Sunday, 27 July 2008

Andrew Northrop

Pies from Cambridgeshire this week! The Pie Master visited Cambridge to photograph the water tower in the University Botanical Gardens and it’s internal pump, before it is demolished next month to make way for more green houses. While in Cambridge I took the opportunity to visit the establishment of Andrew Northrop to purchase pies. These were not made in-house, but sourced from a cottage industry in Peterborough, I was informed. The warm up for these was a six and a half mile yomp in the baking sun, that’s what Ricky had lined up for us. So as not to lose pie munchers to heat stroke, we headed for the coast (with everyone else) but too hot for Giada. A very pleasant walk from Gorleston-on-Sea where a helicopter was based, had us filling in a child’s survey in the woods, as we walked to Lound. Not visiting Lound church, we went on to St. Margaret’s church Hopton, passing a Mawkin family on a farm. St. Margaret’s church was closed for renovation work and being built in 1865 was too new for a scratch dial. We had lunch here before a short walk to the pub for a refreshing pint from Tipples Brewery. A walk along the beach included a brief stop while Manola, José and Don went for a swim... Returning to the car we sampled Panamanian King Prawns, prior to sampling the pies:These were small hand raised pies with a nice gloss finish. The meat filling was tasty but lacked a certain something, impressing some and disappointing others resulting in a very high standard deviation of 1.59948 with an average of 7.15, so not a bad pie on the whole. So that’s a normalised score of 7 for Andrew Northrop Family Butchers. Finally, Ricky did us proud by organising an air display over the sea while we were munching! Well-done Ricky!
Photographs © Pie Master and Jorge

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Picnic Fayre Feast

After the apology of a pie last week, Manola offered to source a pie from Picnic Fayre, Wells-next-the-Sea. Manola came up trumps with not a single pie but four! To work up a healthy appetite for this feast we set out on a 6.25 mile walk around Narborough, first visiting All Saints church and failing to spot a scratch dial that was apparently on a tower buttress. We headed northwest to Pentney to the church of Mary Magdalene for our lunch stop, again no scratch dials were found. A final 2.25 miles back to the car without a drink - the Ship Inn, our planned stop, was now a Chinese restaurant. We'd had a pleasant walk, crossing and following the Nar on several occasions, now as we approached the cars, our walk master spared us crossing the A47 by going under the road bridge over the river. This was a very low bridge requiring all to duck down, however as we went under the bridge it got lower - getting us walking on all fours at the end! Thankfully, we had not consumed our cup of tea and feast: First Smoked Salmon Tsar Slices with Soy & Honey dip and Wasabi. The two medium pies (apparently made in Norwich) were next consumed, these had no jelly and a soft meat filling, sausage meat like and well seasoned, tasty but maybe not what you would expect in a pork pie. These scored a very respectable 7.375 with a standard deviation of 0.744. Next, we sampled the Gloucester Old Spotís, we sampled these on the 11th May at Salthouse, today they didnít have such a high gloss pastry and not quite so crisp. They did have a very small amount of jelly, I personally preferred these to the medium pies but they came in with a score of 7.125 with a higher standard deviation of 0.79057. Finally, we finished with authentic Turkish Delight ñ not as sweet as the UK version and with hazel nut. So thatís a normalised 7.5 for Picnic Fayre medium pies and 7 for their Gloucester Old Spot.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Picnic Melton Mowbray Lattice Pork Pies

A risky strategy was employed for the second Sunday of July: I left getting pies until Saturday afternoon - hoping to pick up something interesting at either St. Faith's Fair or the fair at Thorpe St. Andrew. There were no pies and a last minute dash to Wm Morrison had to be made to ensure we were not left pieless for the second week in a row. To make matters worse, our pie appetite was probably not as keen as usual, having an earlier than usual walk around Hevingham, passing Clarkes Quality Meats who's small pies we sampled on 4th May this year. After only five and a half miles and no pre-pie pint, we sampled a mushroom Risotto cake, prior to sampling the Picnic Melton Mowbray Lattice Pork Pies. The piecrust was very lardy especially the base and the pinky meat filling salt and uninspiring. He low score of spot on 6 was definitely due to a poor pie rather than from lack of pre pie warm-up. The standard deviation was a surprisingly high 0.84984, so thatís a 6 for Wm Morris Picnic Melton Mowbray Lattice Pork Pies.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Houghton Hall

No pies today... The Pie Master was at Houghton Hall looking at the water tower...
Houghton Hall water tower (1732) - oldest surviving purpose built water tower in Britain
The Walk Master AKA Vidor the Batterer, was dismantling his longboat after sailing through Norwich on Saturday as part of the Lord Mayor's procession, so he too was also unavailable. The British Water Tower Appreciation Society had negotiated with the Houghton Hall to open up the tower for our visit. The tower initially had a 12,000 gallon lead lined wooden tank, this was replaced during WWII with a 24,000 gallon pressed steel Braithwaite tank. This was still in use up to the late 1990's! Click on the BWTAS logo for more water tower delights.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008


It is with deep regret that the Pork Pie News has to report that Mabel, after 7 wonderful years, has passed on to the "warren in the sky". Although Mabel was not one for Pork Pies herself, she was much loved by many pie muchers.
Mabel 2001 - 2008