So where does the word "pie" come from?
As per the Oxford Companion to Food, "The derivation of the word may be from magpie, shortened to pie." The magpie is a bird that likes to collect a variety of things, and the feature of early pies was that they contained a variety of ingredients. Meats, fruits, spices and herbs.
The technique of enclosing meat inside a sort of pastry made from flour and oil has its origins in ancient Rome, but it was in northern Europe -- where the use of lard and butter to make a pastry shell that could be rolled out and moulded -- led to the pies that we know today.
Cheese and Thyme Pie
310 ml (11/4 cups) all purpose flour
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) dry mustard
7.5 ml (11/2 tsp) sugar
125 ml (1/4 lb) cold butter cut into cubes
125 ml (1/2 cup) cold water
30 ml (2 tbsp) cider vinegar
1. Combine flour, salt, mustard and sugar. Cut butter into flour to resemble coarse bread crumbs.
2. Combine water and vinegar. Slowly add to form dough. Do not over work.
3. Rest for 1 hour.
4. Roll out and line 25-cm (10-in) pie pan. Pre bake for 20 minutes at 220 C (425 F).
500 ml (2 cups) fresh ricotta
125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
80 ml (1/3 cup) honey
5 (1 tsp) fresh thyme
1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
1 ml (1/4 tsp) fresh ground pepper
1. Combine cheese, milk, honey, thyme, salt and pepper.
2. Add eggs one at a time until blended.
3. Pour into crust and bake at 175 C (350 F) for 35-40 minutes.
Serve at room temperature.