Volunteers serve up Northumberland Christmas pie from recipe by the 18th century's Mary Berry

30.11.23 Christmas Pie Haltwhistle Credit: ITV
A community partnership called ZigZag Days supports the vulnerable and unemployed with a range of activities, including cooking and they have made a Christmas pie using an 18th century recipe from a renowned Northumberland cook. Credit: ITV

A 275-year-old Christmas pie recipe by the 18th century's Mary Berry is being served up by the unemployed and the vulnerable to a rural community this festive season.

The recipe by Hannah Glasse, who wrote a bestselling cookery book in 1747, is being served up to the people in Haltwhistle, Northumberland.

The famed cook, regarded as some as Northumberland's 18th century Mary Berry, was known for her book The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy.

Members of Haltwhistle Partnership's Zigzag Days will be serving up one of her pies to late night shoppers on Friday 1 December.

Working with food historian and chef John Crouch, members of the group researched the cook, who was born in 1708 as the illegitimate daughter of Isaac Allgood and his London mistress in 1708 and grew up at Nunwick Hall in Simonburn.

Hannah Glasse became known for her best-selling cookery book published in 1747 - 'The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy.' Credit: ITV

Her cookery book, which devotes a whole chapter to the making of "pyes", was an immediate best seller, remaining so on both sides of the Atlantic for 100 years after her death in 1770.

Members of the Zigzag group are following the original recipe for her Christmas pie, which reads: "Bone a Turkey, a Goose, a Fowl, a Partridge and a Pigeon...This Pye will take a Bushel of flour."

Sue Seymour, who started Zigzag Days in 2018, said: "It’s a great opportunity for members to learn research techniques, build on previous knowledge around food, learn new skills and enjoy being part of a celebration of our culinary heritage.”

The original Christmas pie recipe reads: "bone a Turkey, a Goose, a Fowl, a Partridge and a Pigeon...This Pye will take a Bushel of flour." Credit: ITV

The group, which includes vulnerable adults and those who are out of work, started to bake the pie at Haltwhistle's Masonic Hall from 10am on Wednesday 29 November.

Ingredients were sourced from local businesses with flour donated by Warwick Bridge Corn Mill and turkey from Moss Peteral Farm. Wild game, chicken and other game was also sourced locally.

The pie will be on display at The Haltwhistle Film Project on Main Street from 4-5pm on Friday 1 December before it is cut and everyone invited to sample a piece.

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