You may recall that last month I had a rather full on week of food and partying! Included in that was a visit to Kettners in London to meet Camilla Stephens, founder of Higgidy and some of her wonderful team. Not only we were lucky enough to hear the story on how Higgidy was founded (you can find the poem that inspired me here), I was also on a panel of blogging taste testers including other Tots 100 bloggers.
One of the foods I have always been fussy about is pies. I am a firm believer that many of the supermarkets get their factories to make pies from the ‘what is left over’ bits and pieces. So, up until the likes of Higgidy came along, I made my own. Now, with the release of the new Higgidy Cookbook, I have the best of both worlds!
Anyway, back to the taste test. The pies which were all brought out to us were still in developmental stage and we were able to taste these along with some wonderful roast potatoes, vegetables and onion gravy, in order to give our opinions and suggestions. The vegetarians amongst us were also catered for.
The pies which we were able to taste are listed below, along with my opinions of them:
The Lincolnshire Turkey, Bacon and Stuffing was gorgeous. Large lumps of chicken, tasty bacon and the stuffing had just the right amount of sage in it. The only comment I made was that it would have been lovely with some cranberry inside but you can always add this as a side. This is Higgidy’s signature pie for Christmas. I personally prefer full-on proper Christmas dinner but in the lead up I generally buy a Christmas dinner sandwich – think I will opt for pie this year!
I have to say that this one was my favourite. The meat was tender and rich and having the sharp cranberries inside really gave it that extra kick. It was also topped with some quinoa which added an extra crunch to the pie. I can see this being served up as a Boxing Day or New Years Day treat. I really hope this one goes on the shelves.
This is a lovely, warming pie which has a small amount of chilli in the filling just to give it the extra kick. The pastry has cumin seeds in it and the sweet potato is really chunky and well-cooked. I really could see this one being enjoyed on a cold day.
I had a wonderful lunch with lots of good people. We were able to have a really relaxed chat with Camilla and it was so lovely to see just how passionate she is about her company. The fact that every pie is made by hand with care and attention. They don’t use one big industrial vat to cook in – they use lots of brat pans side by side. They make around 200,000 pies each week, roll 5 miles of pastry and employ 200 people to do this.
I was lucky enough to be given a scrumptious goody bag full of pies as well as the amazing Higgidy cookbook, which was signed by Camilla. I cooked one of the recipes from her book last night and will be sharing this with you tomorrow on my blog (incidentally, it was definitely the best pie I have EVER made!).
For another take on the taste-testing then hope over to Mari’s World – she was my dining neighbour for the second day in a row.
Look out for the recipe for my version of Chicken Pot Pie from the Higgidy Cookbook coming tomorrow.