I spent some pleasant weeks researching a recipe for “Perigord Pie” which was so popular among the leisured classes of the 19th century. Along the way I collected numerous literary references from such authors as Disraeli, Sir Richard Burton, Surtees, Washington Irving and Edith Wharton. Not much the wiser, I eventually created my own recipe, photographing the key stages as I went. Here is the finished result : It should have had the birds’ heads & beaks poking out, but I didn’t think my guests could stomach that! As it was, the pie went down a treat, and was declared to be a “tour de force”. The following morning, I discovered a genuine recipe. It called for a pound of truffles, so it’s just as well I only came upon it after inventing a slightly more economical version.