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...mince pie mayhem

 

Pie Club 2014

It's still a knockout

Following on from the roaring success of 2013s event, we have retained the knockout format (take note UEFA), and welcome back one of Pie Clubs 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!

Semi Final - Tesco Finest vs M&S Classic - 15th Dec 2014
Despite their ever-presence in Pie Club history, Im struggling to recall a knockout tie between todays semi-finalists. Form then, particularly in head to head, is hard to gauge. TesFins march to the semis has been much simpler, on paper, so they should be fresh even at this late stage. MSC have seen off some big name pies from Aldi and Sainsburys, but they could consider themselves fully tried and tested.
Luckily, we dont have to make odds for you punters. We leave that to SkyBet and Paddy Power. Ladbrokes and Hills have refused to take money on mince pies, labelling the competition just a bit of fun. Well no ones having fun right now, rest assured, theres too much at stake.
Tesco Finest - out of this world MSC - She's got legs.
Tesco Finest - out of this world MSC - She's got legs.
Tesco Finest M&S Classic
Paddington Bears suitcase would probably have lining in the same design as the cover of these toff bites, which isnt a criticism. It can become an instant classic if this is the season they break their duck. I hope they soften the alien face motif for next season, while it unsettles opponents, it could ruin the atmosphere at a Christian gathering. Still wowing the paparazzi, this glamour puss shimmers from any angle, until the box pops and gasps abound at the sighting of that industrial injury atop. Theyve made a fair attempt to dress the wound, but all that sugar can never fully obscure such an unholy aperture. Stunningly, I find the MSC player has arrived wearing two foil cases. Well it was snowing earlier, I suppose.
Match Report
The edgy nibble to kick us off yields good depth from TesFin, gracing us with their consistent port-led crunch, and brown sugar bobby-dazzling from MSC. This tie is already a feast for the purist.
Its hard to fault TesFins performance in the full bite blended vine men plus spice girls burst into the cheek without ever forcing their drink on us, even though it has bought the good stuff this year. MSC dont give up without pinging a few characterful fruit cocktails our way, and do not suffer for being tea-total, as their long spiced finish has stood the test of time.
Going into the final chews, it is literally impossible to pick a loser, as everyone has been a winner tonight. Either of these pies, despite their differences, are perfect for rounding off our 2014 turkey dinners.
Itll have to be Extra Pies!
No outward signs of tiring from either team, and MSC have sent one out without the extra thermal foil this time. The only way to go at this stage is to demolish both pies and see if I can mange a third of either varietyIts all got a bit Cookie Monster, but I have my answer.
And the winner is: M&S Classic. They just shouldnt be this good.

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Quarter Final - Tesco Finest vs Co-op Truly Irresistible - 9th Dec 2014
If pies could have nose bleeds, then Co-op Truly would surely be reaching for the Kleenex right now. Always a friend of the bridesmaid, never even related to the bride, Co-op won their first ever knock-out match to reach our Close-Shave Quarters™ and overcome their lifelong Pie Club Poo-Pooh.
In the opposite corner stands a regular in these end of season skirmishes, although without a title to their name. Tesco have long craved the adulation of our esteemed organ, I imagine, and have put together some spectacular crumb architecture. Who can forget the famous dome of their 2005 Finest?
I have a modicum of concern that both TesFins claret sleeve and Co-op Trulys ivory jacket share the same measurements and offer an equal widescreen window. Intrigue on offer today then as our semis beckon for one lucky nibble. Game on.
You're my wife now! Co-op: The thoroughly modern lifestyle choice
You're my wife now! Co-op: The thoroughly modern lifestyle choice
Tesco Finest Co-op Truly Irresistible
Classy lines and early 20th Century patterns adorn their grown-up box top. Theyve let the kids play with the side panels though a garish crumbshot and playground boasting take the shine of what was nearly a high brow affair. That three pronged alien visage atop feels ever so clinical, but TesFin are not in the business of cosy. We are all still agog at that swinging cover pie arent we? Is this what Vanity Fair photographers do when they get sacked for turning up in unironic Primark pumps? The questions will probably never stop. Out pops the foppish filler with identical edging and girth to his foe, but a steadier holly motif and a touch more sugar.
Match Report
Lifting these pastry twins from their foil homes it becomes clear that TesFin have a weight advantage, which flies in the face of the pre-match box talk. Co-op reckons its fighter is 1g heavier.
Obviously, I had to get the scales to back me up and TesFin is indeed the mightier by a good 3g. And he immediately backs that stat up with a sweet crunch that just outperforms the smoother crusted Co-op prince.
Co-ops dainty feel abides through the big bite, providing a fair swish of spiced apple tang, but little in the way of a brandy finish. No such power vacuum can be found in the TesFin mouthful, as cognac tags port in a death match with the candied peel boys.
Its a shame for all at Co-op but their hero from last week just hasnt turned up today, and sadly it has been as blunt an attack as we have seen from the luxury level.
And the winner is: Tesco Finest. Experience at this level is worth a one bite start, and TesFin seems like hes in the mood to dish out a lesson or two.

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