PERIOD: 13th century and Modern | SOURCE: Contemporary Recipe | CLASS: Semi Authentic
DESCRIPTION: A chicken, bacon, & white wine pie
Pye Ellisif is an original recipe that was created for a Medieval feast being held by the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. (the SCA), in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on November 26, 1991. The person in charge of the event requested a dish for the feast called Koken van Honer, a meat & chicken pie recipe from A Miscellany by David Friedman, which in turn was taken from An Early 13th c. Northern-European Cookbook by Rudolf Grewe. The other cooks who were working on the feast instead wanted to do only a simple chicken pie. Pye Ellisif, then, was my compromise between the two requests. Since I did not have Grewe's original recipe to consult, I adapted elements of Friedman's version along with instructions for making Pyes de Pares, as found in Two 15th c. Cookery-Books, p. 53, and came up with a pie that was easy to prepare but had the taste and flavor of the more complicated version.
Like David Friedman's recipe, Pye Ellisif is a pie shell lined with bacon or ham and filled with chicken meat. In addition, there is the use of broth made with wine, as described in Pyes de Pares, with its main seasonings being pepper and cumin, the spices featured in A Miscellany. Pyes de Pares also calls for the pie to have a lid, which I have left as an option. A Miscellany calls for saffron and egg yolks to be added to the meat mixture to give the entire filling a golden cast. I instead simply endore the top of the pie (or the lid) with egg yolk. Pye Ellisif is named after Monica Cellio, known to her SCA friends as Meistari Ellisif Flakkari, the woman who originally requested Koken van Honer.
This recipe was submitted in a SCA arts & sciences competition at an event called Gathering of the Ladies Confederation, held in the Shire of Nithgaard (Central Pennsylvania) on May 9, 1992. Pye Ellisif won first place in the Domestic A & S category.
Friedman, David & Betty Cook. A Miscellany. Chicago: privately published, 1988.
Grewe, Rudolf. An Early 13th c. Northern-European Cookbook. Boston: from Proceedings of a Conference on Current Research in Culinary History: Sources, Topics, and Methods, Culinary Historians of Boston.
Mead, William Edward. The English Medieval Feast. New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1967.
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