Monticello Patty Pan
A “patty” was a small savory or sweet cake, or individual pie baked in a little pan made of tin, brass, glass or ceramics. Finer patty pans of glass and ceramics went directly from oven to table. As early as 1620 the Chinese were making porcelain patty pans solely to meet the demand of the Western market.
Jefferson recorded a purchase of patty pans in 1812 while at Poplar Forest, and 37 patty pans are listed on the kitchen inventory taken at Monticello after his death. An eighteenth-century blue and white under-glazed porcelain patty pan from China was recovered during the archaeological excavation of a section of the Monticello garden retaining wall built in 1808. It is likely that this dish was once a part of a dessert course setting at one of Jefferson’s famous dinners.