Sunday, June 25, 2017

Pease Pies

A friend recently put a call out for a vegan recipe and I thought immediately of these. You would have to omit the butter, but perhaps a bit of vegan margarine would be a reasonable substitute, as it does add a wee something to the mouthfeel of these tiny pockets of goodness.
This is one of my favourite quick and easy picnic and potluck dishes.  I often make them as little half moon shaped pastries, rather than as a pie, which is perfect for a potluck. I have given instructions for this method rather than whole large pies. If you make larger pies, just be warned that when you cut them, your peas will be escape artists and roll around the place!
I haven’t provided quantities here, because it has been a while since I last made them, and I tend to play it a bit by ear.  I will try to update this after I next make a batch.

To make a close Tarte of green Pease

Take half a peck of green Pease, sheale them and seeth them, and cast them into a cullender, and let the water go from them then put them into the Tart whole, & season them with Pepper, saffron and salte, and a dishe of sweet butter, close and bake him almost one houre, then drawe him, and put to him a little Vergice, and take them and set them into the Oven againe, and so serve it. The Good Housewife’s Jewell, 1596


  • Peas (you can use frozen at a pinch but of course freshly shelled peas are better!)
  • Pepper 
  • Saffron 
  • Salt 
  • Butter 
  • Verjuice
  • Pastry


Cook your peas in fresh water and drain.  While still warm add a generous amount of pepper salt, butter and lightly ground saffron (I find that having flecks of saffron rather than just a powder is aesthetically pleasing to both the eye and tastebuds).
Roll out your pastry and use a cup or similar sized round cutter to cut circles.  Put a pastry disk in the palm of your hand and fill with a generous teaspoon of peas (doing this in the hand rather than on a board is actually much easier as you don’t lose your peas.
Fold the sides together and pinch around the edges making half moon shaped pasties. 
Bake in a moderate oven till the pastry is lightly browned. 
Pull out of the oven, and with a hyperdermic inject about a quarter of a teaspoon of verjuice into the pasty.  Pop in the oven again to brown just a little more.

Ideally served hot, but at the small size, still very tasty cold.

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