Venue: Hunters of Helmsley, 13 Market Place, Helmsley, North Yorkshire, YO62 5BL
Date: 30th September 2017
Pie: Pork with Apple and Black Pudding
Pie Temperature: Cold
I had great hopes when I visited Helmsley last weekend, my wife and I were booked in at The Star Inn in Harome as a birthday treat (well worth a visit if you are in the area, but make sure you book in advance), and the little Yorkshire Town was only a couple of miles away from where we were staying. I’d spotted the delicatessen when we arrived in the area and along with a visit to the local brewery I was looking forward to popping in for a pie while sightseeing the next day.
The deli has been winning awards for some time I found out as I did a little research the night before and had been named the UK’s Best Small Shop in 2015, so as I say, my expectations were high.
Hunters sell a great selection of deli food and had a good selection of pies on offer from your standard Pork Pie, Steak and Ale Pies, Chicken and Mushroom etc, but I decided to pick the Pork Apple and Black pudding pies as I fancied something a little bit Sweet & Savoury.
So the pie itself looked very appetising, It was a good shape, and was a good size, about 9cms across and 5cms deep, it felt quite hefty and had a little round hole in the pastry lid where I could see the apple topping. The colour of the pie was good and the casing was all shortcrust including the lid. When I cut into the pie, I was pleased to see that the Black pudding was sandwiched between the pork, I like it that way as I’ve mentioned before, it just looks better and I find that you get a better and more rounded flavour when you take a big bite to get a mouthful. The Apple filling was chunky and layered on the top and and the whole pie looked very appealing. I did note that the pastry casing looked a little bit too thick at the top of the pie as it was almost a centimetre in thickness but as I looked further down the pie to the bottom it returned to the 4-5cms that I would expect. There was no jelly in this pie and very little gapping.
So that was how it looked…. what about the taste?
Disappointing I’m afraid. The pork filling was lovely, well seasoned, quite compact and solid due to a high meat content. Probably one of the meatiest pork fillings I’ve had in fact. The Apple topping was nice too, not too sweet, but not tart, just right and they went well together, but the Black pudding was bland. It really didn’t have any taste at all and to be frank I wouldn’t have even know there was Black pudding in the pie if it had been a blindfold tasting. But by far the worst thing was the pastry. I mentioned earlier it was almost a centimetre thick at the top and tapered down, well it was just too much and the inner 3mms or so as you can see from the pictures were uncooked and very very stodgy. In fact it was a struggle to eat a mouthful. It may well be that I just had a one off substandard pie but after the look of it which was very promising, all i can say is that I was disappointed.
I will try Hunters again the next time I’m in the area as I think that everyone deserves a second chance, and with all the awards I’m sure it was just a one off, but on this occasion it doesn’t score well I’m afraid.
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