Thursday, 28 January 2016

Little Pie Review

The Little Bakery - Scotch Pie Review

Whilst in Dumfries on a cycling trip I checked the Scotch Pie Club website to see if there were any recommended Scotch Pie available near to my route. I found a company called The Little Bakery who had won Scotch Pie Club Awards Gold in 2014 for their Scotch Pie. The name 'The Little Bakery' sounded appealing, I was expecting a cute, traditional bakery shop. We were following National Cycle Route 7 and it was about a 2.5 mile detour off our route so it took a bit to convince my girlfriend it was worth it. However, the excellent traffic free cycle routes across Dumfries really helped. Unfortunately my girlfriend didn't enjoy getting completely lost in a housing estate after it turned out that the address of "2 Downs Way" that I found on Google was pretty misleading. Because we had taken such a detour I refused to give up despite Anna starting to lose a bit of patience with my constanstly optimistic belief that it was 'just around the next corner'.

Fortunately, after some time I spotted this sign hidden in the greenry.


So it turned out the address should more accurately read Unit 2A Downs Way Industrial Estate, this was not at all what I was expecting. This was once of the least glamourous locations I have ever purchased a pie from. There was a little bakery built into the front of this warehouse with a blue facade.


Once inside it was much nicer than I expected (given the location). It seemed like any high street bakery and was particularly appealing with many different pies available to eat hot or cold. For £2.30 I grabbed a hot Scotch Pie and a Macaroni Pie to give me energy on my cycling trip. Judging by the amount of grease which had oozed out of the Macaroni pie, this was a good choice if looking for a high calorie content. The Macaroni pie was as good as any I have had, it was cheesey and stodgy in pleasingly wrong amounts. Sadly it did lack a pastry lid meaning it doesn't meet our definition of a proper pie so I haven't given it a formal score. The Scotch pie was okay, but I actually found it a little disappointing. I don't know if I was just unlucky but it wasn't well filled. The flavour of the minced beef filling was a little bit bland for me. However, the texture was good, with some crunch to the pastry and a moist filling. At £1.20 it wasn't the cheapest Scotch pie (espeically as I bought it direct from where they make them) so I don't think I would be venturing into an industrial estate to have another. I think that the reason they are based in the Industrial Estate is that they supply pies wholesale to local shops so if I chanced upon another I might get one again. See how this pie fares against all the other Scotch Pies we have eaten in our list of the best Scotch Pies.
Interestingly The Little Bakery had the best Scottish Football League football pie at the Scotch Pie Club Awards 2016 at Queen of the South for their Scotch pie, congratulations to them, perhaps we were just unlucky with the one we had.

Scotch Pie

Macaroni Pie


Beef Scotch Pie (The Little Bakery [DG1 3QL])
Score: 4.37/7

[Condition 5.30, Colour 3.70, Cheapness 3.70, Capacity 3.80, Chewiness 5.00, Content 4.40, Consistency 4.70]

SJL
continue reading "Little Pie Review"

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Wizard of Oz

MyPie - Pie Reviews

If you have been reading Pierate recently you will realise that our favourite pies of 2015 were those made by "MyPie", a business set up by entreprenuer Chris Brumby who we first met back in 2014. In 2015 he started selling his excellent pies in London food markets from a refurbished Bedford van. The Steak & Ale has gone in at number 3 in our all time pie rankings and Chris was good enough to bring joy to our recent Pie Party by doing the catering! We had so many good comments we know it is not just the Pierateers that have fallen in love with these pies!

We do like to think that pies are quintessentially British and that we do the best pies. Hence it is perhaps a bit controversial that Chris is Austrialian and bringing a bit of Aussie pie magic to the streets of London. The Aussies are in fact more obsessed with pie that us Brits. Whilst we have an abundance of hot Cornish pasty outlets and Greggs (who sell hardly any pies) the Australians have a number of shops specialising in hot pies. We found this out first hand in our special investigation when Pierateer TJP was dispatched to warmer climes. Having tasted how good Chris' pies are I can now understand The Kinks song 'Australia'. It has the line 'everyone walks around with a perpetual smile across their face' which is not surprising when the pies are this good.

It is a bit of a treasure hunt tracking down Chris and his Bedford van. Wandering around the South Bank it took me a while to find him, you don't get the same problem with a pie shop, once you know where it is it tends to stay in the same place (if you ignore the effects of plate tectonics). But MyPie is transient and somewhat mysterious. I am now quite familiar with MyPie but I don't really know where I will find the MyPie van each day of the week. It is also uncertain what pies will be served. Then, once you have found him, before you know it he is gone again, such a tease. MyPie is much like the transient and mysterious nature of the pie itself. You never quite know what is going to be contained within the golden pastry case and if you are anything like me, once you do find out, it doesn't hang about for long. I think this all adds to the suspense and theater of the pie eating experience.

When I did track Chris down on London's South Bank, I was surprised to find what seemed like a London pie makers meeting, Paul and Nicky from Piebury Corner were busy chatting to Chris. Paul seemed quite taken with MyPie, which is a massive complement when they have been so successful with their own pie business.

my pie van

I grabbed some pies from the van to review also got some more when Chris came to our pie party. The flavours were Beef & Horseradish; Venison, Chili & Cheese; Mince, Bacon & Cheese and Sweet Potato & Goat's Cheese. I delegated the Sweet Potato & Goat's Cheese review to our vegetarian reviewer ARL because she is a bonafide consumer of exclusively vegetarian food. Overall these pies were consistently outstanding, the Venison Chili & Cheese worked especially well for me. As usual the price is a pie meal for £6.50 or the two pies for £7. These prices are competitive with premium supermarket pies which is incredible considering they are homemade in small batches.

All of the pies had the same fantastic pastry we enjoyed with the Steak & Ale and the Chicken, Ham & Tarragon where it was crisp on the outside and softer in the middle. They look terrific and very close to my vision of the quintessential, ultimate pie.

Firstly the Venison, Chili & Cheese. The pie was packed with chunks of great tasting meat which had a bit more flavour than your average meat pie. The chunks of meat were soft and satisfying to get your teeth into. The small amount of cheese at the base of the pie also added an interesting texture. It was a little like mozzarella in texture and didn't have a strong flavour. This kind of cheese in a pie seems to be a bit of an Aussie trait with the now defunct Jumbucks using cheese in a similar way. It is less common in British pies where Stilton seems to be the cheese of choice. The pie was full of rich gravy which had the perfect consistency in that it didn't just ooze out when the pie was cut open. It was perfectly seasoned but what made the flavour stand out was the heat from the chili. There wasn't too much of a kick but it was enough to give a good kicking to the com-pie-tition and make this pie enter into our top 10 all of all time in the number 4 spot!

venison my pie

venison my pie
Venison & Chili

Venison, Chili & Cheese (MyPie)
Score: 6.57/7

[Condition 6.50, Colour 6.75, Cheapness 6.50, Capacity 6.75, Chewiness 6.75, Content 6.25, Consistency 6.50]

SJL

Being a greedy pie gobbler, I had the Beef & Horseradish at the same time. Whilst it was also an excellent pie, in many ways similar to the Vension, it was slightly overshadowed in part because of it was a bit too runny. Yes, the chunks of meat were large and satisfying but I only noticed a small amount of veg in the pie. It had a slight sweetness, perhaps from the addition of vegetables. It tasted much like a classic beef casserole. The horseradish was only very subtle which is a good or bad thing depending on your opinion of this particular root. This did mean that it didn't have the same stand out flavour of the venison although it did taste nice.

beef my pie


beef my pie
Beef & Horseradish
Beef, Vegetable & Horseradish (MyPie)
Score: 6.11/7
[Condition 6.50, Colour 6.75, Cheapness 6.50, Capacity 6.75, Chewiness 6.75, Content 5.00, Consistency 4.50]

SJL

Now onto the Mince, Bacon & Cheese. This pie was somewhat different but no less special that the others. It is the closest I have ever come to eating a cheese burger in a pie. If that sounds appealing then you should really try this pie because it really nailed it. It had a full, smokey flavour, perhaps from the use of bacon.  Unlike an actual cheese burger, the meat could be very moist which was the most beautiful thing about this pie; whilst it was like a cheese burger it was even better due to being fully encased in pastry. There was no liquid gravy as such but it didn't need it. There was a layer of classic burger cheese at the top which added variety to the flavour. In some ways it captured all the aspects that I love about Scotch pies. Despite having no big meaty chunks, it felt like the texture wasn't lacking, there was plenty to get your teeth into. Another standout effort from MyPie although scores slightly less than the venison as I think I would more often choose a pie with big chunks of meat. Also, the pastry was slightly too thick in places.

beef my pie
Mince & Cheese
Mince, Bacon & Cheese (MyPie)
Score: 6.46/7
[Condition 6.50, Colour 6.75, Cheapness 6.50, Capacity 6.75, Chewiness 6.00, Content 6.25, Consistency 6.50]

SJL

Onto the Sweet Potato & Goat's Cheese vegetarian pie review by Pierateer ARL.

I didn’t know what flavour this was so it was a surprise. Or a sup-pies. Given the taste I guess that it was sweet potato, pea and some sort of cheese or cream. It was really tasty regardless of what flavour it was. The sauce was thick and creamy and the unidentified orange vegetable was soft and tender. The pastry was utterly perfect. It was crisp and buttery and I don’t know what else to say- it was so good. Generally, the pie lacked a depth of flavour. It was sweet (but nicely so!) and creamy, but that was all I really got from it.

vegetarian my pievegetarian my pie

Sweet Potato & Goat's Cheese (MyPie)
Score: 5.93/7

[Condition 6.00, Colour 7.00, Cheapness 6.5, Capacity 5.00, Chewiness 7.00, Content 4.00, Consistency 6.00]

ARL



continue reading "Wizard of Oz"

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Cold hands? Warm pies!

It is the time of year when the weather makes a pie seem even more appealing than normal. When your hands start to get cold what could be better than a warm pie to hold? As the snow has been falling I decided to craft myself a 'snow pie' whilst I was waiting for my real pie to cook in the oven. If the cold weather has inspired you to grab a pie then do let us know with the hashtag #coldhandswarmpies.


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Monday, 18 January 2016

Scotch Pie Club Awards 2016

The Kandy Bar Bakery from Saltcoats have done it again! They have been crowed World Scotch Pie Champion for the second time, having previously taken the crown in 2014 when we were part of the Scotch Pie Club judging team. They retake the title from Murrays Bakers in Perth who were the 2015 winners. Given that the second placed pie was Beth Browning's Bakery in Kilwinning, it really is about time the Pierateers made a trip to Ayrshire. The vegetarian and fish savoury categories have been dropped this year in favour of the classic Haggis savoury which we are pleased to say was won by a haggis pie, as were all the categories where pies were against other products (which we are happy about at Pierate). Brownings the Bakers again won in the steak pie category with their famous 'Killie Pie' which we reviewed back in 2014. The full list of winners in below.

If you want to find out more about Scotch Pies, see our article on 'What Makes the Best Scotch Pie?'.


CategoryWinnerLocation
Scotch PieThe Kandy BarSaltcoats
Steak Pie (hand held)Brownings the BakersKilmarnock
Apple PieBoghall ButchersBathgate
Football PieBruce of the BrochFraserburgh
Hot SavouryNevis Baker (for Steak & Black Pudding Pie)Fort William
Cold SavouryBallards Buctchers (for Poachers Pie)Dumfries
Haggis SavouryFoston Fine Meats (for Steak, Haggis & Drambuie Pie)Berwickshire
BridieW.F. StarkBuckhaven
Sausage RollThomas JohnstonFalkirk


SJL
continue reading "Scotch Pie Club Awards 2016"

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Goal-Den Football Pies at Millwall?

Millwall Football Pie Review - Steak and Ale from The Pie Factory


When it comes to football, there can't be a more famous cup competition than the FA Cup. The history, the legend... but also plenty of cupsets! So with the infamous third round ties about to get underway, we rate the pie we had in Round 2 as Wycombe caused a shock at The Den against higher ranked Millwall with a stoppage-time winner! Would the pie rate highly or upset the fans in the stands?


The Pie Factory Steak and Ale
The Pie Factory Steak and Ale
The pies in question were marketed as by ‘The Pie Factory’ which was a company we had previously come across at Northampton FC. Having rated the Steak and Ale pie while watching the Cobblers, Pierateers RAS and SJL were intrigued by the option of the meat and potato pie on offer - alongside the steak and ale and chicken Balti pies we were told were on sale. It therefore came as a surprise to both of us then when we got to our seats that what we actually got served was the Steak and Ale, as there weren't any meat and potato there (we just weren't told this!)

It was a shame this therefore wasn't a new flavour to add to the Pieremiership table, however we were pleased that after a few bites it was clear that the pie was a lot better quality than the version we had at the Sixfields Stadium. Once again the pies certainly looked good - golden brown in colour with a nice, crisp flaky pastry on top, but this time we weren't so disappointed with the filling. Sure, we wouldn't go as far as saying it would challenge at the top of the Pieremiership, but it was good to see that they were selling a much improved pie at the Den than they had at Northampton. It really highlighted to us what difference it makes when a pie is more thoroughly cooked and not dried out at a football ground, as I think the need for speed of service can often hinder the perfect pie being sold in football grounds up and down the country.

If anything, the pie at Millwall was probably a little too cooked, which made the pastry rather crunchy and flakes immediately fell off upon biting into it. However the extra baking meant the pie held together quite well, as nothing's worse than a football pie which collapses in on itself and falls apart, getting gravy all down your football shirt! Sure it still did break up a bit, but nowhere near as badly as some football pies we've had! It tasted decent too, due to the quite well filled capacity, with a decent amount of steak and soft, tender meaty chunks. There was still quite a lot of gravy though to bulk it out, which was a reasonably sour taste from the ale but a reasonable flavour.

At £3.40 this is on the more expensive end for a mass produced football pie, which reduces the cheapness score but certainly after some of the football pies we've eaten recently, it made a change to have a football pie I would be happy to eat again!


The Pie Factory Steak and Ale
The Pie Factory Steak and Ale


Condition – 4 out of 7 - Looked pretty appealing, nice and tall. Particularly crisp, golden lid. Held together quite well.
Colour – 4 out of 7 – Quite golden on top but sides paler, a bit matt rather than glossy.
Cheapness – 3 out of 7 – £3.40 is quite a bit above average for a football league pie - especially one that's mass produced - and despite being decent meat content for a football pie, in the grand scheme of things this still didn’t feel like great value.
Capacity – 4.5 out of 7 – Quite tall and big capacity but still a reasonable airgap at the top. Whilst it looked like it would be satisfying, overall there was an air of disappointment. I would prefer a smaller pie without the airgap. Still, above average for a football pie!
Chewiness – 4.5 out of 7 – Pastry was a lot crisper and more enjoyable than before. Not much chewiness to the meat.
Content – 4.50 out of 7 - It was nice that the ale was noticeable but was a little too sour. The meat that was there was nice enough but still a bit too much of a gravy pie top marks!
Consistency – 4.50 out of 7 – Much improved on the Pie Factory pie previously eaten. A lot more meat and far better pastry, more cooked.


Steak and Ale (Millwall FC/The Pie Factory)
4.14/7
SJL/RAS



Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

Make sure you
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Goal-Den Football Pies at Millwall?"

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

We rate the West Midland's football pies for Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed called upon the Pierateers to find out who sells the top rated football pies in the Birmingham area! The top social news website called upon our ex-pie-tise to advise on football pies, following our appearance on the BBC Sport website in their video on pies related to the Price of Football Survey and recent appearance on Rip Off Britain!


Click here to read the Buzzfeed article 

We Rated The West Midlands’ Football Match Pies



Rip Off Britain Pie Review
Pierateer Rob on BBC's Rip Off Britain
For the Buzzfeed article we were sent to try the pies at the 5 Birmingham based football clubs - Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Walsall, West Brom and Wolverhampton. While only three of them made the final cut, find out who we rated the best in the Birmingham Pie League by viewing the article!

While we are first and foremost a pie rating website, rather than specifically a football pie rating website, we’re looking to delve further into the provision of football pies as we develop our Pieremiership of football’s best half time pies. Find out if we've rated your club yet by clicking here!

We've rated over 500 pies, including a number of football pies
In our view, it’s all about a great tasting pie – filling and pastry - which is value for money. You can find out more about what makes a great rated pie by reading about the 7 Cs of pie rating. And to find out what makes a great football pie, you can also view our article on football pies when we advised BBC's Rip Off Britain earlier this year.

RAS


Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

Make sure you 
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "We rate the West Midland's football pies for Buzzfeed"

Monday, 7 December 2015

Best Mince Pies in Britain?

Konditor & Cook - Mince Pie Review
I saw this attention grabbing headline outside the Goodge Street branch of Konditor and Cook in London. It was difficult to resist having a look at the mince pies which had such a claim to fame. This pastry and cake shop did look appealing, if a little expensive. The plate of mince pies on the counter looked impressive with a lovely golden colour to the pastry and a handmade appearances. The box of six pies I got were certainly beautifully presented but how would they taste?

I personally found the flavour of these mince pies about right, there was a good balance between the fruit, spice and sweetness. I find some mince pies too spicy but these were more on the tangy and fruity side. There was a good texture with decent pieces of fruit and nut a must in this price range. For me, the pastry was also very nice, it was nice and buttery, a bit crumbly but not too much. I find some mince pies have pastry almost like shortbread which is very crumbly and can be a bit dry. Pierateer RAS was also able to try these mince pies. I was able to get Pierateer Rob's opinion on this, we were generally in agreement regarding the good quality of the buttery pastry and fruity filling.

So these were nice mince pies, the taste and appearance was well above average. They were well filled with no airgap in sight. However, considering these were the larger of the two sizes of mince pies in Konditor and Cook, we noted they were really quite shallow. I really felt like I should have got a bit more considering the box of six cost me £8! It is always going to be difficult to justify paying such a high price. Regarding the 'best in Britain' claim, it is hard to verify this as I haven't tried all the mince pies in Britain. It was certainly up with the best but at the price you would expect that. I don't think it was the best mince pie I have ever had. As it is nicely presented it could make a good gift but I am not likely to buy these pies again due to their premium price, you don't get that much more than with the best supermarket versions. The 'best mince pie in Britain' claim is attributed to the Telegraph but I have not been able to verify this via a Google search, their 2015 reviews online don't even mention Konditor and Cook! I don't doubt the claim but wouldn't put too much store in it, there are lots of mince pies out there recommended by various newspapers and website. However, it does come away with a 'Pierate Recommended' award for scoring above 5, that is something you can trust!


Mince Pie (Konditor & Cook [London])
5.11/7
[Colour 6, Condition 5.5, Cheapness 2.5, Capacity 4.5, Chewiness 5.75, Content 6, Consistency 5.5]

SJL & RAS
continue reading "Best Mince Pies in Britain?"

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Pierate advises BBC One's Rip Off Britain on football pies

The BBC have once again called upon the Pierateers to find out what makes a great pie! The team from BBC's Rip Off Britain called upon our ex-pie-tise to advise on football pies, following our TV debut on Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice and appearing on the BBC Sport website in their video on pies related to the Price of Football Survey.


Rip Off Britain Pie Review
Pierateer Rob on BBC's Rip Off Britain
Pierateer Rob - who was the chosen pie expert for the show - is seen talking about the quality of British football pies and whether they really are a rip off or not. For the eager pie-d among you, you'll know that the clip on Rip Off Britain this lunchtime was actually the same footage as back in April, but it's clearly a big talking point as it's been shown once again!

In the clip (which can be view on BBC Pie-player for the next month and features us in the pie story from minute 18 to minute 26 and Pierateer Rob specifically in minute 22), Bradford City fan Kevin was questioning the quality and price of the pies at his local football club. Like us, Kevin thinks a half time pie is part and parcel of football culture in Britain. When you think football, you think half time pie. What better during those cold, winter evenings to warm the heart, as well as the hands, during the half time interval as you watch your local team? But is that actually what people do? Or has the quality and price of football pies put off the regular football fan? Do the caterers even have enough pies to go round? And if fans do buy a pie, is it piefection or are football fans being held to ransom? Find out in the episode!

We at www.pierate.co.uk will readily admit we are first and foremost a pie rating website, rather than specifically a football pie rating website, but we’re looking to delve further into the provision of football pies as we develop our Pieremiership of football’s best half time pies.

We've rated over 500 pies, including a number of football pies

But while we realise we haven’t eaten anywhere near enough pies in different football grounds yet – despite having over 500 pies rated in our Pie Rankings from many of the regular football pie manufacturers like Pukka Pies, Holland’s Pies and Peter’s Pies – we have always been a fan of eating a golden pastry product in the football stadiums we’ve visited. And in our minds what’s more important than simply the price of the pie is how the pie rates. Is it a soggy disappointment, overly dry or lacking in content or does it meet the 7 criteria we Pierateers look for in a pie?

In our view, it’s all about a great tasting pie – filling and pastry - which is value for money. You can find out more about what makes a great rated pie by reading about the 7 Cs of pie rating. However what makes a great football pie?

Here are a few specific pointers for making the perfect football pie:


Firstly, it’s got to be cooked properly. Sadly, in the rush to serve so many customers in such a short space of time, food at football grounds can be undercooked or left sat in a hot locker for far too long, making the pie taste bad or even be pretty much inedible. We have unfortunately fallen foul to a few pies being served to us either undercooked or over baked. Naturally, the rating of such pies is badly affected.

Secondly, the football pie has got to be something you can pick up in your hands and bite into, without it crumbling all over the place. Quite a few football pies can be too soft to pick up or crumble all over the place when bitten into, so a firm but crisp pastry casing is key.

Finally, the consistency of the pie filling has got to be just right. Naturally we want a meat pie to be filled to capacity with nice, tender meaty chunks, but we also expect the viscosity of the gravy or sauce to be well thought through so that it is flavoursome but not too runny, as the last thing you want is gravy down your football shirt!

Morecambe FC British Pie Awards 2014
Morecambe FC won the British Pie Awards in 2012 and 2014!
All this has got to be provided at a reasonable price that leaves the fan going away happy and without a huge dent in the wallet, otherwise it's certainly a rip-off!

Featuring in the Rip Off Britain episode, one football ground has seemingly found the perfect reci-pie for the half time pastry snack, producing some of the highest rated pies on Pierate, let alone best football pies! Head chef Graham Aimson at Morecambe FC has won several titles at the British Pie Awards for the quality of his pies, including being British Pie Awards Supreme Champion 2014, where unsurprisingly we were there as one of the judges.

In summary, we think there’s nothing better than a warm, hearty pie to get you through half time. But the key thing is that they have got to be top rated pies! Too often the pies are not only overly expensive but are just not up to scratch, either too dry or undercooked. So as well as checking out the price of pies, we’ll be making sure we rate as many as possible on our 7 Cs of pie rating so that you know what pies to purchase and don't get ripped off!

RAS

Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

Make sure you 
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "Pierate advises BBC One's Rip Off Britain on football pies"

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Yeo Will Like this Pie Review

Yeovil Town FC/Penny Lane - Chicken Curry Pie Review

Please note: When writing this article I believed that the pie I was reviewing was made by Wrights but Yeovil have told me they have a number of different pie suppliers (just to confuse us!) including Wrights, Pukka and some homemade pies. However, on this occasion the pie was made by a Somerset company called Penny Lane. This explains why it was different to the other Wrights pies we have previously reviewed.

Yeovil Town's calamitous plummet from the Championship to League Two provided a new club to add to our Football Pie League when we visited Huish Park on Tuesday. An enjoyable game saw Wycombe grab the 0-1 win. Whilst it was a decent performance from Wycombe, Yeovil offered very little and now sit bottom of League Two. Could a third successive relegation be on the cards? Certainly the heady Championship days seem a long time ago now with an attendance of only 2,963 for the match against Wycombe. Arriving at Huish Park it was hard to believe it was ever a Championship ground, it is only 9,565 capacity and one of the terraces is completely open to the elements. I believe this is traditionally where they put away fans but I was quite glad that we were sitting down undercover in a corner of the Screwfix stand.


The stand that we were in did seem fairly modern with decent enough facilities, but did this bode well for their ability to cook a pie properly? This being the South West I had feared that pasties might dominate but there was a healthy choice of 3 pies; Steak & Kidney, Chicken & Mushroom and Chicken Curry. There was no indication what company might make them but after some consultation the staff and myself concluded that they must be Wrights Pies as that was on the packaging of the Steak & Kidney pie. Those of you who know your football pies will know that Wrights are quite common at football grounds. We have previously reviewed their football pies at Cambridge, Northampton and Wolves as well as a review of their shop bought Chicken & Mushroom. Recently I have noticed them spreading further from their base in Stoke (I have recently spotted them in my local shops around Gloucester) so it seems there are growing their Em-pie-re.


Previously they have been solid but not outstanding performers and so it was again today. I opted for the Chicken Curry, I thought it was going to be the same as I had reviewed at Cambridge but was pleased to note that it was subtly different, that one having been Chicken Balti. This option had a filling more similar to chip shop curry sauce (a bit similar to the Peter's version). It wasn't particularly spicy, I found it a little boring but it was pleasant enough. It was very salty (too much so) but also slightly sweet in places. There were some small pieces of a red vegetable which I guess was chili. The chicken was in small chunks but was pleasant enough.

The pastry was soft and stodgy but fairly tasty. It was unbelievably greasy though, the underside of the pie was almost dripping in grease, perhaps the most greasy pie I have ever eaten which is saying something! The most positive aspect of this pie was that it was well cooked, we often complain about badly cooked or dried out football pies, but this was cooked through and piping hot. In fact it was really too hot, I was so hungry, it was burning me. It wasn't just burning my mouth because this pie was disintegrating as quickly as I was eating it, there was no structural integrity at all which is really not what you was when trying to eat it with your hands. At £3.20 it was on the more expensive side for League Two but it is good enough that I would have another on my next visit to Yeovil Town.

Chicken Curry (Yeovil Town/Penny Lane)
4.23/7
[Colour 4.0, Condition 4.5, Cheapness 3.0, Capacity 5.5, Chewiness 4.6, Content 4.0, Consistency 4.0]

SJL



P.P.S. Sorry about the title of this post, I think it is my worst attempt at a pun in a long time, but I couldn't think of anything better!
continue reading "Yeo Will Like this Pie Review"

Thursday, 12 November 2015

International Pierate Day 2015

We Pierateers of pie review website www.pierate.co.uk are today celebrating our 6th Birthday, and we'd love you to join us by simply eating a pie and rating it!


That’s why we’ve designated
12th November as International Pierate Day!


It follows in the footsteps of the very first International Pierate Day in 2013, which was once again celebrated last year. But we don’t want you – pie lovers worldwide – to just sit at home and watch as we eat all the pies! Oh no! Pie eating and pie rating is something we can all enjoy. Something that can bring friends, family and communities together. Pies are celebrated and eaten in so many countries worldwide and so today – marking our sixth birthday – we would love you to join us in eating and rating pies!

And to celebrate the occasion of our 6th birthday, we commissioned fellow food blogger and amazing illustrator Emily from www.recipesandreviews.co.uk to create us this lovely, personalised print - an illustrated guide on how to rate a pie, based on our 7 Cs of pie rating!


An illustrated guide on how to rate a pie by @emily_etc
 

So here’s the deal... in six simple words: Eat a pie and rate it!

It doesn’t matter whether it’s savoury or sweet, or whether you prefer your pies without the wheat or meat! We really do rate anything and everything that is a true pie and sometimes a number of interesting things that try to be pies to! But the important thing is we love to eat pie and rate it – for we are, after all, the Pierateers!

So once you’ve found a pie to eat – whether in the local bakery, butchers, supermarket or your favourite pie shop or one you have made in the luxury of your own home – why not rate your pie using the Seven Cs of pie rating in our lovely illustrated guide above?



In addition to celebrating #InternationalPierateDay today, we are also delighted to announce that Chris from MyPie London is coming to Birmingham to serve up his highly rated pies for our 6th Birthday Pie-rty on 14th November! We can't wait!!!

His Chicken pie scored a whopping 6.39/7 just a few months ago!
But his Steak and Ale was not to be outdone, scoring 6.61/7 and rating as #3 on our list of over 500 pies rated!



So what do you need to do now?


Well, first things first - you need a pie (or two!) For insPIEration you might find our Pie Rankings helpful, with over 500 pies we've rated and reviewed over the past 6 years! Or perhaps you want to make one of the pies our Ship's Cook has made, following her reci-pies here.

You can even watch us on the BBC website advising what to look for in a pie!

Most of all, we hope you enjoy eating and rating pies today! We sure will!!!



Pierate is a pie review website charting a course to find the ultimate pie. For all the pies we have reviewed have a look at our Pie Rankings or find pies of a particular flavour under Pies: Categorised.

Make sure you 
and let us know your thoughts!
continue reading "International Pierate Day 2015"

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Bring on the Bramley apple pie!

Waitrose British Bramley Apple Pies

I do love apple pies. You might consider me a bit weird for this (and perhaps for many other reasons too...), but I think I prefer cold apple pie to warm apple pie. Just me?

Here's an apple pie that admittedly I tried quite a while ago but absolutely loved at the time. These are two 'tart and fruity' British Bramley apple pies from purveyors of fine pies Waitrose.

apple pie

Currently on sale at £2.79, these pies are certainly not at the cheap end of the spectrum. It's certainly larger than your average Mr Kipling apple pie, but at £1.40 per pie, you'd expect a sizeable pie for your money. I'm not quite sure the size of this pie matches up with its price tag - so I'm hoping this pie makes up it for when I taste it.

apple pie

apple pie

Cutting open the pie reveals some wonderful large chunks of Bramley apple. There is a definite air gap, but the filling does look delicious. The pastry cuts nicely, with the perfect balance of crunch and softness. The apple is wonderfully fluffy and juicy, and complements well with the smooth puree sauce - a perfect mix of consistencies. There's a fantastic tart-ness to the taste of this pie - it's not too sweet or artificial, it tastes real and authentic. The pastry is also very tasty, which a part of the pie I've often found ignored.

Interestingly, Bramley apple pie filling has received protected status from the European commission. This means that the filling must contain "a blend of fresh Bramley apple pieces, sugar and water, with the option of Bramley apple puree, cornflour and lemon juice" - any else simply won't cut the mustard. The recipe for a Bramley apple pie filling dates back to the 1880s.

This was a delicious apple pie, and I could have eaten both! It's main drawback, however, was its price, along with its air gap.

Waitrose British Bramley Apple Pies
Score: 5.9 / 7
TJP
continue reading "Bring on the Bramley apple pie!"

Friday, 6 November 2015

The case is closed on fully-encased pies

Waitrose Steak, Mushroom & Red Wine Pie

So we've tried the Waitrose top crust offering - and we detailed some of the shortcomings of a top crust pie - and now is the chance for the fully-encased pie to show why it is the superior pie.

This is a Waitrose Rich & Juicy Steak, Mushroom & Red Wine pie with puff pastry, and costs £2.00. It's made with British steak, and is surrounded with butter-enriched pastry.


Out of the oven, the pie is a lovely golden brown colour. There's no boil-out, unlike its top-crust counterpart, so the pie is in good condition.


Cracking open the pie, however, reveals that it is lacking in real structural integrity. Despite picking a sharp knife, cutting this pie open for the cross-section means it just collapses on itself, oozing its red wine gravy out over the plate. It's therefore hard to fully ascertain the extent of the air-gap in this pie, but I could still see that this pie was not entirely filled to capacity.


The content was tasty - the gravy in particular was delicious and rich, and the meat was nice and tender. I could have done with a bit more steak in the pie, however.

At £2, this is a decent price for what was a quality pie. It's by no means the cheapest supermarket pie, however, but you could do worse.

While this pie may have collapsed when I tried to cut it (meaning it would be hard to pick up and eat with your hands), you can still clearly see it is vastly superior to it's lesser top-crust cousin. Fully-encased is always the way to go. Case closed.

Steak, Mushroom & Red Wine Pie
Score: 5.4 / 7
TJP
continue reading "The case is closed on fully-encased pies"