standing crust pie

A Christmas Goose Pie

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Although I’ve never eaten one, the Christmas Goose Pie is similar to the English Pork Pie.

These pies are always made with a standing crust. Put into a sauce-pan one pound of butter cut up, and one and one-half pints water. Stir it while it is melting and let it come to a boil. Then skim off whatever milk or impurity that may have risen to the top. Have ready four pounds of flour sifted into a pan. Make a hole in the middle of it and pour in the melted butter while hot. Mix it with a spoon to a stiff paste, adding the beaten yolks of three or four eggs. Knead it very well with your hands on the paste-board, keeping it dredged with flour till it ceases to be sticky. Then set it away to cool.

Split a large goose and a fowl down the back, loosen the flesh all over with a sharp knife, and take out all the bones. Parboil a smoked tongue, then peel it and cut off the root. Mix together a powdered nutmeg, one-fourth ounce powdered mace, one teaspoon each pepper and salt, and season with them the fowl and the goose.

Roll out the paste near an inch thick, and divide it into three pieces. Cut out two of them of an oval form for the top and bottom, and the other into a long straight piece for the sides or walls of the pie. Brush the paste all over with beaten white of egg, and set on the bottom piece the long piece that is to form the wall, pinching the edges together to form a circle, and cementing them with white of egg. The bottom piece must be large enough to turn up a little around the lower edge of the wall piece, to which it must be firmly joined all round.

When you have the crust properly fixed, so as to be baked standing alone without a dish, put in first the goose, then the fowl, and then the tongue. There must be no bones in the pie. Lastly, cover the ingredients with half a pound of butter, and pat on the top crust, which, of course, must be also of an oval form to correspond with the bottom. The lid must be placed not quite on the top edge of the wall, but an inch and a half below it. Close it very well, and ornament the sides and top with festoons and leaves cut out of paste. Notch the edges handsomely, and put a paste flower in the center. Glaze the whole with beaten yolk of egg, and bind the pie all round with a double fold of white paper. Set it in a regular oven, and bake it four hours.

This is one way of making the celebrated goose pies that it is customary in England to send as presents at Christmas. They are eaten at luncheon, and if the weather is cold and they are kept carefully covered up from the air, they will be good for two or three weeks; the standing crust assisting to preserve them.

This a great video showing how to Make a Standing Crust.

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Do You Have a Special Christmas Pie or Dessert You Fix Every Year?


Posted in Cooking, Meat.


  1. I found this to be fascinating as I am a budding Anglophile and am interested in Victoriana especially. This would be a wonderful entree for a Victorian Christmas dinner!

  2. That’s impressive! And I will never, ever make one! Way too much work for me. 🙂

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