A rabbit or hare pie designed by John Thacker, cook to the Dean and Chapter of Durham Cathedral in the 1740s and 50s. Click to see Thacker's Recipe.
Elizabeth Browne's 'Little Cakes', a type of wigg or arvel bread, served at funerals in the North-West of England. Elizabeth's buttery cakes are very rich and light and flavoured with coriander and carraway seeds.The recipe, written in her own hand in a manuscript receipt book, dates from 1699. When she died in 1728, 14 dozen wiggs, baked at a cost of seven shillings were served at her own funeral. Click the wiggs to see Elizabeth's original recipe.
Learn how to make intricate decorative pie coffins like Robert May's wonderful lobster pie.
Bake these delicious manchet loaves using ale yeast from the brewhouse and stoneground English flour.
Gain experience in using pie formers and wooden decoration 'cards' like the examples above. Click the pie former below to find out more about pies, chewitts and pasties.
Click the pudding design above to see our recipe feature on English baked puddings
Making Westmorland clapcake - one cake cooks on the girdle while another dries on a havercake maiden. Clapcake or havercake is a very ancient oat cake which was formerly ubiquitous in the English Lake District, but now rarely made - other than at Historic Food!
Bread and cakes leavened with fresh ale yeast or 'barm' and baked in a wood fired oven are the antithesis of the tasteless baked goods of the supermarket shelves. Learn to make the wonderful English breads of the pre-industrial period - manchet, cheat, cocklebread, maslin and wiggs. Try your hand at making forgotten hearth-baked specialities from the English regions, such as Westmorland clapcake and tharf bread (see below). Bake a 'great cake' in a wooden 'garth' and learn to ice it in the oven.
Remarkable pies from the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are another feature of our baking courses - chewitts, mermaid pie, lumber pie, lamb pasty and dowlett pie are just a few of the forgetten delicacies of the great English pastry tradition that we regularly make at Historic Food. Learn how to use wooden pie forms and sprung moulds, or to raise a custard coffin in complex shapes from late Stuart designs.
A selection of mince pies - click picture to find out more