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Lancashire Pork Pie Appreciation Society

Appreciating the best best pork pies Lancashire has to offer

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Pie Rating

Honeywell’s Farm Shop

Preston had been barren ground in our ceaseless quest to find Lancashire’s best pork pies. All that changed on Monday night when pies from Honeywell’s Farm Shop were sampled by a very appreciative group. Their pies scored an excellent overall score of 83% to put them right amongst the leaders so far this year.

 

Honeywells Score

Each of the three categories of pastry, pork & jelly included scores of 10 to provide ample testament to the pies quality. From the 11 scorers over the 4 categories just two scores below 7 marks this out as a pie good enough to appeal to all palates. The pies have an excellent look, each with an individual character but all made with the same care and attention. The lowest score for any category was the pastry. This is a subject that always divides opinion, and the couple of tasters that stated they would prefer a crisper crust were balanced out by those that awarded the pastry scores of 9 and 10. The jelly achieves an excellent score of 82%. This taster relished the jelly, which was darker than normal and packed with peppery flavour. There was a generous amount too, with the jelly filling any available gaps between the meat an the pastry.  The highest score though was for the pork. The pork was juicy with a great texture and there was unanimity amongst the scorers, with no scorer awarded of less than 8/10.

Honeywell’s Farm Shop has three outlets. We highly recommend paying them a visit.

Honeywell’s Farm Shop,
Eaves Lane
Preston
PR4 0BH

http://www.honeywellfarmshop.com/

 

Great Pies from Hallsworth of Ormskirk

For our June meeting, a pair of our intrepid tasters made the journey West to G & E Hallsworth & Son of Ormskirk. We were well rewarded for their efforts. There are rumours that there is a rich seam of pork pie producing butchers in the area and if these pies are anything to go by we will be returning.

Hallsworth2

 

An overall score of 81 marks Hallsworth’s pie out as an outstanding newcomer. A set of 4 scores  between 79 and 81 is testament to the skill, craft and consistency that goes in to producing the pies. There were many positive comments from our 24 tasters on the night. One commented as follows: ‘Excellent pie – full of meat of a smooth texture. Clear flavoursome jelly and pastry excellent and well coloured.’ Certainly a feature of the pie is just how much meat is crammed in there, with a bold convex lid rather than the disappointingly flat lid that is the mark of a less generous pie. Another taster (one of our few members that is fully converted to metric measures) made an interesting remark – ‘I think it would be an excellent pie for a picnic as it would withstand a few kilometres in a rucksack’. Excellent advice.

As always there were a few naysayers. The consistent theme amongst these was that the meat was a little on the salty side. Without this perceived imperfection from some, the pie could well have been challenging Walmsley’s at the top of our current table. Regardless, it is an excellent pie, and if you are near the Ormskirk area, Hallsworth & Sons is well worth a visit.

G & E Hallsworth & son,
149 Wigan Road
Ormskirk
L39 2AS

https://www.facebook.com/Hallsworths/

 

Walmsley’s a Class Act. Quality Pies a good newcomer.

Three pies were tested in LPPAS’s May meeting. Two of these are very worthy of a review. The established top quality pies from Walmsley’s of Ramsbottom and Kevin Barry’s Quality Pies of Lytham which was new to most of our members.

Walmsley’s (86%)
31 Bridge St, Ramsbottom, Bury BL0 9AD

With an overall score of 86% Walmsley’s just pip Greeley’s beautiful pies at the top of our 2018 table. Now a firm favourite of our tasters Walmsley’s pork pies are lovingly crafted. ‘Exceeded expectations’ was a comment from a first time taster. For me, the distinctive feature of the pies is their thin, crispy and delicious pastry, echoed in this comment which summarises nicely the overall balance of the pie: ‘Excellent all round pie. Crust, crisp and dry, pork tasty, jelly tasty and just enough’. If you haven’t already tasted these pies you should make the trip to Ramsbottom to try for yourself.

 

Walmsleys

Lytham Quality Pies (76%)
24 Clifton St, Lytham Saint Annes FY8 5EW

QualityPiesScores

 

Lytham Quality Pies differs from our normal suppliers. This is predominantly a high quality pie shop rather than a butchers, although it sells a wide range of meat etc. The pork pie was well received without reaching the heights of Walmsley’s. The main factor here was the thick pastry. Most agreed with the comment that ‘The pastry is very tasty, but their is too much for my liking’. As always these things are a matter of personal taste, the jelly and the pork were rated highly by the judges – so if you are a pastry lover this pie is for you.   A special mention also for their Scotch Eggs. Acting on a tip off from one of our more senior members a couple of Scotch Eggs were procured. After tasting these I’ll never buy a supermarket version again. Its good to have a balanced diet, and so if you call into Quality Pies why not try a Scotch Egg with your pork pie?

Seddon’s Farm Butchers

In contrast to the well known Fraser’s, the second pie sampled in April was a relative newcomer to the scene. Seddon’s Farm Butchers of Bury kindly donated a dozen pies for sampling.

The pies were very distinctive and have a good local reputation. The main difference from standard pork pies is the pastry which is deliberately softer than the more normal crispy pastry. Secondly, the jelly was runny. While this isn’t to everyone’s taste it is a personal preference of this reviewer, and for the big majority on the night the jelly scored very highly. There was less acceptance of the soft pastry. To a degree, this is no doubt due to novelty of such pastry, and there were a fair proportion of tasters that liked the pastry that way. The butcher, Mark, tells us that the pies are especially popular when still warm from the oven – and it would be good to taste them that way also.

As a newcomer Seddon’s pies faced stiff competition on the night up against Fraser’s famous pies. If you are in and around Bury it is definitely worth trying a pie from Seddon’s. If you do call in, we’d love to have your feedback.

Seddon’s Farm Butchers
74 Mile Lane
Bury
BL8 2JR

Fraser’s Pies Exude Quality

Bolton’s famed Fraser’s pork pies once again provided the highlight of the April meeting of LPPAS. It isn’t breaking news to pie aficionados when we report that Fraser’s pies are of the highest standard. The pies are beautifully crafted and provide a near perfect balance of meat and pastry with any gaps crammed full with jelly. Here are the ratings from the 25 judges on the night.

FrasersScores

The fact that all four categories score over 80 is a testament to the skill and craft that goes in to producing the pies. Comments on the night include ‘Just a wonderful pie, jelly superb.’; ‘well balance, full of flavour. nice pie!; ‘pastry nice and crisp’. If there was one point where some tasters raised a query it was with the seasoning of the pork. Seasoning is always a question of personal preference of course but there was a proportion of tasters that would have preferred a little more seasoning. This comment summarises the issue: ‘Excellent pie, only criticism is that it needed a little more seasoning.’

If you haven’t already sampled Fraser’s pork pies we highly recommend that make the journey. You won’t be disappointed.

Fraser’s
272 Rishton Lane
Bolton
BL32EH

 

 

 

DT Laws Crowned Champion Piemaker at LPPAS Awards Night

Many thanks to everyone involved in making last night’s awards a great success.

Firstly thanks to the 5 top class butchers who happily donated their LPPAS Gold Rated pies:

D.T Law Butcher

Heys Family Butchers

Grimes food hall Of Cleveleys

Higginsons – Butchers & Pie Makers

Walmsleys Butchers

Secondly, thanks to to all attendees, our hosts & staff at the Black Bull, our sponsor – Cardwells Estate Agent, and everyone that took part in the raffle and auction. Collectively we raised over £600 last night for Macmillan Cancer Support, taking our total for the year above £1600!

The most frequently heard comment on the pies was that all 5 were superb. There has to be a winner though, and on the night DT Laws of Haslingden were the clear winners and become our inaugural Supreme Champion 👏👏👏

Our Top Rated Pies for 2017

Top Rated Pies 2017

Over the last 12 months LPPAS Members have sampled over 30 different pork pies from all corners of the county. The quality of these pies provides a great testament to the skill and dedication of the many top class butchers that we are lucky enough to have in Lancashire. It has been a privilege to visit these butchers, seeing at first hand the pride that they have in making the best pies possible. We have rated each pie against four criteria: Overall Quality; Pastry; Pork and Jelly. The quality was such that there is only a hair’s breadth between the top rated in each category. We have therefore listed the top 10 in each category and guarantee that once you’ve sampled any of these pies you won’t buy a mass produced supermarket pie again. We believe that they are the best pork pies not just in the county, but in the country. Here are our Top 10s:

Best Overall Pie
finaltableMany congratulations go to Grime’s of Cleveleys for what is our top rated pie. The pie itself is distinctive and reflects the character of the super enthusiastic proprietor Carl Caldwell. A very worthy winner in this category. The remainder of the Top 5 are all within just 2 points of the winner reflecting the quality that is available around the county, coming as they do from Ramsbottom, Grange, Burnley and Haslingden. A superb range of first class butchers. Read our review of Grimes here.

Best Pastry

pastryfinalPlaced joint fourth in the overall category, Heys of Burnley take the prize for the best pastry. Located just a stone’s throw away from Turf Moor, Heys butchers was an unexpected delight. Like many top butchers it is a family firm that have been trading for over 30 years. In Danny Heys, a real pie enthusiast, they are in very safe hands.

Read our Review of Heys Butchers here.

Best Pork

porkfinal

The best pork category is shared by Higginson’s of Grange and best pastry winner Hey’s of Burnley. Everything about Higginson’s reflects the high quality of their produce.  Higginson’s, another family business, have been established in Grange now for over thirty years  and have steadily grown in reputation culminating in being  voted Britain’s Best Butchers.

Read our review of Higginsons here.

Best Jelly

jellyfinal

Our most clear-cut winner comes in the Best Jelly category. This was always our most controversial category with preferences varying between members. The jelly from Jamie Pitt’s of Earby took its place at the top of the charts at the beginning of the year and stayed there almost unchallenged until our overall top rated Grime’s came close towards the end of the year. If there was a value for money prize Pitt’s would have won that too – as at the time we sampled them they were on sale for just 90p. Read our review of Pitts of Earby here.

Special mention should also go to Walmsley’s of Ramsbottom and DT Laws of Haslingden (Review to follow) which feature in the Top 5 in a number of categories without quite topping the tables – two more outstanding pies. Finally, all of the pies featuring in the Top 10s above are excellent. We encourage everyone to support their local butchers and give them a try. To find your way to any one of these or to find the nearest to you please use our pie finder or pie directory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pie Review. Grime’s of Cleveleys.

A resident of Cleveleys had tipped us off about the quality of Grimes’ pies. We are proud that the pies we have sampled cover every corner of the county and given the glowing report we had received our North Lancs representative made the journey to collect the usual dozen pies. It was well worth the journey to a butchers that take great pride in everything that they do!

IMG_4804The pies where quite distinctive. Instead of the usual hole (or holes) for jelly these pies had two lines scored in their lids for the purpose. With just two more months to go in our search for the best pork pies in Lancashire, the pies finished the night top of the pile in what is a very close run thing at the top of the table. The overall mark of 84% marks these out as outstanding pies and they will surely be in our finals night to decide the overall champion. As for any score in the 80s they are comfortably awarded the much coveted ‘LPPAS Highly Recommended’ status. Here are the scores of the tasters from the night.

IMG_2274

Pies are always a matter of taste. Some prefer more seasoning for the meat, others less. Some prefer runny jelly, others prefer none. Some prefer thin pastry, others like it crispy. So even the highest rated pie will have its detractors. In this case it was noticeable that there were almost no negative comments. For overall quality the pie scored an outstanding 84: The comments a great insight into why. ‘One of the nicest pork pies that I have ever tasted’; ‘the perfect pie’; ‘beautifully produced, stacked with jelly’, ‘the best yet’ and ‘brilliant’ perhaps captures the mood on the night.
The marks for the pastry were 81 which puts the pie joint second in that category. Most appreciated the pastry was crisp. ‘Excellent flavour and nicely crisp’ was one comment supported by the similar remark ‘good, crisp and flavourful.’ ‘Near perfect’ was a third comment and for those that look hard for imperfections one judge commented’very nice – possibly a touch too dry on the extremities of the crust’ while another was of the view that the pie was ‘perhaps a bit soggy on top.’ A feature that is no doubt due to the overflowing jelly on the surface of the pie. A feature that this reviewer particularly likes.
Next to the pork. Here the meat was distinctive and again at a score of 82 the pie is joint second in that category. Some pork pies have smooth, uniform textured meat. This pie is more characterful. ‘Chunky meat with a great texture’ summarises it well as does the glowing report of ‘very, very nice indeed. Well seasoned, great texture.’ The fact that 10 of the 20 scores on the night for the pork were 90 or above speaks volumes for the quality here.
Finally the jelly. With another score of 82 the pie goes to a clear second in this category too. To have such high score in each category marks the pie out as one taster remarked ‘a great all rounder’. The rough edges to the meat meant that there was usually room for plenty jelly and that room was fully filled, with a little bit extra for the top. As always, jelly seems to produce the biggest disparity in the scores awarded on the night, but here there were very few low scores. ‘Full of flavour and well distributed’ summarises it well as does the remark ‘beautiful & lots of it!’ The one negative comment from a reviewer was ‘limited…’, but even that was followed by the qualifier that ‘… but what there was was very tasty!’.
Overall then, the Grimes’pie is, at the time of writing, top in our overall rankingand second in every individual category. The butcher there is justifiably proud of his produce and the pies in particular. If you fancy a day out at the seaside then a visit to Grimes will provide the perfect snack for on the beach. Try them – you won’t be disappointed.

Grime’s of Cleveleys
60 Victoria Road West
Thornton-Cleveleys FY5 1AG

Or use our Pie Finder for directions!

Pie Rating – Heys Family Butchers (Burnley)

A late change of supplier meant that the first pie tasted on Monday 4th September was that of Heys Family Butchers of Burnley.  Hey’s very kindly donated the pies to us as part of our money raising efforts for Macmillan Cancer Support. Once again all present were very appreciative of this gesture – more so when they realised the quality of the pies!

The standard dozen pies were provided for the LPPAS tasters. The pies came in their foil pastry cases and proved to be excellent in every category. With three more months to go in our search for the best pork pies in Lancashire, the pies missed top spot by the narrowest of margins. The overall mark of 82% shows these are outstanding pies and they will almost certainly be in our finals night to decide the overall champion. In doing so they are comfortably awarded the much coveted ‘LPPAS Highly Recommended’ status.  Here are the scores of the tasters from the night.

 Let’s consider the characteristics that make this such a highly rated pie. Firstly the overall quality with the excellent score of 82:  The comments provide high praise indeed. ‘Mmmmm!!’ perhaps provides the simplest summary. Other, more discursive comments included ‘excellent combination’; ‘very good pie – best yet!’; ‘very well balanced’ and ‘a perfect combination’.

HeysScoresSep

The marks for the pastry were 82 which puts the pie at the top of that category. Most appreciated the pastry was crisp. ‘Perfect’ commented one judge. It seemed that there was unanimous agreement, with no single negative comment form the 15 tasters. ‘Delicious’; ‘crisp, tasty, just the right thickness’ and ‘beautiful colour’ are the combination of factors that take this pie to the top of the tree for the pastry lovers.

Next to the pork. Here again the scores were superb. The score of 83 in this category sees the pie move to joint top of this category. The comments here were almost, but not quite, unanimous. ‘Great texture and flavour’; ‘great taste and seasoning’; and ‘well packed’ summarises the overwhelming positive comments. Two tasters would have preferred a little more pepper. This just goes to show that pies are always a matter of personal taste. What is perfectly seasoned to some can seem bland to others. The fact that the Heys’ pie achieved top score in this category shows that the butcher here must be getting the balance just right.

Finally on to the jelly. One of the features of the pies was how well filled with meat they were. Nevertheless, what room there was between the meat and the pastry was expertly filled with jelly. As always, it seems jelly is the most disputed category. Here a score of 76 was obtained taking the pie up to 4th place in this category. ‘Flavoursome jelly – good proportion in relation to meat’ was a comment echoed by many tasters. The slightly lower score here (although still high) is  probably due to the fact the pies were crammed so full of pork. Although the big majority of tasters remarked that the jelly was ‘plentiful’ others would have still preferred more, with two of our tasters claiming that there was ‘not enough’ jelly.

Overall, the Heys Family Butcher’s pie is, at the time of writing, one point below top in our overall ranking, top for pastry and joint top for pork.  So, if you want to taste a top class pie, we strongly recommend you make the journey to Burnley to sample them for yourselves. If you are a football fan, the shop is a stones throw from Turf Moor, so why not pop in when you’re at the match?

Heys Family Butchers
70a Lyndhurst Road
Burnley, Lancashire
BB10 4DE
United Kingdom

Or use our Pie Finder for directions!

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