On one side of the turkey was a hare cut in pieces; on the other woodcocks, moorhens, or other small wild game. At least 2 kg (4 lb) of butter were also put in before the massive lid was closed and the pie baked. Not all pies were made with boned birds, so that some pies had to be dismantled and the various creatures removed to carve them, detracting from the pie’s appeal.