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No one, least of all the early settlers, would probably proclaim their early pies as masterpieces of culinary delight.

The crusts were often heavy, composed of some form of rough flour mixed with suet." ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F.

In the cradles of civilization (Mediterranean region including Ancient Rome, Greece, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Arabia) the primary fat was olive oil.

When combined with ground grains, it produced a rudimentary type of pastry.

Remove the skin and make diagonal incisions into the meat. Then make a dough of oil and flour and wrap the ham in it. "Cover the base of a pan, large enough to take the ham, with figs and lay the ham, stuffed with figs, on top. Cover, and boil the ham for 1 hour over a low heat. When the ham is cooked, dry it well and make incisions all over the flesh. Rub the fat into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Different inventories list different ingredients for mersu, so there were many recipes. Finished product wraps dough around filling, free form, not in a pie dish.] Medieval European pies There is some controversy whether the pastry crust used in Medieval times was meant for eating or as a cooking receptacle. A careful examination of these early recipes reveals crust purpose.

Take it out of the oven when the dough is cooked and serve. Pour in a little salted water and press the crumbs into a ball. Then roll it into a sheet on a marble surface dusted with flour, and use as the recipe requires." (p. mersu always seemed to contain first-quality dates and butter; beyond that, different records list pistachios, garlic, onion seed, and other seemingly incongruous ingredients. "Originally pies contained various assortments of meat and fish, and fruit pies do not appear until the late sixteenth century..could be open as well as having a crust on top." ---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press: Oxford] 2002 (p.

Smith editor [Oxford University Press: New York] 2004 (p.

272) About pastry Food historians trace the genesis of pastry to ancient mediterranean paper-thin multi-layered baklava and filo.

Pie variations (cobblers, slumps, grunts, etc.) are endless! " The Oxford English Dictionary traces the first use of the word "pie" as it relates to food to 1303, noting the word was well-known and popular by 1362. " "Pie...a word whose meaning has evolved in the course of many centuries and which varies to some extent according to the country or even to region....The challenging part of researching these early pies is most of us rely on translators of original texts.These can vary according to scholarly proficiency and educated interpretation.A piecrust used less flour than bread and did not require anything as complicated as a brick oven for baking.More important, though, was how pies could stretch even the most meager provisions into sustaining a few more hungry mouths...The derivation of the word may be from magpie, shortened to pie.The explanation offered in favour or this is that the magpie collects a variety of things, and that it was an essential feature of early pies that they contained a variety of ingredients." ---The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition, Tom Jaine editor [Oxford University Press: Oxford] 2006 (p.Returning crusaders introduced these sweet recipes to Medieval Europe where they were quickly adopted.French and Italian Renaissance chefs are credited for perfecting puff pastry and choux.Cooking methods (baked or fried in ancient hearths, portable colonial/pioneer Dutch ovens, modern ovens), pastry composition (flat bread, flour/fat/water crusts, puff paste, milles feuilles), and cultural preference (pita, pizza, quiche, shepherd's, lemon meringue, classic apple, chocolate pudding).All figure prominently into the complicated history of this particular genre of food.

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