National Pie Week – you can’t beat a good old fashioned pie
As some of you will know I am somewhat of a pie enthusiast, indeed when the day has been long and the world seems weary; I don’t think there is anything as comforting as a good old fashioned pie. Back in 2014 I entered the British Pie Awards and triumphed with a bronze award for my vegetarian curry pie, since then I’ve written many an article and have made and eaten a fair few pies, so imagine my delight to be asked to talk on radio about the subject of pies for British Pie Week 2018.
There is little doubt in my mind that a good pie with its sumptuous filling and rich pastry is a national dish. The pie has a long and interesting history and it has established itself as a staple in the British diet by its ability to shift and change. Indeed over the years there have been some wacky pie ideas, never mind the butcher who made squirrel pies, what about Marks and Spencers who launched the fish and chip pie. Back in 2014 M&S launched the fish and chip pie. The supermarket’s Gastropub dish was priced at £3.49 and was filled with cod chunks, minted pea puree, and béchamel tartar sauce, with chips layered in sea salt acting as a lid on the top of the dish. Certainly an interesting idea and I can’t help wondering what the judges of the British Pie Awards would have made of it.
Anyway, back to British Pie Week which starts on the 5th March 2018. There is no better excuse to go down the pub for a pie at lunchtime, make pie at home or indulge in a visit to a pie and mash house or perhaps have a generous helping of pie and chips. According to British Pie Week founders, Jus-Rol, around 75% of people enjoy a pie at least once a month, and British Pie Week has been growing every year with pie-eaters everywhere seeking their ultimate pie fix. British Pie Week has been running since 2007, but really started to take off in 2011. It initially started out as a marketing campaign by Jus-Rol, but now it is so much more – having become a national event, celebrating all things pie.
To celebrate British Pie week I shall be making everything from a good old fashioned apple pie to enjoy after a home-cooked Sunday lunch through to a rather nice potato, apple and cheese pie for supper. I shall also be entering this years British Pie Awards and let’s see what the judges will make of my pie offerings.
In case you are thinking about making a cottage pie or any other potato topped ‘pie’ for dinner in celebration of British Pie week can I just remind you that fish pie, cottage, shepherd’s or any other midweek favourite crowned with mash is not technically a pie and that they’re not allowed near the British Pie Awards. Indeed only filling encased completely by pastry are classified as true pies, so no potato toppings, pastry toppings without sides and bases, no open lattice tops or other substitutions…a pie is pastry all round or it’s not a pie. So, if only for British pie week keep your topless, bottomless or mash-topped efforts away from the dining table and serve up a real pie.
If you don’t fancy a hot pie then you could always try making a hand-raised pork pie or even a nice cold fruit pie, the options for pie filling are truly endless.