If stewed fruit is put in warm, it will make the paste heavy.
If your pies are made in the form of shells, or without lids, the fruit should always be stewed first, or it will not be sufficiently done, as the shells (which should be of puff paste) must not bake so long as covered pies.
Shells intended for sweetmeats, must be baked empty, and the fruit put into them before they go to table.
Fruit pies with lids, should have loaf-sugar grated over them. If they have been baked the day before, they should be warmed in the stove, or near the fire, before they are sent to table, to soften the crust, and make them taste fresh.
Raspberry and apple-pies are much improved by taking off the lid, and pouring in a little cream just before they go to table. Replace the lid very carefully.
A hundred large fresh oysters, or more if small. The yolks of six eggs boiled hard. A large slice of stale-bread, grated. A tea-spoonful of salt. A table-spoonful of pepper. A table-spoonful of mixed spice, nutmeg, mace and cinnamon.
Take a large round dish, butter it and spread a rich paste over the sides, and round the edge, but not at the bottom.
Salt oysters will not do for pies. They should be fresh, and as large and fine as possible.
Drain off part of the liquor from the oysters. Put them into a pan, and season them with pepper, salt and spice. Stir them well with the seasoning. Have ready the yolks of eggs, chopped fine, and the grated bread. Pour the oysters (with as much of their liquor as you please) into the dish that has the paste in it. Strew over them the chopped egg and grated bread.
Roll out the lid of the pie, and put it on, crimping the edges handsomely.
Take a small sheet of paste, cut it into a square and roll it up. Cut it with a sharp knife into the form of a double tulip.
Make a slit in the centre of the upper crust, and stick the tulip in it.
Cut out eight large leaves of paste, and lay them on the lid.
Bake the pie in a quick oven.
If you think the oysters will be too much done by baking them in the crust, you can substitute for them pieces of bread, to keep up the lid of the pie.
Put the oysters with their liquor and the seasoning, chopped egg, grated bread, &c. into a pan. Cover them closely, and let them just come to a boil, taking them off the fire, and stirring them frequently.
When the crust is baked, take the lid neatly off (loosening it round the edge with a knife) take out the pieces of bread, and put in the oysters. Lay the lid on again very carefully.
For oyster patties, the oysters are prepared in the same manner.
They may be chopped if you choose. They must be put in small shells of puff-paste.
Butter a deep dish, and spread a sheet of paste all over the bottom, sides, and edge.
Cut away from your beef-steak all the bone, fat, gristle, and skin. Cut the lean in small thin pieces, about as large, generally, as the palm of your hand. Beat the meat well with the rolling-pin, to make it juicy and tender. If you put in the fat, it will make the gravy too greasy and strong, as it cannot be skimmed.
Put a layer of meat over the bottom-crust of your dish, and season it to your taste, with pepper, salt, and, if you choose, a little nutmeg. A small quantity of mushroom ketchup is an improvement; so, also, is a little minced onion.
Have ready some cold boiled potatoes sliced thin. Spread over the meat, a layer of potatoes, and a small piece of butter; then another layer of meat, seasoned, and then a layer of potatoes, and so on till the dish is full and heaped up in the middle, having a layer of meat on the top. Pour in a little water.
Cover the pie with a sheet of paste, and trim the edges. Notch it handsomely with a knife; and, if you choose, make a tulip of paste, and stick it in the middle of the lid, and lay leaves of paste round it.
Fresh oysters will greatly improve a beef-steak pie. So also will mushrooms.
Any meat pie may be made in a similar manner.