Monday, 9 March 2020

7 ways to survive post British Pie Week!

Yes, British Pie Week is over. We hear ya! Pie specials will disappear from pub menus. Pie Week discounts will no longer apply. But we’ve got one important message for pie fans: “A pie is for life, not just British Pie Week!” We all know that pies are far too good to celebrate just one week of the year! So here's 7 ways to survive post British Pie Week:


1) Enjoy a pie as soon as possible post British Pie Week - after all, there's no need to just eat pies in British Pie Week!

2) Reminisce about your favourite pie or pies from British Pie Week and plan to eat them again soon!

3) Save up your money to buy some top pies even once the promos and discounts have disappeared.

4) Petition your local pub or pie shop to bring back some of their specials if they were only on sale for British Pie Week.

5) Search our pie rankings list of over 600 pies to find a new pie to try in the coming weeks!

6) Use your extra time to catch up on all the crazy antics the Pierateers have got up to over the years!

7) Remember - it's now less than 365 days until we do it all again, for British Pie Week 2021! It'll be from 1st-7th March 2021.


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 "7 ways to survive post British Pie Week!"

Sunday, 8 March 2020

British Pie Week 2020 - Sunday Update

With British Pie Week almost over for another year, here's an update on what's been going on in the world of pies in the best week of the year!


Pierate Birmingham Pie Night

Much like the last couple of years, it seemed rude not to celebrate British Pie Week without going to a local pie shop with friends of the blog! Therefore Pierateer Rob organised a trip to the local Pieminister shop in central Birmingham. He once again enjoyed a very nice Moolin Rouge Steak, Bacon and Red Wine pie, so look out for the review of that this coming week! That will be the 20th Pieminister pie we review, and in the meantime you can find the other 19 Pieminister pie reviews!

British Pie Awards


A few years ago the British Pie Awards moved their awards to this week, to coincide with British Pie Week, and this year celebrated their 12th year! The results were released this past Friday 6th March and we are delighted to see that Turner's Pies have once again regained their top spot at the British Pie Awards, following their win at the British Pie Awards 2018!

This year's winning entry out of almost 900 pies entered was a Top Rump Steak and Stilton pie by Turner's Pies, but there were also good showings for a number of our Pierate Highly Recommended pie makers, such as our number 1 pie maker MyPie London who got a gold, silver or bronze for all of their eight entries!

British Pie Week Pierate
British Pie Week 2020 is from 2nd-8th March!

PIE-LIGHTS OF PAST BRITISH PIE WEEKS

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!


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 "British Pie Week 2020 - Sunday Update"

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Football Pie Review: The Don of Football Pies?

Rating the steak football pie at Doncaster Rovers by Pukka Pies


Pukka Pie Review
Pukka Pie at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
Situated on the edge of town, the Keepmoat Stadium is your standard, new out-of-town football stadium that certainly impresses on the eye. But in these new, slightly monotonous out-of-town stadiums it therefore makes the little things, like the warm welcome given by the match day stewards and the posters they put up to welcome the away fans, that bit more personalised. Seeing a photo of Wycombe's new joint-top league goalscorer "The Beast" Akinfenwa on the wall as I walked into the away end of the Keepmoat Stadium was therefore a welcome addition, and it was good to see a decent selection of pies on offer too. The other familiar sign on the wall was for Pukka Pies, reassuring me that the pies should be of a decent quality.

After a reasonably long journey up to Doncaster I wasn't going to hang about, so after grabbing a steak Pukka Pie from the kiosk and taking a quick photo in my seat, I set about tucking into the crisp, golden flaky pastry. As is often the case with a hand-eaten Pukka, the meat and gravy has slightly tipped to the bottom of the pie, meaning the first bite or two were rather filling-lite. But it didn't take too long to get into the meaty steak chunks and the pie was well filled, not too soggy on the base and crisp on the lid. The capacity was decent, though not filled to the brim, so some points had to be deducted there. But overall, as with many a football Pukka Pie, it filled the hole well and didn't disappoint.

Pukka Pie Review
Cut through of the Steak Pukka Pie

The price of the pie was £3.30, which is on the more expensive end of the football pie price range (especially as it was a Pukka) but I would have happily had another. Certainly not the Don of all football pies, as can be seen in it's placement in the PIEremiership Table, but a decent effort none-the-less!

Pukka Pies Steak Pie
Score: 4.36/7
[Colour 4, Capacity 4.5, Consistency 4, Condition 5, Chewiness 5, Cheapness 3, Content 5]



We've rated over 600 pies, including a number of football pies



More about us and our football pie pedigree:

Sam and Rob being interviewed by BBC Sport's Azi Farni
Watch the video on the BBC Sport website
Regulars to our pie blog will know we're the world's leading pie review blog - featuring over 600 pie reviews with multiple football pie media appearances! In 2014 we joined BBC Sport's Azi Farni at Morecambe FC, who make some of the best pies rated on Pierate (let alone football grounds) to discuss what makes the perfect football pie! Watch us featuring in the BBC Price of Football video here.

Check out our PIEremiership article and you'll find that Morecambe FC's Globe Arena is certainly the place to be for top football pies! Top of our football pie league and winners of the British Pie Awards twice, Morecambe FC make their pies in the kitchen on site by hand, rather than just buying them in! Back of the net!!

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 "Football Pie Review: The Don of Football Pies?"

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

British Pie Week 2020 - Wednesday Update

With British Pie Week already three days in, here's an update on what's going on in the world of pies in the best week of the year!


Pierate Birmingham Pie Night

Much like the last couple of years, it seemed rude not to celebrate British Pie Week without going to a local pie shop with friends of the blog! Therefore Pierateer Rob organised a trip to the local Pieminister shop in central Birmingham. He once again enjoyed a very nice Moolin Rouge Steak, Bacon and Red Wine pie, so look out for the review of that later this week! That will be the 20th Pieminister pie we review, and in the meantime you can find the other 19 Pieminister pie reviews!

British Pie Awards

A few years ago the British Pie Awards moved their awards to this week, to coincide with British Pie Week, and this year celebrate their 12th year! While we won't be there in person this year, judging happens in Melton Mowbray today and we look forward to hearing the results this Friday!

British Pie Week Pierate
British Pie Week 2020 is from 2nd-8th March!
Pie-motions this Pie Week

As it's British Pie Week, a number of pie shops and pie companies are doing special pie-motions to give you even more reason to eat pie this week (as if you really needed it!) Here are some of our favourites:
  • Pieminister are offering free scratchcards when you order pie in their shops or order their pies online this pie week, which include pie-rizes such as free pies or money off your next Pieminister meal!
  • Turner's Pies - who won the British Pie Awards just a few years ago in 2018 with their Steak and Ale pies - are donating money to Chestnut Tree House Children's Hospice from the sale of their British Pie Week Steak and Mature Cheddar pie and Champion Pie Packs. Place your orders at www.turnerspies.co.uk
  • Brockleby's are offering 10% off their online pies if you quote "BRITISHPIEWEEK" at the checkout on www.brocklebys.co.uk
  • MyPie London - our number 1 pie maker out of over 600 - is out and about across London this week, with this being one of owner Chris' busiest weeks of the year!! If you are London way, check out the diary on the MyPie Website!

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 pierateship@yahoo.co.uk or tweet us @pierateers to let us promote your pie week plans!

PIE-LIGHTS OF PAST BRITISH PIE WEEKS

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!


Tweet of the Day



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?



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 "British Pie Week 2020 - Wednesday Update"

Monday, 2 March 2020

British Pie Week 2020 - 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!


When is British Pie Week?

British Pie Week is held the first full week of March, which this year is 2nd-8th March 2020.

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 (so why not ask what your local pie-selling pub is doing to celebrate pie week?), 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, and this year celebrate their 12th year!

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 2020 is from 2nd-8th 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, or making your own pie at home. The more adventurous might host friends for a “pie night” – much like we are doing with our Pierate Birmingham Pie Night – or 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).

Python pie
The infamous Python meat pie!

PIE-LIGHTS OF PAST BRITISH PIE WEEKS

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 www.britishpieweek.co.uk 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 www.pierate.co.uk, 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 www.pierate.co.uk 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 pierateship@yahoo.co.uk 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?



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 "British Pie Week 2020 - Everything you need to know!"

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

British Pie Week 2020 - Birmingham Pie Night Announced!

The countdown to British Pie Week continues with our most exciting announcement yet! Pierate are going to rummage and pillage the pies at Pieminister Birmingham once again as we host a Pierateer Takeover in British Pie Week 2020 - just like we did last year and in 2018!


Pierateer Rob visiting Pieminister Birmingham
Pierateer Rob visiting Pieminister Birmingham
Being held from 5:30-7:30pm on Tuesday 3rd March, the night will be a chance for pie fans across the Midlands and friends of the Pierateers to catch up on what's been going down on the Pierate Ship, and most importantly to eat and rate some delicious pies! It's sure to be a great way to kick off British Pie Week 2020!

Pieminister Birmingham at 16 Waterloo Street
For those who don't know, Bristol pie giant Pieminister opened up a shop in Birmingham city centre in mid-2017 and we've frequented it a number of times already. However we certainly hadn't waited until they opened a shop in Birmingham before rating one of their pies, for we have rated 19 Pieminister pies in total and one of our very first reviews over 10 years ago was from Pieminister!

Since then we've tried some of their "Pie Election" winners (when pie fans got to choose which old favourites to bring back to the menu for British Pie Week 2015) and we were even crazy enough to try their Cricket pie in 2017! Yes, that's right - it had actual whole insects in it!!

So here's the details of the pie night and how you can get involved:

Kick off 5:30pm
Delicious pies on offer at Pieminister - we've rated 19!
We'll be arriving at the Pieminister Birmingham store at about 5:30pm, where we'll have some dedicated Pierateer Takeover tables set aside for us! (We advise you book up to avoid disappointment!)

Pick your pie!
While there are a whole host of pies to choose from on their menu, as it will be British Pie Week we're sure there will be some special sur-pie-ses! While we await the big reveal from Pieminister soon, they are promising some cracking pie-rizes for pie fans in store!!

Who rate all the Pies?!
During the two hours Pierateer Rob will be around to chat pies, give you a bit of info about how to rate a pie on the 7 Cs of pie rating, as well as a brief update on what we've been up to recently! And if he can, he'll try to answer your pie-related questions (like when is a pie not a pie?!) Just look out for him in his black Pierate t-shirt and don't be afraid to come up and say hi!

And while we'd be delighted to see a few of you there on the Tuesday, if that date or time doesn't suit you then don't forget that British Pie Week lasts all week and the Pieminister restaurants up and down the country will have a fab pie-motions on!


This pie night is open to friends plus readers of our pie blog and entry is free - you just pay the pie shop for your food and drinks as normal - but to attend we advise you ring and book into the Pieminister Birmingham Store on 0121 285 3743 (as places in the restaurant are limited).

We hope to see some of you there!



In the meantime, you can find out more about The Pierateers or about what we've been up to in previous British Pie Weeks on the world's leading pie review blog! But for now why not watch our short video clip to find out how you can get involved in British Pie Week too?




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 "British Pie Week 2020 - Birmingham Pie Night Announced!"

Monday, 17 February 2020

Countdown to British Pie Week 2020

The countdown to British Pie Week has begun!


British Pie Week 2020 - which runs from Monday 2nd March to Sunday 8th March - is now just two weeks away and we're busy at Pierate HQ making our final pre-pie-rations for the big event! We're planning another Birmingham Pie Night (like the Pie Night we had in 2018) and we will be keeping our eyes on the pies as the British Pie Awards are once again happening in British Pie Week too!




British Pie Week Pierate
British Pie Week 2020 is from 2nd to 8th March!
For those who aren't in the know, in Britain we need a whole week to celebrate and enjoy the wonder of pie, which is why we are proud backers and - some would argue - have been the strongest advocates of British Pie Week! Yes, put simply it is a whole week to enjoy the beauty of the pie!

Some of you may well have come across British Pie Week before, which has in fact been around since 2007 as the ingenious marketing spin off of pastry company "Jus-Rol" - and they managed to bag the lucrative web domain www.britishpieweek.co.uk to encourage pie makers up and down the land to get involved. However in an obscure turn of events, it appears they have ditched this lucrative web domain again this year to re-direct straight to the generic Jus-Rol website and no real mention of pies or pie week! With the @BritPieWeek twitter account having not tweeted since March 2016 it appears Jus-Rol may have had their pie and eaten it, meaning we may be defaulted to be the premier resource for pie advice this British Pie Week!!!

And while others may have used British Pie Week to just promote some pastry, as good as it is, we at Pierate are dedicated to promoting THE PIE!

That's why on Pierate you won't just find an encouragement for you to make a pie this British Pie Week - though we certainly do encourage you do! We don't just suggest a reci-pie or two - though we plan to do that as well! We don't even just encourage you to go out and eat a pie (or two) during British Pie Week. We go above and beyond!


It's official! The British Pie Week 2020 logo has been launched! For pie makers and pie sellers, feel free to use it to celebrate all things pie this British Pie Week!!

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.
We aim to be the pie experts you turn to for all your pie rating and eating needs during British Pie Week and beyond! With over 650 pies rated and reviewed on our unique 7 Cs pie rating system, we commend pies to you, tell you which ones to avoid, and give you the low down on what we think makes the perfect pie!

PIE-LIGHTS OF PAST BRITISH PIE WEEKS

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!


Also on 4th March pie companies from up and down the land will be having their pies rated at the British Pie Awards, where we have helped judge the pies for many years, with the results due out on Friday 6th March. After many years of service there we won't be attending this year, but we will keep an eye on the results. While last year was controversially won by a vegan pie, with the maker of the BBC documentary being filmed about the awards just happening to tweet "you couldn't write a better script!", we wonder if it will be back to a normal pie contest this time around or once again be the PR awards. All eyes will be on Melton Mowbray on Friday 6th to find out!

So whatever pie (or pies!) you enjoy in British Pie Week, we hope it's a good one that rates well on the 7 Cs of pie rating! If you need any ins-pie-ration, you can of course see the hundreds of pies we've rated on our pie blog via our Pie Rankings or our Pies Categorised!


Why not watch our short video clip to find out how you can get involved in British Pie Week too and make a #PiePledge!





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 "Countdown to British Pie Week 2020"

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

International Pierate Day 2019

We Pierateers of pie review website www.pierate.co.uk are today celebrating our 10th 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!


The Pierate Pie made especially for us by Nice Pie!
It follows in the footsteps of the very first International Pierate Day in 2013, which has been celebrated on 12th November every year since! 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 tenth birthday – we would love you to join us in eating and rating pies this week to celebrate!

This weekend we will be celebrating our tenth birthday in style, eating our number one rated pie with around 50 guests! Yes, where else could we go for a top birthday-celebrating pie than the Steak and Ale pie from the one and only MyPie London, who have been our number 1 ranked pie for most of their five years in business! We'll be using the illustrated guide below on how to rate a pie, based on our 7 Cs of pie rating, which we commissioned fellow food blogger and amazing illustrator Emily from www.recipesandreviews.co.uk to create for us for our 6th birthday!

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 too! 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?


We very much enjoyed eating and rating the British Pie Awards 2018 winning Steak and Ale Pie from Turner's Pies at our annual birthday pie-rty last year!

This time round on Saturday we are looking forward to once again enjoying our number 1 pie out of over 650 when we enjoy the Steak and Ale pie from MyPie London!




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 650 pies we've rated and reviewed over the past 10 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 this week! We sure will and can't wait for our birthday Pie Night this weekend!!!



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 2019"

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Pierate's Birmingham Pie Night for Charity 2019

We're now just a couple of weeks away from our blog's tenth birthday (which we've named International Pierate Day), and with that in mind we have some very exciting news to share:


Some tickets are still available for our Birmingham Pie Party with a "star baker" and top rated pies on 16th Nov!

Pierate Pie Night


The motley crew from our Pie Contest 2013
Yes, on Saturday 16th November from 5:30-7:30pm we'll be welcoming Great British Bake Off Series 6 star Sandy Docherty and the pies from our number 1 pie maker (out of over 625 pies rated on our blog) - MyPie!

Sandy, for those who don't follow GBBO (or whose memory is a little hazy!), was the contestant who referred to her home baking in episode one with words to the effect of "everything I bake at home seems to turn into a pie!" And for some reason, that seemed to really strike a cord with us on the Pierate Ship!!!

Sandy and the Pierateers
Sandy and the Pierateers!
No surprise then that Sandy immediately became our favourite of that series, despite some real competition from man of many homemade cooking aids Ian, the king of the jungle Paul and series winner Nadiya (who you may remember had the privilege of then cooking the Queen's birthday cake!) You can reminisce on all the bakers from Series 6 here in their pre-show BBC Bios or read up on Series 6 on Wikipedia!

Back to Sandy and she said back in her pre-show bio that "she bakes to show her family, friends and colleagues that she cares about them" - which is a great outlook on baking and we look forward to her bringing some of her baking magic with her when she brings some pies to our pie party for our charity raffle and chats a bit about life in the tent and what she's up to these days. We were gutted that Sandy was eliminated before the week when the bakers all had to make a game pie, but can't wait to try her pies for real - not just drool over our TV screens!

Just take a look at some of the pie pictures Sandy has tweeted in the past:




Of course us Pierateers are no stranger to the Great British Bake Off either, as our first TV appearance came on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice when we made a Crocodile Pie rated by none other than celebrity chef Michel Roux Jnr!

So while we had a break last year, we're delighted to once again be following the tradition of 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 in having a Pierate Birthday Pie-rty with friends and colleagues in just a few weeks time! For those wondering what it will be like, here's our review from our 8th Birthday Pie-rty two years ago, which Sandy also attended.

Pie maker Chris with Pierateers Sam, Tim and Rob
And as if it couldn't get any more exciting, we're delighted that the pies will be provided by none other than Pierate Highly Recommended pie maker - and current number 1 in our Pie Rankings - Chris Brumby of MyPie.

Yes, like in 2017, we've once again gone straight to the top of the Pie Rankings to find a Pierate Highly Recommended pie maker to supply the pies at our tenth Birthday Pie Party, with Chris' Steak and Ale Pie our current number 1 at 6.61/7! And we'll have a top vegetarian pie option too from Chris, who has recently celebrated 5 years of his MyPie business and has spent most of those 5 years at the top of our pie rankings!

Plus our charity for the night will once again be Action Against Hunger, who we supported with over £300 raised at our Charity pie night in 2017!

We've still got a few tickets available, so to enquire about ticket availability to book your place at our Birmingham Pie Night in South Birmingham, please email pierateship@yahoo.co.uk with your order (Steak and Ale or Vegetarian pie). Your £6 ticket, paid on the door, will cover your MyPie, mash and veg, plus a selection of homemade fruit pies people bring along. And if you bring a homemade pie with you - which will be judged by our star baker and the Pierateers - you will get a £2.00 discount on your ticket! Let us know if you're planning to bring a homemade pudding pie when you enquire about your ticket!

As you can imagine, we can't wait for our next Pie Party on Saturday 16th November and we hope to see some of you there!!


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's Birmingham Pie Night for Charity 2019"

Monday, 25 March 2019

Pieminister Gluten Free Moo Pie Review

Pieminister Steak & Ale Pie Review

A few years ago Pieminister started selling Gluten Free pies in their shops, but unfortunately I couldn't regularly get hold of them because there isn't a Pieminister shop near me. So I was delighted when they started selling them boxed in Sainsbury's. If I am to buy a pie from the supermarket this is my preferred choice, especially when they are on offer. It is great that there is now so much more choice in Gluten Free products including pies. It is fair to say that the standard of product has also gone up. I look back at some of the pies I reviewed a few years ago and to be honest, if I was to review some of those pies again I would probably score them lower. This Pieminister pie is probably the best you can get in a supermarket at the moment and it is well overdue a review on Pierate! Here are my thoughts on their Gluten Free Moo which is Steak & Ale Pie. I am told that this is based on one of the favourite flavours from their standard gluten containing range.

 
Condition - 5.5/7 - The pie looked nice, it was tall and appealing. It had collapsed a little and perhaps could have benefited from a foil tray rather than being free standing. It was in a plastic tray in the box which I don't like but didn't affect the s.
Colour - 5.5/7 - A nice golden brown around the edges but a bit pale and greasy looking towards the middle but overall an attractive pie.
Capacity - 6.0/7 - The pie scored strongly because it was tall, especially compared to other Gluten Free pies out there which tend to be shallow. It had a marginal sag in the middle. It was well filled with content without much air gap.
Cheapness - 5.0/7 - At £4.50 standard price this is really not a cheap pie. But it is important to remember that it is premium product. You can buy a box of two Genuis pies for around the same price but they are about half the size and have hardly any filling.  I would rather spend my money on this pie and eat it less often.
Content - 5.0/7 - The filling was a classic beef pie flavour and was very tasty although not out of this world. The chunks of meat were in a thick sauce and accompanied by pieces of carrot. The meat was tasty but in quite small pieces, I think for the price I expected bigger chunks. The smaller chunks probably made it seem like there was more meat than there was. The pastry also tasted really nice.
Chewiness - 6.0/7 - The meat was nice and lean and I didn't find any chewy bits. There was a brilliant crunch to the outside of the pastry.
Consistency - 6.5/7 - This pie is a great pastry and filling combination and works really well. The thick sauce has a satisfying consistency.

Overall a great product which is illustrated by the fact that I keep buying them! I would probably buy them more but I am trying to avoid buying any products packaged in plastic!

Gluten Free Moo (Pieminster)
5.57/7

ALE
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Thursday, 14 March 2019

True North - Sheffield Pie Challenge

True North Pubs, The Broadfield, Waggon & Horses & The York - Pie Reviews

At Pierate, we like a good challenge for British Pie Week. From spending three and a half days eating only pies to making unique creations, we have done some quite unusual things. For British Pie Week 2019 we headed to Sheffield, we had been given some recommendations for pies to try in the city and it seemed like a good excuse for a weekend away. In particular The Broadfield pub came highly recommended. Upon investigating what pies The Broadfield had on offer we found out that they were running a Pie Week Challenge where you had to eat a pie in 3 of the pubs run by the True North Brewing Company in order to get a voucher. The concept of the Pie Week Challenge was appealing but we decided if we were going to do it we needed to up the ante. Given that we were only in Sheffield for one night, we would try and complete the challenge in just one evening! Contacting True North, they were keen on the idea and kind enough to offer pie at one of the pubs for free if we were to complete the challenge. That made it even more appealing. Given that there was a bit of distance between the pubs, we had to allow ourselves enough time to eat the pies and get between them, our itinerary (or pie-tinerary) was as follows;


The Broadfield 18:15
Waggon & Horses 19:15
The York 20:45

First up The Broadfield was a relatively easy walk down Abbeydale Road from where we were staying. It was a traditional drinking pub but done up in a tidy manner. They were clearly doing something right because it was very busy on this Saturday Night with drinkers and diners. We were ushered to our table in the fashionable semi-gloom that illuminated the dining area. The menu didn't have an overly extensive pie choice with only two meat pies available. There were both vegetarian and vegan pies available which we have nothing against but we would rather let the British Pie Awards deal with those and we can stick to the meat pies.




We opted for the classic Beef, Ale & Mushroom for £9.50.

The Broadfield pie

The Broadfield pie

Condition - 6.25/7 - Tall and well formed, this had a classic look with a nice crimped edge and pastry animal shape on top. Arrived with chips & peas well presented together. Unfortunately it was covered in gravy which made the appearance harder to assess.
Colour - 6.50/7 - A dark brown, and excellent colour hinting at tasty pastry.
Cheapness - 5.40/7 - There was a really good amount of meat in the pie but the pea and mash portions seemed unnecessarily stingy, although only the pie was rated this did affect the value.
Capacity - 6.80/7 - This pie achived near perfect capacity. It was tall, quite big and hardly any air gap.
Chewiness - 7.00/7 - All the Pierateers agreed that the texture of this pie was perfect, from the melt in the mouth meat to the crunchy on the outside and gooey in the middle pastry. We felt it had to be given maximum marks. Pierateer SJL tried to argue that full marks are not possible. The others then found histoiric reviews where SJL had given a number of 7s for one pie so he had to concede!
Content - 6.00/7 - The meat and gravy were delicious and brilliantly captured the quintessential Beef & Ale pie flavour. It was noted that there didn't seem to be any mushroom at all and overall the flavours, whilst brilliant, didn't really have anything to give it an edge.
Consistency - 6.50/7 - The filling was moist enough with a thick sauce, the additional gravy wasn't really needed. The pastry and filling worked well together, the pie was consistently of a very high standard.

Beef, Ale & Mushroom (The Broadfield [S7 1FR])
6.35/7
SJL, RAS, TJP

We had to eat quickly and be on our way. The Waggon & Horses was on the same road so we opted for a walk, but it was a rather long way down the road at 1.3 miles so we had to walk quickly. Whilst it was good to start burning off some of the pie calories, I regretted the choice of having already had a pint at The Broadfield.

The Waggon & Horses was an altogether different type of establishment. On the edge of a park it was a bright and family friendly pub, more aimed at meals than drinking. The staff were well aware of our challenge and the most enthusiastic, even trying to influence us to rate them higher than the other pubs. Ever the professionals we had to tell them our votes could not be bought in any way no matter how much free stuff they gave us and the bar had already been set very high at The Broadfield.

The range of pies here was more extensive and we opted to try a few different ones. Pierateers SJL & TJP opted to split the Chicken, Leek & Mustard and then start pudding early by splitting an Apple pie. Pierateer RAS chose to stict to the main course with a Venison pie.

Chicken, Leek & Mustard

Waggon & Horses pie

Waggon & Horses pie

Condition - 6.25/7 - Very similar to the appearance of the Beef pie in The Broadfield. The pies are apparently made on site but they seemed to follow the same blueprint. Fortunately this pie was not covered in gravy but it was slightly cracked.
Colour - 6.50/7 - A bit paler than the beef pie but it still looked very appealing.
Cheapness - 5.40/7 - Again, this pie was £9.50 which is perhaps relatively pricy but quality is worth paying for!
Capacity - 6.80/7 - Very similar size and shape to the beef pie.
Chewiness - 5.70/7 - There was a range of types of chicken meat but none of it was chewy. The pastry seemed to be quite different to The Broadfield. This was more buttery and crumbly and perhaps not quite the perfect pastry texture the beef pie pastry had. The pastry might have been dry were it not for the fact it was quite thin. However it did taste very nice, even to eat on its own.
Content - 5.00/7 - The chicken was nice and flavoursome. There filling had a slightly sour taste, perhaps from the mustard which was not unpleasant but perhaps not as creamy as I expected. The flavour of the filling complemented the buttery pastry.
Consistency - 5.20/7 - Whilst very tasty, this pie was a little bit lacking in moisture, Pierateer TJP even poured extra gravy on his which wasn't necessary with the pie at The Broadfield.

Chicken, Leek & Mustard (Waggon & Horses [S7 2QQ])
5.84/7
SJL, TJP


Apple

Waggon & Horses pie


Condition - 4.75/7 - The pie was well presented on the plate with fruit and syrup. However it was a lattice top pie which we are not so keen on at pierate. Ideally we don't want to see the filling before breaking into the pastry.
Colour - 5.90/7 - The colour was pretty good. A glisten to the pastry indicated a sweet pastry.
Cheapness - 4.10/7 - At £5 this was pretty standard restaurant dessert price with ice cream or custard but the pie was not very big, probably helpful given we had more to eat but did affect the value.
Capacity - 2.75/7 - The slice of pie was both not very tall and also quite small, neither made us optimistic that it would have much in the way of content.
Chewiness - 4.00/7 - A bit too soft, there wasn't really anything to get your teeth into with this pie. This applied to both the pastry and the few chunks of apple that we found. The apple filling was more like jam. Not the perfect apple which has a bit of bite.
Content - 4.90/7 - The filling was sweet and syrupy which was actually quite tasty. It might have got sickly if there was more of it.
Consistency - 4.25/7 - Although tasty enough, the soft texture of this pie let the consistency down. Not one we would order again.

Apple (Waggon & Horses [S7 2QQ])
4.38/7
SJL, TJP

After polishing off the pie in the Waggon & Horses we had to dash over to The York. This was a bit further away so we took an Uber. He must have known we were in a rush because he didn't even stop at a pedestrian crossing when the light was red and a pedestrian was crossing. This was perhaps taking things a bit far, pies are very important to us but we might draw the line at killing bystanders.

Anyway, we made it to The York without significant injury and went inside. A bit more like The Broadfield, this was a dimly lit drinking hole although there were plenty of tables for eating. They didn't quite understand the challenge we were doing but nevertheless they diligently answered questions about the pies.

We opted to all try the Steak, Ale & Root Veg pie, thinking it would be quite similar to the excellent pie in The Broadfield but we were wrong, here is how it rated;


The York pie



Condition - 6.25/7 - On the face of it, this pie looked pretty similar to the others.
Colour - 6.25/7 - Again a nice glossy brown although this one was perhaps a bit overdone at the edges.
Cheapness - 5.10/7 - For some reason The York charged an extra 50p for thier pies at £10 a pop, with a small amount of potato wedges and peas the value could have been better.
Capacity - 6.80/7 - Again the capacity was very strong.
Chewiness - 2.50/7 - Whilst not as tender as the meat in The Broadfield pie, it wasn't too chewy. The veg was nicely done. However something had gone very wrong with the pastry for this pie, to be brutally honest it was awful. It was soft but also somehow oddly chewy. It tasted like it had been microwaved. We didn't know for sure if this was the case but the waitress did say they cook them in batches and heat them up. She then said they use hot water crust pastry which can go wrong if not heated properly.
Content - 3.50/7 - The steak had a nice flavour although there was less of it given that some space was given over to veg. The pie was sweeter tasting which was perhaps from the root veg which seemed to be predominantly carrot and parsnip. However the taste was tainted by the pastry which not only had an odd texture but also an odd flavour. TJP was brutaly honest when he said that it was a bit flavourless and the flavour it did have wasn't enjoyable.
Consistency - 3.50 - What could have been a consistently good pie was ruined by the pastry, a shame to end the challenge on a low note but given the good filling we can at least say this pie had potential!

Steak, Ale & Root Veg (The York [S10 3BA])
4.84/7
SJL, RAS, TJP

So we have a clear winner in the True North Sheefield pie challenge. As recommended to us, the pies at The Broadfield were truly outstanding gaining Pierate Highly Recommended status. The meat pies at the Waggon & Horses were also highly regarded with a score which achieves a Pierate Recommended award. Many thanks to all at True North, especially Tom in the media team for arranging it, we had a great time and a fun weekend seeing the sights of Sheffield despite the awful weather!



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Friday, 8 March 2019

Pancake Pie for British Pie Week

There are some celestial events that occur infrequently and are worth celebrating. For instance, eclipses or close passes from comets gain widespread media attention. So it is this year as British Pie Week and Pancake Day align, a relatively rare event which will not happen again until 2025.

Whilst British Pie Week always occurs the first full week in March, the date for Pancake Day (or Shrove Tuesday to give it's proper title) is not as fixed. It is governed by the start of the period of Lent which is 46 days before Easter. Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon that falls on or after March 21. Therefore the alignment of British Pie Week and Pancake Day happens only about once every 3-8 years. This is something we decided should be celebrated on the Pierate Ship so we have done something we wouldn't normally do; to twist the rules surrounding what makes a pie a pie. For those that don't remember, our definition states;

1. A pie is deemed to be a filling totally encased in pastry.
2. A pie must have sides, a base and a discernible lid made from a separate piece of pastry.

But we have never defined exactly what pastry is. So for this experiment I postulated that if pastry dough were to be replaced by a suitable pancake batter and thus used to fully encase a filling, it could be argued that it is in fact a pie which would perhaps be called a Pancake Pie. Aren't batter and pastry pretty much the same thing anyway? A bit of flour, a bit of fat and a bit of liquid? Given the higher liquid and protein content perhaps batter is like a diet version of pastry, perhaps we could be onto a new pie based diet like a our attempts during British Pie Week 2014.

On with the making, firstly we had to start by cooking up some pancakes;

I mixed 100g Gluten Free plain flour, 1 egg and 0.25 litres of milk. I made thin pancakes which I fried in plenty of butter.




















The first pancake was simply placed in a pie dish....




















Onto the filling. Whilst this would probably work equally well with a savoury filling, I had already eaten dinner so I opted for a sweet filling of sliced Banana and some Hazelnut and Cocoa spread. I have to give a special shout out for this Meridian spread, it is expensive but it is palm oil free and 75% Hazelnut which means it is pretty nutritious but I think it tastes just as good as Nuttela (which by contrast is mostly sugar and palm oil with only 13% Hazelnut).
















Next I brushed the pancake base with a bit of raw batter. Unlike pastry, pancakes aren't going to stick together so this was an attempt to make the lid hold in place.
















The next pancake was freshly fried and placed on top of the pie, it formed a surprisingly good lid.
















Then I placed the whole thing in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees and it came out looking like this...

Pancake Pie















And it actually sliced up pretty well! It held together better than many genuine pies that I have eaten.
















Despite not being a true pie, the Pancake Pie tasted great. It had a really interesting mottled brown Colour and the lid and sides held together well so it was in good Condition. The pancake lid had a nice crispy texture, as you might want from good pastry, whilst the base and sides had a more gooey texture having mingled with the banana. As for the filling, the Hazelnut spread had melted into the warm banana very nicely. It tasted great and made me wonder why there aren't more Banana, Hazelnut and Chocolate pies out there. The benefit of having made a Pancake Pie rather than just eating this as pancakes is that it meant the filling had really heated up and the filling and pancake had mingled together rather than simply just being on the same plate. The crispy pancake was also really nice which was an unexpected surprise.

So there you have it, we have tried a few experiments on the Pierate Ship but unlike the Pie-thon (Python Pie), the Piezza or the Popcorn Pie, this is one of the rare occasions where it actually worked! Do try this at home, I think I will try it again in 2025.

SJL
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