We have to ask, is there anyone out there who doesn't like pie? Served warm with a splodge of ice cream, apple pie is like comfort in a bowl. And on those blustery winter days it truly doesn't get much better than steak, gravy and puff pastry... heck, we're getting hungry just thinking about it.
Historically-speaking, pies became a 'thing' in England around the 12th century. Long-lasting, nutritious, filling and portable, the thick crust was less about taste and more about practicality (storing the meat inside).
As for fruit variations, they didn't appear until the 16th century, when Queen Elizabeth I was served what is said to be the very first cherry pie. And what about all of the American associations? It turns out that the first English settlers brought the pie concept over to the States, and it swiftly became an intrinsically American dessert (heard the expression 'as American as apple pie'?).
But enough about that. To celebrate National Pie Day (23rd January), we've picked the best pie recipes for every occasion. Whether you like it sweet, savoury, or both, these are eight of our favourite pie recipes.
Best For meat-lovers
If you have a spare rainy afternoon, this steak and Guinness pie is practically begging to be rustled up. Slow-cook the beefy filling for two hours before transferring it to a pie dish and covering with a sheet of buttery puff pastry. This super-tasty dish is best served with simple steamed greens.
best for using up leftovers
Jimmy Doherty's pie recipe uses sausages, but the idea is that you could throw in whatever meat needs using up. The same applies with veg (cabbage and leeks were used here). Serve with peas, and a bit of parsley sauce if you fancy it (we know we do).
Best for a (slightly) lighter option
Pies don't always have to be really heavy. Our filo pastry fish and vegetable pie is crammed full of delicious fish and spinach filling and topped with crunchy filo pastry for added texture. Try it at the weekend for a meal the whole family will love.
Best for a sweet tooth
This dessert ticks all the boxes. Oreos - yes. Caramel - yes. Chocolate - yes. You cannot go wrong with this Chocolate Banoffee Pie. With an Oreo cookie base and creamy filling, it is is deceptively simple to make – and you could make it even easier by buying ready-prepared caramel.
best for using up seasonal fruit
You really can enjoy the best of both worlds, as this hybrid deep dish apple crumble pie shows. This has to be the most delicious way to use up that glut of apples in early autumn – serve warm, with your choice of custard, ice cream or crème fraîche. Obviously, you could adapt this recipe according to what's in season – peaches, plums, strawberries and raspberries in summer, and apples, pears and blackberries in autumn and winter.
best for date night
Using frozen berries and ready-made puff pastry, this pie is pretty simple to assemble. However, that's not to say it doesn't look impressive, and it is spot on served with a drizzle of cream and dusting of icing sugar. Bring it out as a surprise on Valentine's Day (or even Friday night).
Short on time? Pick up one of our mouthwatering readymade pies in-store or online.