Tuesday 24 December 2013

A special Higgidy pie treat for your Christmas guests

Higgidy “Special Guest” Lincolnshire Turkey, Bacon and Stuffing Pie Review

Christmas is a time for sharing gifts with your loved ones, welcoming in special guests to your home and enjoying good food and good banter! And what better food gift to share with your special guests than a pie (of course, at Christmas time it has to be a turkey pie!) The question is... What do you put with it? Obviously it needs to be packed full of meatilicious turkey – that’s a given! But what other parts of the Christmas meal should be included in the pie if you want to really give your guests some festive cheer?!

Well I guess everyone’s going to write a slightly different list (and check it twice) to Santa when requesting what type of turkey pie they want for Christmas. But for me, it would have to be turkey, bacon/sausage and stuffing, with a nice bit of gravy! Love a good amount of dinner with my gravy! So when I saw that the Higgidy Christmas Turkey pie contained all of my requirements, it was immediately added to my ’12 Pies of Christmas’ list!

4 Higgidy Pies
4 Higgidy Pies

Coming out of the oven, the lid of the pie was a nice lightly golden colour and the sides and base were quite good colour, though a bit paler as can be seen in the photo. Cutting through the pie, there was a strong capacity, though a bit of an air gap between filling and pastry lid. There was not much of a mix of colour inside the pie, particularly because there weren’t many pieces of bacon in the filling to add to the colour.

However tucking into the pie, there was certainly no lack of turkey inside! The pieces were quite large and spread throughout the pie, though in both my pie and those of the three friends I shared my “Four Higgidy Pies” with, the consistency of turkey, bacon and stuffing throughout the pie wasn’t quite perfect, with some mouthfuls exclusively of stuffing.

Inside the Higgidy Turkey Pie Review
Inside the Higgidy Turkey Pie
On the topic of stuffing, the sweet apricots in the stuffing (alongside the sausagemeat and festive herbs) did add a slight twist to this pie, adding hints of sweetness to another wise quite meaty pie. I wouldn’t personally add apricot to the pie, but it did make this pie a bit more unique and might appeal to some. Also, while this pie wasn’t dry, it did lack an ideal amount of moisture which would be provided by a little more gravy/stock. The side and base pastry, while nice to eat, could have done with being a bit less dry.

However my main disappointment with this pie was actually the level of pepper included in the recipe. Unfortunately this was a big distraction from the actual taste of the meat in the pie – so much so that when someone asked me the next day about the pie I had eaten, all that immediately came to mind was that it was far too peppery (for me and my special guests). I’m not a huge fan of pepper in pies, but this pie not only had pepper in the turkey and bacon filling and the stuffing, but also cayenne pepper in the short crust pastry!!! I can only hope that the pies we ate had been made in an overly peppery batch because the levels of pepper were so much that I’d personally rename this pie a “Pepper with turkey, bacon and stuffing” pie. To those who love their pepper, this is clearly the pie for you. Sadly, however, I don’t think this would greatly appeal to the wider turkey pie loving market. I certainly wouldn’t eat another if the recipe did not change.

At £3 per pie, I think this is very reasonable for a good sized, meaty Christmas pie. In addition, the pie box contained a token that – when 10 are collected – would allow me to get a free Higgidy pie, so I’m already well on my way to a free pie having eaten 4 Higgidy pies for the ’12 Pies of Christmas’ music video.

I don’t like to end on a sour (or peppery) note, but hopefully this was just an overly-peppery batch and the recipe will be slightly tweaked to provide a delicious turkey pie for next Christmas! There’s certainly a lot of potential in this Christmas pie if the recipe is just tweaked slightly.

Higgidy “Special Guest” Lincolnshire Turkey, Bacon and Stuffing Pie
Score: 5.36/7
[Colour 5, Capacity 6, Consistency 4, Condition 7, Chewiness 6.5, Cheapness 6, Content 3, Total: 5.36/7]

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