In looking over pies, and seeking out images, I came across an English pie called a Gala Pie. And since tonight is Plimoth Plantation’s Many Hands Gala, it seemed too perfect to be true.
Gala Pie is a true thing, and an English thing, it’s just not a 17th century thing.
Because Gala Pie is a delightful thing.
Gala Pie is essentially a pork pie with hard boiled egg in the middle. Some will separate the yolks from the white, put all the beaten yolks in a tube and cook them and then put the cooked yolk in a larger tube with the whites and cook them to make a giant tube egg, which you then put in the the center of the pie so that everyone gets the same view of the endless egg….this is exactly the sort of play with your food trick that would delight our 17th century housewives and husbandmen.
The Guardian has a picture by picture story, which is where these picture came from.
Gala Pie is really just a dolled up pork pie.
In the 17th century, there were also pork pies with hard boiled eggs….keep in mind that bacon can mean fresh pork, as well as salted pork.
To bake a gammon of Bacon.
Take your Bacon and boyle it, and stuffe it with Parcely and Sage, and yolks of hard Egges, and when it is boyled, stuffe it and let it boyle againe, season it with Pepper, cloves and mace, whole cloves stick fast in, so then lay it in your paste with salt butter.
1591 .A.W Book Of Cookrye.
and for another version that starts out exactly the same, and then ends a little differently……
For to bake a Gammon of Bacon.
Boyle your gammon of Bacon and stuffe it with Parsley and Sage, and yolks of hard Egs, and when it is boyled, stuffe it and let it boyle againe, season it with Pepper, Cloues, and Mace, sticke whole Cloues fast in it: Then lay it so in your paste with salte butter, and so bake it.
1597. The good Huswifes handmaide for the Kitchin
For a slightly different version…..
A gammon of bacon pie.
Take a gammon of bacon and only wash it clean, and then boil it on a soft gentle fire till it be boiled as tender as possible, ever and anon fleeting it clean, that by all means it may be boil white: then take off the sward, and farce it very well with all manner of sweet and pleasant farcing herbs: the strew store of pepper over it, and prick it thick with cloves: then lay it into a coffin made of the same proportion, and lay good store of butter, that as it melts, the pepper may fall upon the bacon: then cover it, and make the proportion of a pig’s head in paste upon it, and then bake it as you bake red deer, or things of the like nature, only the paste would be wheat meal.
Markham, The English Housewife, Best ed. p. 101.