Thursday 24 July 2014

Delving into Dulverton Pies

Exclusive Cake Company - Game Pie Review

On a trip to Exmoor my Pie-dy senses had been alterted to the small town of Dulverton as a place where I might locate a good pie. Okay, this isn't quite true, I can't sense where good pies are, this was a recommendation, just like many of our visits. We are very lucky to be inundated with so many recommendations we just don't have the time or money to follow them all up. See our 'suggest a pie' page.

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Dulverton is a lovely little town nestled in the beautiful Exmoor National Park. With a number of independent cafes and shops it seemed that there were plenty of pie options but there was only one place for me. I was quickly impressed by the Exclusive Cake Company. Despite the name indicating their passion for cakes, it was clear that the Exclusive Cake Company are also passionate about pies. Just have a look at the huge range of pies they have on their website. It was a difficult decision, I really could only eat one pie without leading to the sinful act of wasting pie, what type of meat should I go for? I decided to go all out with the triple meat combo of Venison, Rabbit and Pheasant, known as the Game Pie. This seemed appropriate while on Exmoor which is known for it's hunting pursuits.

Despite being one of the more expensive options this pie was worth the money and receives a much coveted 'Pierate Highly Recommended' award. It was meaty and delicious. Do check it out if you are in the area! See the score breakdown below.

Dulverton Exclusive Cake Pie Cross section

Condition - 6.0 out of 7 - This pie was ruggedly handsome. The pie didn't look perfect but had a pleasing handmade appearance with a pastry shape on top to indicate the flavour.
Colour - 6.2 out of 7 - A pretty mix of different tones of golden brown. A little burnt boil out to indicate the pie is packed with content.
Cheapness - 5.8 out of 7 - At £3.20 this is pretty average for a gourmet pie, but often they can be quite small. Not this one, it was really quite big for an individual pie. When you consider that you are also getting more expensive meats and that it is full of content it certainly seemed worth it.
Capacity - 6.3 out of 7 - The capacity seemed about as big as possible and there was no air gap. However, there was a little bit of extra pastry on the join between the lid and sides so I felt there was slightly too much pastry. Also the sauce seemed to take up quite a lot of the space, but there was enough meat.
Chewiness - 5.5 out of 7 - The chunks of meat provided plenty to get your teeth into without being chewy. The pastry was nice and flaky on the outside without being puff pastry. (This reminded me of my favourite pies from Kings Farm.) It was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, a great combination. However, it was a little bit dry at the edge which meant my teeth had to do more work than I would have liked. But this was only a small proportion of the pie. There was a bit of a strange texture to the sauce, it was so thick it was almost like jelly (as we have found elsewhere). Whilst not chewy as such, the texture was not what I would have chosen, I like thick sauce, but prefer it not quite this thick. I would note this did only have a small impact on my enjoyment.
Content - 6.9 out of 7 - Pure and simple, this was a great tasting pie. Very meaty and no nonsense. The game meat added plenty of flavour, with the venison being particularly apparent. Even the pastry tasted nice. If I had to criticise the taste of the filling I would say it seemed a little too salty to me which reminded me of a Pukka Pie.
Consistency - 5.8 out of 7 - Despite not being consistently perfect, overall the taste of both the filling and the pastry made this pie stand out and they worked well together.

Mixed Game (The Exclusive Cake Company [TA22 9HB])


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