Camilla Stephens began her culinary career developing food for (UK-based) coffee chain, the Seattle Coffee Company. When it was bought out by Starbucks, she stayed on board creating tasty treats to be sold across the chain throughout the day. Somewhere along the way, she learned to make really tasty pies. Fast forward several years to 2003 when Camilla and husband James created Higgidy, selling beautiful handmade pies – even though the business has grown phenomenally in its first decade, every single pie is still shaped and filled by hand and the product range now includes a variety of quiches too. There are more traditional recipes such as beef, stilton and ale in a shortcrust pastry case and bacon and cheddar quiche, as well as more inventive recipes like sweet potato and feta pie with pumpkin seeds.
Pete and I aren’t averse to buying ready made meals so we’ve enjoyed Higgidy products at home a number of times. The key to their success is that they really do taste home made.
We were not disappointed and it didn’t take long to bookmark a slew of recipes that appealed: chicken and chorizo with spiced paprika crumble, Chinese-spiced beef pies, no-nonsense steak and ale pie, giant Gruyère and ham sandwich, melt-in-the-middle pesto chicken (filo parcels), hot-smoked salmon gougère (scuppered, on the first attempt, by our inability to find hot-smoked salmon in our local shops), rösti-topped chicken and pancetta pie, wintry quiche with walnutty pastry, smoked haddock frying-pan pie, cheddar ploughman tartlets, cherry tomato tarte tatin, sticky ginger and apple tarte tatin, pear and whisky tart, oaty treacle tart, chocolate snowflake tart and sticky onions!
Of course, many of these recipes are wonderfully hearty, making themperfect winter warmers at this this cold, dark and wet time of year.
So far, Pete’s made two recipes from the book and we have been delighted with both. The hearty lamb hotpot was a classic; simple to make, tasty and warming to eat. The pork and apple stroganoff pie with cheddar crust was fantastic.
Oddly enough, after making (and blogging) an apple pie with an almost identical design on top (which I made before having seen the Higgidy pie photograph) a discussion on twitter had got me thinking about trying apple pie with a cheddar crust, so finding this recipe soon afterwards was serendipitous! It didn’t disappoint.
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The Higgidy Cookbook is published by Quercus (RRP £16.99). A new and updated edition called Higgidy: The Cookbook was published in 2018. Kavey Eats was sent a review copy of Higgidy Cookbook by Higgidy.