The Flavour Weekly: Grumpies to lift your mood

Unusually I’m making a second post about Grumpies pies or Grum-pies.

I’m that moved to say how good they are. Jam packed full of only the best Cornish ingredients; these are premium pies that’ll put a big smile on your face.

Who’d have thought? They’ve even been recently taste tested by Rick Stein.

I shall make a plea that every pub in Cornwall should offer a ‘Grum’ pie on their menu, which probably an odd request to make when this is the land of the pasty. However, pies do something that pasties don’t. They’re proper comfort food to eat on their own or to serve up with a plateful of veggies for supper. A pasty, is best eaten in a paper bag as food on the hoof. Served it up with chips and it looks out of place.

The family and I have been sampling my way through each of their flavours and this is the verdict thus far:

Turkey, cranberry and stuffing 

This is just a seasonal special, which quite frankly should be kept on all year round. The husband and I were both in agreement: SUPERB! 

(There’s a Christmas Vegetarian too, with roasted vegetables, stilton and chestnuts).

Steak & Ale 

Lean local steak with mushrooms in a Cornish real ale (from Penpont Brewery they tell me). A popular pie and densely filled with tender, juicy beef.

Lamb, Mint & Potato

Local lamb with mint and red wine. My kids love lamb but were a bit uncertain about the mint. A good thing  as it left all the more pie for me 🙂

Chicken, Gammon & Leek in a creamy bechamel sauce. I loved this one! And did my best to fight the others off.

Pork, Apple & Cider

Slow cooked lean pork with Bramley apples and Cornish cider.   On balance, this was probably the family favourite.

Looking forward to tasting the Blue Cheese, Mushoom & Walnut and Homity Pie soon.

The big dilemma now is where can we buy them?

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Da Bara Bakery

Da bara’, in Cornish, means ‘good bread’. (And dese are da brothers that make da good bread).

I can’t help it, my mind’s off on a tangent all of it’s own now. Perhaps it’s the smell of good bread all around that inspires almost poetic sentiment? There’s no refuting the wholesome fraternity between Ben, and his younger brother Tim. Only a few months ago they turned a long held hobby of bread making at home into a full-time bakery business.

Could it be that there’s some endearing nuttiness in such brotherly love?  Or why would they opt for six nights a week together, smothered in yeast, flour and sticky dough, right through the small hours while most people sleep? Long, nocturnal hours are however proving their worth; brothers Tim and Ben now supply the likes of Fifteen Cornwall, Hotel Tresanton and an expanding number of farm shops with their good bread.

We earn dough, break bread before the daily grind, and spend crusts on food to eat. Bread litters our language as much as it fills our stomachs; it’s so ordinary, but so necessary, and it can lift the human spirit. The final irony, as we despondently advance upon the weekly supermarket shop, is that our nose should be arrested by the warm, wafting smells of baking buns pumped to the front door to draw us in. I’m drawn irresistibly to the shelves of fresh bakes. Each one full of squidgy pledges that never deliver the flavour promised when I get them home. Most bread, as we know it now, has lost its taste and goodness and it’s a bloomer of a shame. Continue reading

Crantock’s pasties triumph at British Pie Awards

It’s been a great year for the Cornish pasty so far and an even better one for Crantock Bakery who were yesterday crowned maker of the best Cornish pasty in the British Pie Awards.

For over 25 years Crantock’s has been lovingly making hand-crimped traditional Cornish pasties at their bakery near Newquay.

At the British Pie Awards the exceptional flavour was recognised by the A-list of judges including food writers Xanthe Clay and Charles Campion, celebrity chef and food campaigner Rachel Green, and author Tamasin Day-Lewis.

Nick Ringer, Managing Director of Crantock Bakery said: “We are all delighted to have won this award. It is particularly gratifying to win in the year that PGI status was awarded to the Cornish Pasty. We really were up against the best authentic pasties made in Cornwall and the fact that ours won shows we genuinely do make the best Cornish Pasties in the UK.” Continue reading

Cornishman opens Denmark’s first pasty shop

A Cornishman has taken on a nation famed for its baking ability by opening a successful Cornish pasty shop in the home of the Danish pastry.

Jason Mather partnered with Crantock Bakery to open the Cornish Pasty House in the Latin quarter of Copenhagen earlier this year.

Jason claims his is the first Cornish pasty shop in Denmark: “I love pasties, and I was sure that the Danes would too. I have been delighted how the people of Copenhagen have taken to them.

“Denmark is famous for its bakeries but they mostly specialise in sweet products. I felt there was a gap in the market for a quality product and wanted to see how the Cornish pasty fared against the Danish pastry.

Keen to offer the Scandinavians an authentic Cornish product, Jason selected Crantock Bakery to provide him with a range of pasties and sausage rolls.

Jason is even able to market his products as genuine Cornish pasties as Crantock’s follow the rules set down by the recent decision from the European Union to award the pasty Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. Continue reading

When it’s better to turn a Nathan Outlaw pasty into a pie…

Having made my PGI pasties last week to celebrate St. Piran’s Day there may have been yawning disappointment if I served what looked like a repeat performance…and then to have the exclamation of outrage with the first bite, “What no meat?!”

I followed Nathan’s ‘not a Cornish pasty but made with Cornish ingredients’ recipe and in a farewell nod to British Pie Week made this instead.

Now that this recipe has been turned into a pie, no Cornish folk need get flustered by the carrots.

‘Carrots in a pasty! You never put carrots in a pasty.’ Continue reading

St. Piran’s day and the celebratory pasty.

A Cornish Pasty: The genuine article

It was St. Piran’s Day last Saturday.

The patron saint of tin miners and Cornwall, and since one of my son’s is a Piran, it’s only fitting then, since the Cornish Pasty has just received a Protected Geographical Indication(PGI) status, That I should make some Cornish pasties to celebrate.

I’d always thought that I had to be at least three generations Cornish before I’d be able to make a proper one. I might have lived all my life here, but  I was forced to follow my mother into the maternity hospital in Plymouth. So my crimping standard will doubtless let me down…

A genuine Cornish pasty has a distinctive ‘D’ shape and is crimped on one side, never on top. The texture of the filling is chunky, made up of uncooked minced or roughly cut chunks of beef (not less than 12.5%), swede, potato, onion with a light seasoning. The pastry casing is golden in colour, savoury, glazed with milk or egg and robust enough to retain its shape throughout the cooking and cooling process without splitting or cracking. The pasty is slow-baked and no artificial flavourings or additives must be used.

It must also be made in Cornwall. Continue reading

Pasty Protection granted – but I’m still confused.

A Cornish pasty made by Warrens cut in half. T...

Image via Wikipedia

The good news is that The Cornish Pasty Association (CPA) is celebrating after receiving Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for its world famous pasty. The decision from the European Commission means that from now only Cornish pasties made in Cornwall and following the traditional recipe can be called ‘Cornish pasties’.

A genuine Cornish pasty has a distinctive ‘D’ shape and is crimped on one side, never on top. The texture of the filling is chunky, made up of uncooked minced or roughly cut chunks of beef (not less than 12.5%), swede, potato, onion with a light seasoning. The pastry casing is golden in colour, savoury, glazed with milk or egg and robust enough to retain its shape throughout the cooking and cooling process without splitting or cracking. The pasty is slow-baked and no artificial flavourings or additives must be used. It must also be made in Cornwall. Continue reading