Pie: The Book and the Reader Offer


I have a confession to make … I’m a recipe hoarder.


I have bookshelves full of cookbooks, boxes full of cookbooks, folders full of recipes on loose sheets of paper and photos of recipes on my phone. I even carry a small notebook in my handbag so that I can jot down any stray recipes I might happen to meet when I’m out and about. It’s probably safe to say that I’ve collected a few recipes since I started food blogging.


Perhaps inevitably therefore, I’ve become very fussy about which recipe books I consider buying. I’m no longer interested in rehashes of the same old spotted dicks and chicken chasseurs, while my three rapidly-growing children don’t leave me with either the time or the energy to recreate Michelin 3-star classics. In short, the cookbooks that appeal to me now are full of interesting recipes that inspire me to make them at home and use ingredients that inspire my family to eat them.

I don’t buy many cookbooks these days. I’m very fussy.


It was lovely therefore to receive a copy of PIE: Delicious Sweet and Savoury Pies and Pastries from Steak and Onion Pie to Pecan Tart by Dean Brettschneider and discover a brand new recipe book that I’m more than happy to add to my bookshelves. The pies on these pages just sing out to be eaten.


Sausage, Sun-dried Tomato and Potato Tart. Bacon, Curried Egg and Ricotta Pie. Chicken, Sweet Potato and Stilton Pot Pies. Chicken, Cranberry and Camembert Pies. Fish Pie with Leek and Chorizo. Tomato and Thyme Tarte Tatin. Dark Chocolate Banoffee Slab. Hazelnut and Coconut Shortbread with Strawberries and Blueberries. If you tell me you’re not drooling, then honestly, you’re lying.


In this book, Dean gives us more than eighty recipes for pastry classics and innovations using flavours from around the world. Chapters include meat, seafood, vegetarian and sweet pies, plus a chapter on ‘not-quite-a-pie’ – pastry treats such as flapjacks and sausage rolls. There’s even a recipe for traditional Cornish Pasties (although, as everyone knows, the pasty was invented here in Devon …).

All in all, this book gets a big thumbs-up from me. Perhaps the best praise I can give is to tell you that my own copy is already looking used and dog-eared. And as I said, I’m very fussy.


To order Pie at the discounted price of £20.00 including p&p* (RRP: £25.00), telephone 01903 828503 or email mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk and quote the offer code APG18.

Alternatively, send a cheque made payable to:

Littlehampton Book Services Mail Order Department,
Littlehampton Book Services,
PO Box 4264,
Worthing, West Sussex
BN13 3RB.

Please quote the offer code APG18 and include your name and address details.

*UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

Christmas Hampers

Before now, the only hamper I’ve ever received was a basket of smelly stuff wrapped tightly in blow-dried cellophane from The Body Shop. This was when I was twelve years old and White Musk was a coveted scent among teenage girls. Do you remember those little sniff bottles they had with tester samples from each range? Seaweed, tangerine … Perhaps they still have them – I haven’t been into a Body Shop for decades, so they’re firmly placed in the realms of nostalgia for me. Like Pizzaland …

Okay, I seem to have strayed from the point a bit. The important thing is that I’ve never received a gourmet food hamper. Never, that is, until a couple of weeks or so ago when Hampergifts sent me some Yuletide Delight in the form of foodie heaven – a beautifully-parceled hamper from their lovely Christmas Hampers range.


I have to confess that a large part of Hamper Fun lies in the unwrapping. Firstly, there’s a knock on the door and a courier hands you a large – a very large – brown, cardboard box. My childhood dream is instantly fulfilled at this point. But then comes the tearing off of sellotape, the opening of the box, the discovery of a bow-tied basket, the satisfying splitting of the cellophane and the feverish excitement as the bursting goodies tumble out. Never mind what’s actually in the basket – I’m having too much fun already with just the packaging!


Fortunately, my husband and children are less easily pleased than me and have questions that need to be answered before they will consider endorsing my fave review. Is the bottle of wine drinkable? Is the chocolate delicious? How good is the Turkish Delight? What are the yellow things in that jar there?

After judicious tasting, the answers turned out to be yes, yes, very and preserved pears.


So, I’m happy to report that if you’re stuck on what to send those friends and relatives who live further away from you than on your doorstep, one of the gift hampers from Hampergifts may be the answer to your problems (unless you think your friends would share my delight in receiving just a cardboard box, of course – admittedly a cheaper alternative, but don’t blame me if they fail to recognise the Christmas spirit in that idea).