Monday, 23 February 2009
A Scotch pie is a double-crust pie originating in Scotland but also popular in England. In Scotland the item is known simply as a 'Pie' although in Aberdeen and Dundee it is quite often known as a 'mince pie' to differentiate it from other varieties of savoury pie such as steak pie, steak-and-kidney pie, steak-and-tattie (potato) pie, and so forth.
The traditional filling is minced mutton, often highly spiced with pepper and other ingredients, contained in a crust of thin, stiff pastry. An individual piemaker's precise recipe, including the types and quantities of spice used, is usually kept a close secret, for fear of imitations. It is baked in a round, straight-sided tin, about 8 cm in diameter and 4 cm high, and the top crust is placed about 1 cm lower than the rim to make a space for adding accompaniments such as mashed potatoes, mushy peas and gravy.
Scotch pies are often served hot by take-away restaurants and bakeries, and at outdoor events such as football matches. When sold in chip shops, the pie is sometimes deep fried!
Every year, the Scotch Pie Club holds the World Scotch Pie Championship. Butchers and bakers enter their pies into this competition, and the maker of the pie judged tastiest by a panel of judges is awarded the title of World Scotch Pie Champion!