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Piece o’ Pie

After writing about breads, sandwiches, pancakes, waffles, cakes and cupcakes, I think it’s about time to share with you interesting facts about pies.

The first published pie recipe and the oldest known as of this day, is that of an ancient Roman pie recipe made of rye-crusted goat’s cheese and honey; made about 2,000 years ago.  But, it’s also believed that the first pies appeared and had been eaten by Ancient Egyptians dating back 3,000 years ago; the pies were filled with figs or dates.  The pie pastry on the other hand is believed to have originated from Ancient Greeks who used a simple type of flour, mixing it with water and fat paste; which the Greeks used for wrapping around meat before cooking it.

Pancake and waffle, served with sauces. Photo ...

Pancake and waffle, served with sauces. Photo taken in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since then, pies became a basic food of travelling and working class people, especially in Northern Europe; and became particularly popular in the 14th century, especially in Britain.  Usually spelled as “pye”, the crust was commonly known as a “coffyn” because of its base being a rectangular box of pastry, instead of the round shape we’re accustomed to today and the “pye” or the “coffyn of paste” contains meat filling.

Today, fruit pies are eaten as a dessert; but fruit pies did not appear until the 16th century, which were common breakfast dishes in Europe during those times.

It is said that the word “pie” comes from a European bird called magpie, a type of bird which collects different kinds of items and making it into a nest; similar to what the early pies are filled with assorted fillings such as fruit, meat and vegetables.

Ironically, European royalty would have their pies with cooked birds, often placed on top of pies to identify the pies filling. In pre-Victorian times, cooked birds were replaced by a porcelain ornament which is placed atop the pie which when removed could also release steam.

Mince pies originally contained mincemeat and spices brought back from the Crusades, such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.  During the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan Council banned the traditional mincemeat pie which was a symbol of Christmas celebrations along with abolishing Christmas celebrations, because it was believed that these promoted pagan belief and gluttony.

 Mock Apple Pie was very popular during the Great Depression, when ingredients were limited;its filling was made with crackers soaked in lemon juice or vinegar.

Did you know that a descendant of pies and originating in Cornwall, the Cornish pasty’s entire filling is wrapped in pastry and cooked without a pie dish?  Streusel, pasty, tart, turnover, crumble are also pies.

So what is your favourite pie filling?

Well, that is quite simple really!


What should you do now?

  1. Visit us and warm yourself with our collection of savoury pies.
  2. Comfort food doesn’t have to mean calories, try our superhealthy pie.
  3. Want some help or ideas? Just contact us at Killarney Vale Bakery now.


Pies mean Thanksgiving, Christmas, picnics and a reason to go to my favorite bakeshop.
~ Unknown

Remember – Piece o’ Pie


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