23 August 2011

'Tatters and Rags' - Lobster Pie a la Hannah Glasse

This post is inspired by Hannah Glasse and her cookbook called The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. Hannah Glasse was one of two women featured as Game-Changers # 10 a couple weeks ago, but life was too busy for me at the time. The idea of her lobster pies stuck with me, though.

This week I find myself holding down the fort with the dogs and cats, while Silent Bob goes on a BIG ADVENTURE. My brother and he are bicycling the Canadian Maritimes and having a wilderness adventure on The Cabot Trail ... wahoo for them! I can't imagine that kind of deprivation and roughing it, but there you go! To each his own! They will surely be glad to have a hot shower and a hot meal made by yours truly when they get back.

In the meantime, I am cooking 'things'  for myself  that Silent Bob wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole! Plus, I'm working on a baby quilt for a friend, throwing Frisbees for the smart Corgis, readying the planters for Fall plantings, weeding and deadheading the flower beds, stacking woodboxes so there's dry wood when we want it, washing windows, and entertaining a few friends and houseguests who are 'taking pity on poor Susan'. God, I hope they plan to take a rag in hand and help with the windows! Wink, wink!

One of those 'things' that I mentioned above is this pie ... and I use the term loosely. I've played with the crust of this 'pie' because I have phyllo dough that needs to be used - hence, the term tatters and rags. I have been sloppy about layering the thin sheets, crumpled the the top layers like rags from the rag bag to create a crunchy mound of top crust. What a light crunchy, yummy mess!

I am printing the recipe that Hannah Glasse printed in her 1747 tome. As follows...

To make a Lobster-Pie

Take two or three lobsters and boil them; take the meat out of the tails whole, cut them in four pieces long ways; take out all the spawn, and the meat of the claws, beat it well in a mortar; season it with pepper, salt, two spoonfuls of vinegar, and a little anchovy liquor; melt half a pouind of fresh butter, stir all together with the crumbs of a penny roll rubbed through a fine cullender, and the yolks of two eggs, put a fine puff-paste over your dish, lay in your tails and the rest of the meat over them; put on your cover, and bake in a slow oven.

This is what I did with it. I boiled two chicken lobsters (little guys), removed the tails and did as Hannah suggested, melted one quarter of a cup of butter in a pan, and sautéed a small minced onion and some minced parsley, added the white wine vinegar as Hannah wrote, fish sauce (which I suspect anchovy liquor is), the crumbs of two cheap hamburger buns, the chopped claw meat and red spawn, and one egg yolk. THEN, I layered five layers of phyllo dough over the bottoms and sides of two individual pie pans ( six-inch pie pans), spraying between layers with a bit of olive oil. The lobster tails were divided between the pans, ditto for the warm filling, poured a bit of heavy cream over both mounds of lobster and fiilling, folded the lower edges of phyllo up and over the mounds, and crumpled five more layers of phyllo on top, spritzing with a bit more olive oil and sprinkling with a bit of black pepper and paprika. The pies went into a 375°F oven for 40 minutes.

Voila! They were really tasty. Thanks, Hannah Glasse! 

Sprout Sara showed up just in time for lobster pie and a nice Bibb,blue cheese, chives, and prosciutto salad with a lemon buttermilk dressing that I tried after reading about it during Patricia Wells week on the 50 Women Game-Changers blogshare.  Delish! I could have baked the pies in an even slower oven, as they over-browned (IMHO), but there's always next time.

Lobster is $4.99 a lb this week and I'm thinking of buying, boiling, bagging, and freezing some like I did last year. It sure tasted great in mashed potatoes and seafood casserole when the snow was flying and the lobster prices were sky high!  Go out and grab some lobster for yourself and get busy!


  1. First of all this is INCREDIBLE! It is my culinary dream come true. Secondly, I am so jelous that lobster is at $4.99/LB where you are at....swoon. Bag away darling and keep the lobster recipes coming.

    chow :) Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  2. If lobster were readily available on this coast I would be doing the same.

  3. I love it. Whilst the cats away eh? I make chicken livers when The Viking goes away but Lobster would take food cheating to another level!

  4. How incredibly delicious! I'm thinking of that flaky phyllo and the rich filling and my mouth is just watering. And lobster in mashed potatoes? This I never heard of but love.

  5. Nice to hear you are resting while Bob is away!!!!!

    Oh how I'd love some of that pie!

  6. Lobster anyway you cook is fine with me. The markets down here are selling them at $4.99 a lb. too.

  7. Wow those boys are so adventurous!

    This lobster pie looks delicious and I love that you used phyllo dough!

  8. Lobster pie sounds absolutely fantastic. I've been craving pot pie type dishes lately!

  9. I haven't had many good experiences with lobster; the last time I ate it, it was overcooked and rubbery. This pie, however, looks so, so good!

  10. Wow, $4.99 a lb.??? You would never see that here! The only place I've ever eaten lobster pie is in New England and that's the only place it should be eaten in my opinion, lol. You're so lucky to have fresh lobster available at those prices. I do love lobster pie and would have loved to have shared this with you.


Anonymous comments will not be accepted. Please be aware that due to spamming concerns, I must be able to track back.