Sometimes, frogs or birds would be hidden inside the cake containers to get a laugh from unsuspecting dinner guests.
And as pastry coffins continued to evolve over time, they eventually paved the way for the flaky and sweet pie crusts we know and love today. Once sugar and fat became more accessible, short crusts containing sweeter fillings became a common dinner table dessert.
Then later, after settlers traveled to the New World, they would literally “cut corners” to save time. In other words, they would roll out a round pastry coffin dough as opposed to a rectangular one.
It was at this time that the Medieval pastry coffins began to take on an appearance much closer to today’s modern pies.
But, pie’s fate as a beloved American dessert was truly sealed after the term “coffin” slipped out of the lexicon and was replaced with the word “pie”– or a baked dish (literally).
So, while you chow down on rich pumpkin, tangy apple, or sweet blueberry pie this Thanksgiving, be sure to say thanks for the pastry coffins past.
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