Saturday 6 March 2021

The Pie Room Review

The Pie Room Recipe Book by Calum Franklin - Cheesy Dauphinoise & Caramelised Onion Pie Review

British Pie Week is a special time of year and the Pierate virtual pie night seemed a perfect excuse to go for something a bit fancy. One of the best known producers of fancy pies is Calum Franklin who we previously talked to about the beautiful pastry creations he makes for the Holborn Dining Room where he has created a specific 'Pie Room'. Calum has now released a recipe and guide book called 'The Pie Room' and given the time we are spending at home in the lockdown it seemed the perfect thing to try out for British Pie Week. Unfortunately on the Pierate Ship we are more known for eating pies and some of our creations have been far from beautiful so I was a bit concerned about how this would go. I also had to alternate from the recipe in that I made Gluten Free pastry so that Pierateer ALE could also enjoy the pie. We are moving house and had a glut of onions to use so I chose the Cheesy Dauphinoise & Caramelised Onion Pie. It also contained a lot of milk and cream which sounded great to me, being from a dairy farm I do love my milk. This was the first time I had ever made a freestanding pie, I was worried that it might completely fall apart but despite using notoriously crumbly gluten free pastry it only cracked slightly. The pie took absolutely ages to make so I didn't feel motivated to do more than a simple pastry homage to British Pie Week but it was still one of the best looking pies I have ever made (the competition isn't strong though). I slightly got the advice on egg glaze wrong which was a bit disappointing because I was keen to get a pie as deep brown as the ones Calum makes, but it was still a pleasing colour. The pie sliced like a dream which was one of the joys of making this free standing pie, it really still looked like pie when served up on your plate. I made the recipe with half the listed ingredients and Pierateer ALE and I had a quarter each.

But how did it taste? I always find it strange to review a pie I have made but if I give the credit to Calum I think I can say that this was delicious. I can't actually remember having a meat-free pie as tasty as this. It would definitely be worthy of a Pierate Highly Recommended award. There wasn't anything too fancy or difficult to source in the recipe except quite a lot of fresh rosemary and thyme. This, along with the onion and some garlic added a delicious taste to the creamy and cheesy filling. The filling was built in layers which adds to the appearance. Unfortunately with my smaller version I think it was too shallow to fully reveal the layers but it still looked good. It was quite remarkable how moist this pie was despite being free standing. The potato was soft but retained some bite giving it a satisfying consistency. A pie really befitting of British Pie Week and I would certainly recommend it if the meat free content sounds appealing to you.

Cheesy Dauphinoise & Caramelised Onion (The Pie Room Recipe by Calum Franklin)


P.S. A few words on the making of this pie, I really tried to follow the recipe to the letter which took me ages. Although the ingredients were simple the potato and onion were separately cooked on the hob, then also in the oven before being wrapped in pastry. The final pie then took 45 minutes in the oven. There was also a lot of times where you had to put things in the fridge to chill, it felt complicated to someone not used to these things. I think the pie would fall apart without following all the steps so overall allow plenty of time. I made the filling the day before which worked well. The main thing that I found really amazing was that the filling all held together when I turned it out of a dish on top of the pastry. Then through some miracle my gluten free pastry stayed in one piece as I turned this onto the filling. If making this kind of pie appeals to you I would recommend the book which is well written and includes plenty of general guides, tips and tricks as well as the actual recipes.

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Monday 1 March 2021

British Pie Week 2021 - Everything you need to know!

With British Pie Week kicking off today, we thought you might want to find out everything you should know about the greatest week in pie! Of course, like so many things in the world, this British Pie Week will be a little different due to the impacts of covid-19. However that doesn't stop you celebrating it! So read on to find out more!

British Pie Week 2021 Logo
When is British Pie Week?

British Pie Week is held the first full week of March, which this year is 1st-7th March 2021. That means it is as early in the year as is possible this year!

What is British Pie Week?

Originally set up by a pastry maker as a way to sell more of their pastry, it is now Britain’s main celebration of pie! Pubs, restaurants, pie shops and more have used British Pie Week to run com-pie-titions, pie specials and the like, while supermarkets sometimes use the week to discount their pie ranges. The British Pie Awards have even moved their awards to this week, to coincide with British Pie Week, though this year it won't be happening in March due to Coronavirus!

However it’s also an excuse for pie lovers like the Pierateers to do various pie stunts and for the average pie fan to excuse their pie eating for a week! (“Well it’s Pie Week, so I have to have a pie!!!”)

British Pie Week Pierate
British Pie Week 2021 is from 1st-7th March!
How can I get involved?

Well, the pies the limit! Of course the more traditional ways include eating a pie from a pie shop or pub but they aren't an option this year, so you could either purchase a pie from your local supermarket or make an online order from your favourite online pie supplier (or try out a new one!)

Or you could of course make your own pie at home. While this year the "stay at home" message means we won't be able to organise an in-person pie night like we normally do, you could always try an e-pie night with friends over Zoom or Skype? That's what the Pierateers will be doing on Friday night! Or you could still do some crazy pie stunt like only eating pies for a day (which we’ve done numerous times) or create an unusual filling for a pie – like we did with our Pie-thon (python meat pie).

Online Pie Order Ideas:

You can order pies from our Number 1 rated pie maker MyPie on their website here:

You can order pies from British Pie Awards winners Turner's Pies on their website here:

You can order pies from Pieminister (like we have for our social bubble pie party on Sunday) on their website here:

Python pie
The infamous Python meat pie!


During British Pie Week 2014 we Pierateers consumed a quite incredible 55 pies and you can see the breakdown right here! There were so many highlights that we had to do a whole day-by-day account of it, including a Python pie, a day of just eating apple pie and Pierateer SJL eating 21 pies - one for every meal of British Pie Week.

In fact, Pierateer SJL didn't just eat a pie for every meal but he proved that you can eat pie and lose weight!!! Yes, we can hardly believe it either!

In 2015 we raised the bar even higher by consuming a whopping 71 pies between 2 Pierateers! This included a Pieathon (seeing how long we could just eat pies for) and Rob eating pie for 67% of his diet that week!

When did it all start?

British Pie Week was created by a pastry company in 2007 to sell more pastry, but it seems that company have now ditched the idea, with the lucrative webpage now just re-directing to their main pastry website and their @BritPieWeek twitter account not having been updated since March 2016!

This means the new home of British Pie Week is really, who don’t care about making money or selling more pastry, but want to celebrate the pie – with well over 600 pies already rated and numerous pie-related stunts highlighting their love of pie! For more information on what Pierate have got up to over the years since first celebrating British Pie Week in 2011, check out our dedicated British Pie Week page!

British Pie Week Pierate Pie
The Pierate Logo Pie made for us in British Pie Week 2014!
Find out more about this Nice Pie here.
How can Pierate help me this British Pie Week?

Well, there's no denying we are the web's pie-remier pie resource with over 1 million pie fans visiting our pie blog! You can browse our Pie Rankings of over 600 pies rated and ranked so that you can avoid the bad ones and grab the best ones, plus we have a pie pun dictionary (so you can pun-ctuate your conversation in pie week) and more pie trivia than you can shake a stick at! We truly are the home of the pie review at and you can find out more about the piefessionals (pie experts) in our About Us section!

Finally, if you’re a pie maker or pie seller and have any special promotions for British Pie Week, get in touch with us and we can celebrate your British Pie Week offers right here! Either send us an email to or tweet us @pierateers to let us promote your pie week plans!

So whatever you’re up to this British Pie Week, we hope you have pie and enjoy it! For more ideas, why not check out our #PiePledge video below?


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.

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