Cumbria pasty beats the pies in awards

An unlikely winner has been crowned at this year’s British Pie Awards. 

The coveted title was awarded to a Beef Skirt & Vegetable Pastie produced by A.F. Huddleston Butchers in Cumbria. The winning pasty beat out 815 other entries to win the trophy.

“I know many will be surprised to see a pasty winning the British Pie Awards, but the definition of a pie is a filling totally encased in pastry – pies come in all shapes including round pies, square pies, and pasties,” explained Matthew O’Callaghan, chairman of the British Pie Awards and Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association.

“Pasties have been a feature of British cuisine for centuries ranging from the Forfar Birdie in Scotland through to the Midland’s Bedfordshire Clanger and down to the iconic Cornish pasty. I’m pleased that we now have an award-winning pasty to shout about from Cumbria.

The eighth annual British Pie Awards took place in Melton Mowbray during British Pie Week on Wednesday 9 March.

“The winning pasty was outstanding,” continued O’Callaghan. “It looked so appealing; an even bake with a beautiful glaze and a perfect crimp. Eating it was a delight, well balanced flavours, tender meat, small chunks of vegetable and a delicious gravy with just the right amount of seasoning. One of the best examples of a perfectly produced pasty.”

Pies were entered into the nationwide competition from 132 professional bakers, butchers and chefs, whilst over 100 people from the industry judged the awards. Among the judges were food critic Charles Campion and TV chef Andy Bates.

Several other entrants were awarded accolades for their high quality pies. Entrants were split into 20 classes, with each category naming a class champion as well as recognising highly recommended pies.

“It’s been a great year for the British Pie Awards, seeing significant growth in entries from small producers,” added O’Callaghan. “I’d like to give my sincere thanks to all involved, including our judges, sponsors, volunteers and of course, all our wonderful pie makers.”

To commemorate the Queen’s 90th birthday, a Speciality Class encouraged entrants to celebrate Her Majesty. The class winner was presented to a Victorian Corset Pork & Chicken Pie made by Walker & Son.

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