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Pies (from Middle High German pate , pate ) are feingewürzte dishes from a farce of meat , game , poultry (including offal such as liver ), or fish that are baked in a pastry case.

Variants are the portion-sized , breaded and deep-fried Rissolen (half-moon pies ) and the timbals cooked in small bowls . Closely related are terrines (bowl pies), which are cooked in a fire-proof container without batter, and galantines (roll pies), which were originally cooked in boned carcasses. Today they are usually also counted among the pies. Derived from this, there are also sweet pies - as cakes with a filling of fruits, nuts and the like - as well as those that are similar to pralines in terms of production and composition .

Because of their elaborate production, pies were a representative dish for the preparation of which there was a separate profession, the pie baker.


Pies have been known for a long time. According to Jean Botéro, Sumerian cuneiform tablets from around 1700 BC Six recipes for poultry pies. In Europe they were probably made in France around 1000. The heyday of pie bakery began in the Renaissance in the kitchens of the nobility and clergy . Patties were enriched with the then expensive, available through the colonization of spices - the well-known today pies spice gives an impression of it. At that time, pies were the highlight of a feast. In 1452 , for example, a pate was served in honor of Duke Philippe le Bon , on which an orchestra played. In a cookbook of the Welser patrician family from Augsburg , there was an account of a pie from which a young girl stepped out. In 1467, the Archbishop of York and Chancellor of England, George Nevell , served 4,000 cold and 1,500 warm game pies along with countless other dishes on his inauguration. In the time of Martin Luther , a pie filled with dried fruit and smoked fish was served as dessert.

Since the 16th century, the beginning of classic cuisine, the pie recipes have been refined and famous dishes such as the lark pie from Chartres , the snipe pie from Abbeville , the duck pie from Amiens and the eel pie from Melun were created . The foie gras from Strasbourg is particularly well-known .

Guild law was abolished in the French Revolution . Until then, only charcutiers were allowed to sell pâtés, but now the unemployed chefs and pâté bakers of the disempowered nobles opened restaurants and pâté became fashionable - even beyond the borders of France. During this time the invention of the vol-au-vents with a shell made of puff pastry falls .


Finished pie in the form

A special, unsweetened shortcrust pastry , the so-called pie dough , or puff pastry is used to make pies . A refractory mold is thinly lined with the dough and filled with pie farce. The latter can, for example, consist of meat, liver, bacon and spices such as salt , pepper , cardamom , mace and ginger powder , finely chopped with a chopping knife or meat grinder , to which small cubes of meat are added. Creamy ragouts can also be used as a filling. The mold is then tightly closed with a dough lid, in which one or more holes are punched in order to let out the steam. Then the pie is cooked in the oven over medium heat. In the case of pies that are to be served cold, the hollow spaces that arise when they cool are filled with jelly through the drainage holes , which has been flavored with port wine or Madeira , for example .

In the classic menu , warm pâtés belong to the entrées and are usually served with sauce, cold pies to the relévés , they precede the roast.


Rissolen (from the French rissole , which goes back to roussâtre , “reddish”) or half-moon pies are small pies made of puff pastry, pâté or yeast dough filled with ragout. The thinly rolled out dough is cut out around ten centimeters, provided with the filling, folded in a crescent shape, breaded and fried in fat.
The word comes from the French timbale for “kettle drum”. Timbalen, also known as cup pies, are small pies made from ragouts, purees and the like that were originally baked in cup-shaped containers in a shell made from pâté, leafy, shortcrust or pasta dough. Today they are usually prepared without a batter. Cold timbals are overturned and covered with jelly. Timbaleformen shortly also timbale called, are conical in shape, higher manufactured something as wide and made of porcelain or stainless steel. They are also used to prepare soufflés , parfaits , terrines, jellies and desserts in portions .
Slices of different terrines
Terrines (from the French terrine , which goes back to terre , “earth”) or bowl pies are baked without dough in ovenproof stoneware vessels . To the classical formulation, the mold is lined with thin slices of fatty bacon, filled with the farce and deposits fixedly covered with other bacon slices, the filling, the terrine water bath cooked in the oven, poured off excess fat and pressed all with a heavy lid and placed cold . The gentle pressing (weighting down) avoids cavities during cooling and the mass is connected to form a unit. Make sure that you do not weigh it down too much, otherwise the liquid fat will be squeezed out and the terrine will be dry.
The origin of the terrines is believed to be in France around 800 years ago. Meat pots sealed with lard were used to store supplies back then and are still known today as rillettes . The
Terrine de Nérac , invented in 1776 by the pâté baker tavern in Nérac , became famous and shipped to Spain, England and the USA.
In galantines or rolling pies originally the stuffing was cooked rolled in boned cattle body or parts thereof, for example poultry or pork or lamb shoulder. Later the filling was cooked in hot jelly in towels, also directly with gelling veal stock in molds. The mass usually consists of finely diced meat or fish, bound with a pie farce seasoned with herbs .
The cooled galantine is overturned and covered with white or brown deck sauce .

Web links

Wiktionary: Pate  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Pate  - Collection of Images
Commons : Queen Pie  - Collection of Images



  1. Bonner General-Anzeiger of Thursday, December 17, 1987, page 12: White bread and wine for the rich, the poor ate only dark bread
  2. Christine Färber: Mitteldeutsche Zeitung of September 19, 2017, page 12, culinary art during Luther's time