I absolutely love a good pork pie, but to be honest I find it difficult to source a pork pie that not only looks amazing but tastes it too; so you can imagine my delight when I came across the beautifully presented and Great Taste Award winners: “The Topping Pie Company” at the Clumber Park Festival of Food and Drink.
On the day Matthew Topping, who I must say was looking very dapper; wasn’t just full of enthusiasm for his products,he was also extremely welcoming and more than happy to chat with us about his family run business and perfectly produced pies.
Matthew began by telling me all about the “special occasion” pies which were what initially drew me in. Matthew told me that a vast amount of people now choose these savoury delights in place of a traditional wedding or occasion cake. I, along with many others think this is a great idea; especially for those who would prefer a well-made savoury pie in place of a sugary statement.
The three tiered celebratory pies that can be chosen for any type of special event are available in either a round or heart shape; can be chosen in three different flavours, are individually hand crafted and then they are lovingly finished with ribbon. For that extra special touch Toppings will also add a message, emblem or pastry flowers to your tiered treats. Your guests can’t fail to be impressed by these truly magnificent speciality pork pies.
The stunning range by Toppings…
It is not only celebratory pies that Toppings can turn their hand to; they also offer a very substantial range of products that are all bursting with originality and flavour.
The fact that Toppings make so many excellent products which include: pork pies of various different types, savouries, hot eating pies and quiches; is obviously the reason why they have won a total of 40 awards; the most recent being the 3 star Gold Great Taste Award which was given to them by the UK’s Guild of Fine Foods.
The traditional family run butchers and more recently, bakers bring to you the following:
The Toppings range of delicious quiches include: party dinky quiches, specialty quiches and large cutting quiches. All of these tasty treats can be purchased in flavours such as: quiche Lorraine, mature cheddar and fresh onion, salmon, broccoli and dill, stilton, ham and asparagus and hot chilli with sweet pepper. They all look and taste simply divine and that very special ingredient: evaporated milk, makes all the difference.
Pork pies (the taste test)…
I was lucky enough to be able to taste a number of pork pies for myself. In our family we are real pork pie enthusiasts and also with us being a family that shoots and enjoys field sports in general; we see a good quality pork pie as the ideal snack when out on the field. I also have a number of friends and relatives who are always on the lookout for great tasting pork pies, so I was really keen to tell them all about The Topping Pie Company; it’s safe to say that I think we may have found “the one”.
My pies arrived in a big box that was clearly designed to keep the goods protected in transit. I was so excited to receive them and couldn’t wait to open the package.
When I finally got the lid off I was very impressed with how they had been packed, they were tucked very securely in between layers of protective material and in order to keep the pies cool, Toppings had packed them with ice packs which were laid between each pie but they were not directly touching the products so none of the food was exposed to the cold directly.
Not only were the pies packed with care, they also looked amazing too. Sometimes when you get a product it doesn’t look anything like what it does in the picture, well these pies look better than the picture. They really would be the perfect addition to any dining table no matter what the occasion.
I tasted the game pie, huntsman pie, cranberry topped, cheese and pickle topped and mature stilton topped pies; all of which were everything I had hoped for and more. The pastry crust wasn’t too thick yet it was crunchy to the bite, the Prime British Red Tractor meat tasted fresh and delicate and the toppings were subtle yet flavoursome so as not to distract form the taste of the filling.
The game pie has to be my favourite one. It has all my ultimate foods in it. I simply adore pate, cranberries and game so there is just no other way to describe all three combined in a pork pie, apart from total heaven!
All of the pies are available in a range of sizes which start at dinky size and go up to the 4.1 kg specialty cutting pork pies.
Hot eating pies and savouries…
There really is nothing better than a hot pie served with mash, veg and gravy. It is the perfect winter warmer in my opinion, so I will definitely be purchasing some of these mouth-watering creations. Toppings give you a choice of four types of pies and savouries, which include: classic hot eating pies, premium hot eating pies , sausage rolls and pasties.
The flavours that you can choose from in the classic pie range consist of: classic beef and potato, classic steak pie and classic steak and kidney. If you are craving something a little more luxurious you might want to order the steak and mature stilton pie, garlic chicken and mushroom, rump steak with minted mushy peas or steak with Yorkshire black pudding.
If on the other hand, you love pastries, why not order some delicious sausage rolls, steak slices or cheese and onion pasties?
The people behind the pies…
The man behind these delicious pies, quiches and sausage rolls was Bill Topping. Bill first opened his butchers shop in Doncaster, South Yorkshire in 1961 but little did he know that his pies would be his family’s greatest assets.
A decade later Bill’s products were in such high demand that the butchers shop relocated to the Doncaster Market Hall. In 1989 Bill’s son Roger and his wife Maggie took over the business taking it from strength to strength. #
Maggie began introducing some of her family’s favourite original recipes (some dating back to Victorian and Tudor times) in to the shop in the form of home-made pies.
Well, as you can imagine it wasn’t long before this fantastic duo had to start looking for bigger premises so that they could keep up with their customer’s appetite for family inspired goods. In 2000 Roger and Maggie bought a new bakery which is when “The Topping Pie Company” was officially born.
Mathew, son of Roger and the Topping family member that I was lucky enough to meet at the Festival of Food and Drink, was brought into the bakery in 2010. He has since been helping his dad Roger bring the Topping brand forwards from their base in Doncaster’s town centre,which is where the new shop opened in 2011.
If you live in Sheffield, you too can also enjoy some delights from Toppings Pies, for they now have a shop which is based in the Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre.
A few wise words…
There has never been a better time to try some of Toppings superb and great tasting products than right now. Christmas is just around the corner which only means one thing: parties, events and entertaining!
Even if you are having a small family get together; anything from the specialty Christmas line will prove to be the ultimate addition to any celebration this season and don’t panic if you can’t finish the pies, they can be frozen.
I honestly don’t know of any other brand that puts this much passion, attention and care in to any of their bakes like Toppings do and what a result they get too.