Sunday 13 March 2011

The Pie's the Limit

So as British Pie Week draws to a close I want to take time to reflect on what has been a wonderful festival of pastry and filling. What have I learnt from the week? Mainly that I can eat pie in quantities that surprise even me. It was like the rest of the year was the starter and British Pie Week the main course. Have a look at the photos of this top-crust vegetable pie that I made. Unfortunately I was so hungry I forgot to take a photo until I had eaten most of it, but you get the idea, vaguely. There were loads of different vegetables and I used a Covent Garden leek and potato soup as the base for the sauce which seemed to work well. I would say it was about family sized but I ate nearly the whole pie myself. Some of our regular readers might be surprised that I made a top crust pie. Previously I have come across as a fanatical pie purest who sounds like he is on the verge of advocating some sort of pie ethnic cleansing. I feel that maybe I am mellowing in my old age, I still wouldn't say this was a 'proper pie' (it didn't have meat, gravy or a pastry base) but it was tasty. Mainly though it was because I only had enough pastry for a lid so it was laziness more than anything.

Have a look at this other delightful looking specimen, it is a Raven's Den Chicken and Ham Pie. They are produced at Manor Farm in Buckinghamshire and sold at many farmers' markets around London. At about £5 they aren't the cheapest but they are pretty big, about twice the size of a standard individual pie. The meat is certainly of a consistently high quality and the capacity was packed with the content. The pastry colour looked as good as it tasted. The main downside to this pie was dryness. Take note Raven's Den, a good pie needs plenty of gravy! However this didn't stop me eating the first half with mash and veg and then going back and polishing off the second half. Overall I'd give it about 4.1/7.

So there you go, a fantastic week and a great reason to encourage more people to eat what can be part of a very balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. I leave you with some words taken from the Pie Week website. "A pie is not just a combination of tasty food and the best pastry, it is one of civilisation’s most cracking inventions created through a combination of genius and passion." 'Nuff said.


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