Venue: Bradley’s Bakery, 225 King’s Road, Hurst Cross, Ashton-under-Lyne. OL6 9EE
Date: 17th August 2017
Pie: Pork Pie
Pie Temperature: Cold
There’s a bit of a tale to this as Bradley’s Bakery was recommended to me three times in as many days and when I finally got the chance to visit the Bakery and buy an example of their award winning culinary feasts I was tempted from my original goal of purchasing for my lunch one standard small Pork Pie by several other sirens beckoning me to sample their delights. As a result I left the shop with three pies so I’ve titled these reviews appropriately 🙂
Bradley’s Bakery in Ashton-Under-Lyne is quite an unassuming place, there are no flashing lights or banners outside advertising the fact that they have won numerous awards for their baking. I sort of like that, the fact that they don’t make a song and dance about it but bake pies that people love to eat and their “pie fame” is spread by word of mouth. The young lady in the shop who served me was very pleasant and engaging, it was quiet at the time as I was taking a late lunch. She took the time to suggest a couple of pies that I may like as well as the standard Pork, which was a good example of customer care and obviously she had a good sales technique as I left the shop with three pies a couple of minutes later.
So onto the review….. On arriving back at the office I sat down with a friend (yes, I still have a couple left) and shared the pie with him. The cold Pork Pie sat in front of us and looked the part, the pastry was golden, well formed about 8cm in diameter and 6cm deep. We cut into the pie and were very happy to see that the filling was substantial, there was very little gapping between the pork and the pastry with only a slight gap at the base corner and top crust corner. One interesting observation by my follow pie devotee was that there was no gravy/jelly filling that void which you can find in many pork pies. Now don’t get me wrong, I like a little jelly, but I don’t think that it’s an essential part of a pork pie. It’s a personal thing, some people absolutely insist on jelly, some don’t, some will tell you it’s not a real pork pie without a bit of jelly some will tell you it’s just there as a way of putting in less filling and raising profit margins. But I don’t fit in any of those categories, as far as I’m concerned if it’s there then it’s there and is part of the pie. Jelly needs to enhance the pie eating experience, if it’s not then it won’t be missed unless of course the pie is too dry or there is a vast amount or gapping between the filling and the pie, in which case I’ll be a little disappointed and comment as such. Anyway in this instance it was neither there nor missed. The filling was lovely, just the right amount of moistness, just the right amount of seasoning, but not so much that it overpowered the taste of the pork. The pork was of regular consistency without any large lumps in the mix or gristle which some lesser bakeries seem to include, the colour of the filling was just right too, a nice gentle pink that loured me in and made me want to take another bite. The pastry was a good thickness, enough to hold the pie together when we cut into it, but not too thick that it takes over the pie’s taste, a supporting part rather than the star of the show. We both thought the crispness on the outside and the softness on the inside of the pie was just right for this type of shortcrust.
Overall, we both though the pie was very well baked and very tasty and we would definitely buy again if we were looking for good pie for lunch. Next time I’ll try to get to the bakery a little earlier and sample a hot pie to make a comparison.
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