pie club

...mince pie mayhem

 

Pie Club 2014

It's still a knockout

Following on from the roaring success of 2013's event, we have retained the knockout format (take note UEFA), and welcome back one of Pie Club's founding fathers to take the reins. Thanks to JC for helming us so splendidly since 2009.

The sixteen finalists in our tournament draw have been selected by applying a comprehensive formula, based on variables including but not limited to: historic performance, number of previous appearances, and likely availability.

Look out for misfiring motifs, boozed-up inners, acid indigestion and shattered dreams...Bring on the pies!

Grand Final - Morrisons Signature vs M&S Classic - 19th Dec 2014
Can you believe weve reached the finale of 2014s Pie Club already? It feels like we were just getting started. But then how fitting that the winner has been announced on Black-Eye Friday, allowing pie supporters everywhere to get this season out of their system with a good honest drunken brawl.
Sixteen pies have been whittled down to our two worthy finalists in a flurry of foil, fruit and fun. Weve had abstract cover art (Co-op Truly), death by nutmeg (Heston) and no end of Extra Pies™. Theres no David and Goliath about these two specimens of top level pie making perhaps Id accept comparisons to Anthony and Cleopatra, as neither can be considered an underdog. And in another time and another place, they could be very happy together. Even bring up mini-tartlets together, but I must get back to business. This ends right now.
Morrisons Signature: Dead [mince]Meat? M&S Classic: Lady in Red
Morrisons Signature: Dead [mince]Meat? M&S Classic: Lady in Red
Morrisons Signature M&S Classic
Their deep purple people pleaser affords only the merest snatch of lid view from their modest pane, but the darkness within and without engenders foreboding amongst both competitors and those seeking to avoid rich food, having spent the best part of six weeks stuffing dried fruit and buttery surround into what one consultant gastroenterologist has gone on record as calling a heinously embattled digestive tract. If MozSig is all about purple, MSC have stolen the rouge from Moulin Rouge, to create a sensual yet playful theme, although in fairness my legal representation have argued that I am a man with an almost unique attraction to pastry goddesses. The precedent in law having been set by Vizs Fru T. Bun in years gone by.
Match Report
With quite enough of that kind of talk now, the first nibble is only moments away.
MozSig open with an accomplished semi-crunch from their edging, followed swiftly by MSCs simple but effective biscuity retort. You may be surprised to learn that MSC arrived in a double foil kit (as per the semi).
Full bites reveal MozSig have not rested on their laurels since yesterdays tie. They have found an extra gear from somewhere, and their port-peel combo feels more polished than previous rounds. MSC have gears coming out of their ears though, and shove their perfectly formed spice craft right down MozSigs throat. Have they an answer to this brown sugar based assault?
Did someone say super-concentrated orange tang? Moz Sig certainly didin their vicious citric attack on the delicate Vostizza Currant heartlands of MSC. No one should have to rule on the righteous winner of this clash of cultures, but rule I must.


Before the grand winner is revealed, wed like to thank everyone who has helped us along the way, from procurement (esp. my wife) to publishing (esp. Simon Wilson), and Mr Callow for his continued support. Anyone who has spent their precious lunch hour with us has my lifelong admiration, which may not be as grand as it sounds given my cholesterol level being what it is, and all pie lovers everywhere have a wonderful Christmas, see you when next The Mincemeat Force Awakens.
And the winner is: Morrisons Signature. Hit its top form at the perfect moment, leaving a stunned MSC wondering what it has to do to impress.

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Semi Final - Asda Extra Special (Pru Leith) vs Morrisons Signature - 17th Dec 2014
Whilst we are all familiar with the low-brow supermarket giants in action today, we are much less accustomed to seeing their wares championed this late into the season. In fact, this is the furthest a Morrisons pie has gone since the stunning 2007 competition which saw the one-hit wonder from Somerfield perform an unlikely smash and grab based entirely on cherry charm. Asda ES have a more successful recent history as winners in 2012, but their only other title came in 2002, seeming then, to wait a decade between each serious challenge. Will their Force Awaken so soon, or will it be Revenge of the Sig?
Asda Extra Special/Pru Leith Morrisons Signature. The knives are out...
Asda Extra Special/Pru Leith Morrisons Signature. The knives are out...
Asda Extra Special (Pru Leith) Morrisons Signature
Using a picture of Leiths School of Food and Wine must have seemed way too pedestrian until the bright spark from PR suggested enlivening the photoshoot by asking the least smug smileophiles to jump in To give us a relatable face, yeah, or like relate humanity to pastry . Not my words. Im glad we are seeing a lot more realistic crumbshots this year. MozSig have allowed their inner darkness to shine next to a modest viewing pane. Dont expect rainbows in our walls, they under-promise, leaving their humble filling plenty of room to over-deliver.
Match Report
Theres a pleasant moment to be had from spotting AES star shaped gap sat next to a near identical star adornment embossed onto MozSig. It almost looks as if theres been an incident of bullying at playtime.
That antagonistic theme is taken into the first par-bite, as MozSig pushes AES aside with a sweeter and cleaner butter pastry. AESs stale biscuit outer is definitely unsuited to the edge nibbler.
Standing up and pushing back, AES find their stride on the full bite. Spiced apple pulp envelopes smooth viners with a back end peel and port flourish. MozSig have a trick or two of their own and retailate with a cherry brandy wedgie fronting a simpler, but no less effective spice assault.
Blows are being traded, and insults exchanged, or at least thats what my small intestine suggests. And it has come down to the earthy charm of MozSig versus the more refined blend of Pru Leiths titbits.
And the winner is: Morrisons Signature. They are a better all rounder, and have shown good character. Asda ES suffer from insipid pastry, even if their inner workings are arguably the most delicious of 2014.

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