Tudor Vegetable Pie

A meatless pie recipe from the Tudor era
found at historyextra.com

Tudor Vegetable Pie

In every issue of BBC History Magazine, picture editor Sam Nott brings you a recipe from the past. In this article, a vegetable pie from the Tudor era.

This 1596 recipe for a “pie of bald meats [greens] for fish days” was handy for times such as Lent or Fridays when the church forbade the eating of meat (another similar recipe is called simply Friday Pie). Medieval pastry was a disposable cooking vessel, but in the 1580s there were great advancements in pastry work. Pies became popular, with many pastry types, shapes and patterns filled with everything from lobster to strawberries. This pie’s sweet/savoury combo is typical of Tudor cookery: I enjoyed it, but was glad I’d reduced the sugar content.

Time: 1 hour 30 mins

1 lb plain flour
5 oz butter
1 egg
8 oz mixture of spinach, lettuce, cabbage, chard
2 oz raisins, chopped
1 oz grated hard cheese
2 oz fresh bread crumbs
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar (Sam used 1 tsp)
3 raw egg yolks
1 hard-boiled egg yolk
1 oz melted butter


To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour, work in egg and water, and knead lightly. Use half to line a dish; I used a 10-inch metal flan dish. Remove the coarse stalks of the greens, shred leaves thinly, mix with other ingredients (I also added black pepper) and pack into the dish. Cover with pastry, keeping some back to make decorations for the top. Bake at 150°C for 50 mins (mine took an hour), brushing the top with a little butter and sprinkling on a little fine sugar before serving.

Sam’s verdict: The pastry handled well and the pie was tasty. It made a good summer lunch, served with pickles. I’ll make it again, but this time minus the sugar sprinkled on top.