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Going way bavck to my childhood here but my Grandmother always had a 'stand pork pie' in the middle of her table come Christmas ..... This was a huge thing that had to be specially ordered and would always disappear back into the larder until New Years eve when it would eventually get cut into.... I always presumed that it was called a 'Stand Pie' because that is exactly what it did .... Stood in the centre of the table?
Thanks to all for your help. It would appear that a pie without a 'support' is the answer. I have received answers from two other sources which refer to www.newboulds.com/page 2 and www.foodtimeline.org
The latter refers to Cassell Dictionary of Cooking. it seems that it goes back to a medieval tradition but was not pork. All very interesting - we learn something new (or in this case 'old') every day.