Sunday, 15 December 2013

Have Marks and Spencer got the Pie Factor?! Take Three

Marks and Spencer Handcrafted in Yorkshire All Butter Pastry Chicken and Leek Pie and Slow Roasted Ham, Onion and Mature Cheddar Pie Reviews


The Pierateers arrrrgh always searching from the crow’s nest for a pie bargain to be had, so when I was informed of a 3 for 2 pie offer in Marks and Spencer the Pierate Ship plotted a course down to our local store. While the 3 for 2 offer extended further than just pies, we have our eyes firmly on the pies at Pierate HQ!

So with episode one and episode two of ‘Pie Factor’ completed, the final auditions took place on Tuesday 12th November 2013. ‘Why are you telling me the exact date?’ I hear you ask! Well, that only happens to be International Pierate Day, a celebration of eating and rating pie, which coincides with our pie blog’s birthday! It also formed part of my 5-a-day pie quota for International Pierate Day, which demonstrated Piethagoras theorem (see our Pierate Dictionary for a full definition).

Anyhow, I digress! Back to the Pie Factor and we had already had 3 contestants, with two more in the firing range... I mean, on stage for a constructive review on the third instalment of ‘Pie Factor’ (which by sheer coincidence happens to tie in with the final of another, less interesting Factor experience!)

Let's welcome down Pie Factor contestant number 4...

What's your name and where are you from?
I'm the Chicken and Leek Pie from Marks and Spencer.

And what do you do?
I’m one of the 3 for 2 individual sized Yorkshire Pies that you can buy, handmade in Yorkshire and ready for you to enjoy as part of your main meal of the day.

Brilliant! And what talents have you got at your disposal?
Well we didn’t want anyone to accuse us of being “chicken” and all when it came to being on the big stage, so we’ve gone all out to pack our filling with big chunks of chicken!

You’re not wrong there! Some of the pieces of chicken were almost as big as some eggs I’ve eaten!
Well we wouldn’t want to chicken out when it came to content and capacity! They compliment the leek, I hope, but the leek doesn’t overpower the flavour.



M&S Chicken and Leek Pie Review
Chicken and Leek Pie

That’s a pretty spot on assessment. A much better mix than your steak and ale friend who performed previously.
Thanks. We are friends, but there can only be one winner of the Pie Factor... and we want that to be us!

Well with the nice crisp pastry lid and the well held pastry sides and base, complimenting the chicken and leek on offer, it sure is in with a good shout!
Aww, thanks so much! We do pie our best!

Alright, alright! Leave the pie puns and jokes to us please!
Sorry!

So there we have it – a very good performance even if it is again a little small for an individual dinner portion. I’d rate you as slightly better than the steak and ale option due to having a better mix of content and no “padding out” this time!



Marks and Spencer Pie Reviews
Marks and Spencer Ham, Onion & Cheddar (l) and Chicken & Leek (r)

And finally, let's welcome down Pie Factor contestant number 5...

What's your name and where are you from?
I'm the Slow Roasted Ham, Onion and Mature Cheddar Pie from Marks and Spencer.

And let’s just cut to the chase... why do you think you should win the Pie Factor?!
Well I’m one of the 3 for 2 individual sized Yorkshire Pies that you can buy, handmade in Yorkshire and ready for you to enjoy as part of your main meal of the day. Containing big chunks of ham and a nice cheesy sauce, I’m quite unique as there aren’t lots of ham and cheese pies out there! On top of that, I’m full of filling and have a nice, fully encased pastry shell. Vote Team Ham and Cheese!!!

Alright, less of the promotion please – I’ll be the judge of you!
Sorry, just got a little carried away. ***Motions for people to ring in and vote for Ham and Cheese***


Slow Roasted Ham, Onion and Mature Cheddar Pie Review
Slow Roasted Ham, Onion and Mature Cheddar Pie
 
Right...So let’s not pad this out too much longer. The pastry was again very good. The ham – nice big chunks of it – was very nice if a little chewy in places, perhaps due to being too many large pieces of meat rather than a more ideal smaller, consistent approach. I’ll give you credit for being more original in your flavouring, especially as it is often just steak and cheese or cheese and onion pies you get, so thank you for bringing something new to the table (quite literally!)
Ah, nice one! I see what you did there!

As for the capacity, once again it was strong and it wasn’t compromised by other ingredients. The pie was quite cheesy as the sauce really did come into its own. Could have got a bit much if the pie had been a lot bigger, but all things considered, a good effort! The pie rating for you is 5.43/7.



Marks and Spencer Handcrafted in Yorkshire All Butter Pastry Chicken and Leek Pie
Score: 5.79/7
[Colour 6/7; Consistency 6/7; Cheapness 4/7; Chewiness 6.25/7; Condition 6/7; Content 6.25/7; Capacity 6/7; Total: 5.79/7]

Marks and Spencer Slow Roasted Ham, Onion and Mature Cheddar Pie
Score: 5.43/7
[Colour 6/7; Consistency 5.5/7; Cheapness 4/7; Chewiness 5/7; Condition 6/7; Content 5.5/7; Capacity 6/7; Total: 5.43/7]


So there we have it!

Five pie contestants, but only one of them can go away with the title of “Pie Factor” winner for Marks and Spencer. I hope you’ve enjoyed finding out more about our five contestants but before we go, here’s our round up of the pies in question:

Pie Factor - Series 1 (Marks and Spencer)

RankPie ProducerPie FlavourScoreBy
1
Marks and SpencerHandcrafted in Yorkshire All Butter Pastry Chicken and Leek
5.79
RAS
2
Marks and Spencer Handcrafted in Yorkshire All Butter Pastry Steak and Old Peculier Ale Pie
5.50
RAS
3
Marks and Spencer Handcrafted in Yorkshire All Butter Pastry Slow Roasted Ham, Onion and Mature Cheddar
5.43
RAS
4
Marks and Spencer Gastro Pub Beef And Ale
5.40
RAS
DNQ
Marks and Spencer Gastro Pub Aberdeen Angus Steak Yorkshire Pudding
DNQ
RAS

RAS

See where this pie ended up in the Pierate Pie Rankings or find other pies of a similar flavour.

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