It’s British Pie Week! What greater excuse could you have to enjoy some traditional British grub? Pies are an institution – standard fare at any respectable British pub. Chicken, ham and leek, steak and kidney, or beef and Guinness… the list goes on. A celebration of these hearty dishes is well-deserved!
British Pie Week 2014, however, may feel like one big FAT conspiracy. It happens to coincide with Pancake Day. So either you compromise and prioritise one over the other, or you have a seriously heavy food day, and consume pancakes and pies, and possibly contemplate some pineapple just to create an alliterative hat-trick.
This would be a seriously calorific day. So what if pies could be filling without the hefty fat content? What if I told you that pies could contain less than 440 calories?!
This is no lie or fantasy! Pieminister have created three lighter pies. Although in-keeping with their principles of quality British ingredients, these pies have differ dramatically from pies as you know them: they have no tops! By cutting the pastry off the top, the calories are easily shed.
Ugh, you may cry! Anything ‘light’ is always bland! Admittedly, I was also sceptical. But don’t be deterred – Pieminister have put a lot of thought into the recipes. I absolutely loved the ‘Chickalito’ – a a free range British chicken and free range British dry cured ham pie, and the ‘Light as a feta’ had a winning combination by throwing some butternut squash and sun-dried tomato into the mix. There is also a ‘Kooky chook’ pie with chicken, sweet potato, coconut and chilli, although the flavours didn’t quite come together for me.
I was worried that the pies would be dry as the lack of top would fail to keep in the moisture, but they only need to be heated for twenty minutes in the oven before they’re ready to be served. I was very excited when presented with all of these tempting beauties and SWEET CHILLI CREME FRAICHE, which has basically revolutionised my life.
Hailing from Bristol, Pieminister are keen to support local businesses in the West Country. This meant an astoundingly generous goody bag full of all of these wonders.
I also sampled Orchard Pig’s Totally Minted – a lightly sparkling pink grapefruit and mint drink with a hint of lime. It was fantastic: very unusual with beautifully balanced flavours and just the right amount of sweetness. Orchard Pig also do a range of cider so I recommend checking out their website.
Pieminister have four restaurants in London, and branches elsewhere across the UK, with the more international locations of Dublin and Amsterdam completing the list. I was at their Leather Lane branch where you buy their lighter or usual pies for £4.50 each or tuck into a full meal with sides of mash and mushy peas. Alternatively, buy pies online.
Thanks to Pieminister for the invite! 🙂