This traditional pie from the south-west of England takes its name from the young pigeon that would originally have been used as filling. However, the version we’ve plumped for here – lamb and apples – is known to have been used as one of the many alternatives from at least the middle of the 18th century onward.


  • 450g cubed lamb
  • 150ml lamb stock
  • one onion, sliced
  • one red apple, thinly sliced
  • eight ready-to-eat prunes
  • 350g ready-to-roll short-crust pastry
  • one egg, beaten
  • half a teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and ground mace
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp of cornflour
  • 2 tsp of light brown sugar
  • salt and pepper


  • STEP 1

    Mix the lamb with the spices, salt and pepper, and cornflour.

  • STEP 2

    In an ovenproof pie dish, layer the lamb with the apple and onions, pop in the prunes and add the sugar and stock.

  • STEP 3

    Roll out the pastry and use to top the pie, crimping the edges.

  • STEP 4

    Brush with the beaten egg and bake for an hour at 170°C until golden brown.

Recipe by Taste Buds magazine:

This recipe was first published in the December 2o20 issue of BBC History Magazine