Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pies for your Eyes

 There is a certain evolution to pies, this I am sure of and part of this is how they appear. It does seem likely that they became a touch more complex with time, something hard to miss when reading texts from the 15th century through till the late 17th century, and these don't even seem to touch on some of the beautifully moulded pies to come.

 For my purposes, I really wanted to look at some really good quality paintings of English renaissance pies, namely those of the late 16th century, what I did find is an over abundance of mostly Dutch paintings throughout the 17th century. For my purpose, these will do just fine given many appear as some of the recipes I read... some are even recognisable in design from mainly 17th century instruction! Though, none of these are wildly shaped or layered and are all closed, it makes for a nice reference.

 Here are a few, I tried to credit the painter as best I could but do realize these get miss-labelled time to time

The first collage of pie should mainly be of Pieter Claesz

I do love that he shows the use of different birds and often a spoon... probably to scoop out the filling in this case...

The next batch should mostly be by William Claesz

These I especially enjoy because it they often show a plated wedge... ever wondered how to serve a pie such as these?

Now for a mish-mash of pie paintings...

The one with the butter is by Floris Gerritsz van Schooten, this time I actually found the butter more interesting because it shows an evolution of serving a large butter shape on the delft plate to serving butter shavings on the same type of plate further cementing the use of butter at the table in the 16th century as well as later.
The other two might be by Heda Gerrit Willemsz, I am pretty sure the middle one is.

Now for some really fun pies!

The first two pies with the pastry in the effect of a crown on top are by Frans Ykens, are they not lovely?
The flat pies are by Jan van Kessel and Clara Peeters (left to right), unlike the pies to either side, these have no sides and the decoration is imprinted into the pastry (the second one might be possibly stamped through). When I read a description for a floritine, I believe, as being shaped as a sun... I imagined something like this.
And... the last two pies with very similar applied decoration like the first two, are by Christian Luycks. I seem to recall reading a description about a handle on pie covers in the instructions, obviously it doesn't actually get used as one for the lid. It is, actually, my understanding that it serves more as a plug that would be put in place after adding liquid part way through the cooking process.

 Well.. there we are for another day... with much pie for the eyes and some ideas to draw upon