What is a pie? Do shepherd’s, cottage, fish and even pecan pies merit their descriptor? Absolutely not, say the organisers of the British Pie Awards, which take place on March 7 in Melton Mowbray, home of the world-famous pork pie.Only those with “a filling totally and wholly encased in pastry” pass muster and may be entered into the awards (the highlight of British Pie Week, which starts on Monday). They were set up to distinguish artisan British efforts such as the superior pork pie from “pastry-topped casseroles”, and to “rescue” the word ‘pie’ from misuse.
Here at The Telegraph, though, we have played fast and loose with the term. Many of our favourites take inspiration from around the world: we offer an Armenian pie made using flatbreads, an Aussie-inspired bacon and egg pie, and an Italian apricot crostata created by Gennaro Contaldo. With apologies to the purists, here is a celebration of pie in all its forms.
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the butter pieces and toss to coat.
- Turn out on to a clean work surface and, using a pastry cutter, roughly cut the butter into the flour (leaving some large chunks of butter as this will help the pastry to become nice and flaky as it cooks).
- Create a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the vinegar water in three batches (discard the ice cubse), working it in with your hands to form a rough dough (you may not need all the water). Divide the dough in half, shape into rough discs and wrap in cling film. Chill for three hours.