If pie is on the menu – be it apple, steak and ale, or chicken and mushroom – it’s hard not order it.Buttery pastry, a savoury filling with mash and gravy, or a sweet, sticky filling that’s crying out for custard, you can’t beat ’em, and especially not when it’s British Pie Week (March 2-8).But where do some of Britain’s most characteristic pies come from? We investigated…
Melton Mowbray pork pie, LeicestershireAs well as scotch eggs, pork pies are a British picnic institution – and all the better if they hail from Melton Mowbray.Traditionally made with chopped pork and bone-stock jelly, sealed inside a golden, generally hand-formed hot water crust pastry, Melton Mowbray has been dishing out pork pies since the mid-1800s.
The Bedfordshire clangerNot related to the little pink creatures that live on the moon, these are some seriously smart pies. The Bedfordshire classic sees a suet pastry crust stuffed with a savoury filling at one end (the main course), and sweet at the other (pudding).Originally they were eaten largely by farm labourers on their lunch break in the 19th century, due to them being incredibly hearty and ideal to keep you going.
Mucky mouth pie, North YorkshireIf you find yourself in North Yorkshire, try and stumble across this berry pie (it’s also sometimes called Wimberry Pie). Often made with bilberries – although blueberries make a good substitute – which grow especially well in the north of England, the stewed berries are topped with flaky shortcrust pastry.The pie takes its name from the blue stain the berries leave on your tongue.
Denby Dale pies, West YorkshireDenby Dale is a small town in which very big pies are produced – it’s famous for its gigantic meat and potato pies. Usually, they make normal sized, hand-stuffed pies, but for special occasions they bake extra big ones. The first was to celebrate the return to sanity of George III, and most recently, to celebrate the millennium in 2000 they created a pie so big it fed 22,000 people.
Banoffee pie in Jevington, East SussexNope, the banoffee pie isn’t in fact from the United States. It was actually created by Nigel Mackenzie at The Hungry Monk Restaurant in Jevington, East Sussex.A biscuit base slicked with potentially tooth-rotting toffee, topped with thick cream, sliced banana and chocolate, it is queen amongst desserts.
Kilmarnock pie, ScotlandBrownings The Bakers is one of the largest traditional craft bakeries in Scotland, and their Kilmarnock pie is quite the award-winner.Formerly known as the ‘Killie’ pie, the steak and gravy pie was originally sold at Kilmarnock Football Club – but now you buy it in supermarkets nationwide.
Steak, oyster and Guinness PieWhile arguably a Victorian England dish, you’ll find steak, oyster and stout (or Guinness) pies on menus widely in Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland, where the seafood is great and the booze just as good. An Irish cheddar crust is also a must.