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Remove the skin and make diagonal incisions into the meat. Then make a dough of oil and flour and wrap the ham in it. "Cover the base of a pan, large enough to take the ham, with figs and lay the ham, stuffed with figs, on top. Cover, and boil the ham for 1 hour over a low heat. When the ham is cooked, dry it well and make incisions all over the flesh. Rub the fat into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Different inventories list different ingredients for mersu, so there were many recipes. Finished product wraps dough around filling, free form, not in a pie dish.] Medieval European pies There is some controversy whether the pastry crust used in Medieval times was meant for eating or as a cooking receptacle. A careful examination of these early recipes reveals crust purpose.

The figs were retired from the sauce pan long before the meat was done and they were served around the ham as a garnish.] Compare with this Latin text, English translation and modern instructions: "Pernam, ubi eam cum caricis plurimis elixa veris et tribus lauri foliis, detracta cute tessellatim indicis et melle complebis.

Deinde farinam oleo subactam contexes et ei corium reddis et cum farina cocta fuerit, eximas furno ut est et inferes." Boil the ham with a large number of dried figs and 3 bay leaves. Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6, and bake for 30 minutes until the crust is golden. 268) "Pastry dough: Roman pastry dough was made with lard or olive oil rather than butter. Spelt flour needs rather less fat than wheat flour.

195) ---Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome, Patrick Faas [Palgrave Mac Millan: New York] 2003 ? Bakers who specialized in this treat were known as the episat mersi, so mersu-making was probably an involved and respected process." ---Cooking in Ancient Civilizations, Cathy K. 254) American pies "As a favored dish of the English, pies were baked in America as soon as the early settlers set up housekeeping on dry land.

Beyond mere preference, howevers, there was a practical reason for making pies, especially in the harsh and primitive conditions endured by the first colonists.

603) First pies Food historians confirm ancient people made pastry.

Recipes, cooking techniques, meal presence and presentations varied according to culture and cuisine.

Smith editor [Oxford University Press: New York] 2004 (p.

272) About pastry Food historians trace the genesis of pastry to ancient mediterranean paper-thin multi-layered baklava and filo.

The derivation of the word may be from magpie, shortened to pie.

The explanation offered in favour or this is that the magpie collects a variety of things, and that it was an essential feature of early pies that they contained a variety of ingredients." ---The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition, Tom Jaine editor [Oxford University Press: Oxford] 2006 (p.

Pie can be closed, open, small, large, savory or sweet.

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