Meat, game and poultry
Stuffed with a variety of meats and vegetables, elaborate pies were even served as the principal dish at some Scottish weddings.
They can also be simple but substantial meals, filled with poorer quality meats stewed until tender.
Strong pastry crusts acted as containers in much the same way as a pottery or metal dish. These pies were easily transported.
Provided the case was completely air-tight, the food would remain edible for longer. In effect, the pastry case acted as a means of short-term food preservation.
Janet Maule gives several recipes for pies. She often refers to pie cases as 'coffins'. These strong pastry cases were used as containers for baking, transporting, and storing, as well as extending the shelf-life of the contents.
It is hardly surprising that pies enjoyed considerable popularity.
Janet Maule's recipe book, 1701. [Library reference: Acc.12242]