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Sunday, 20 February 2011

Higgidy Little Moroccan Vegetable & Feta Pie

The Little Pie range from Higgidy is, to quote the packaging, "about good wholesome food in reasonable portions". Speaking as someone who will quite happily polish off one of their full-sized quiches all on my own, I'd place these in the 'Quick/Light/Snack Lunch' category, or perhaps serve them as part of a larger meal, but they certainly hit the spot.

This particular pie is made with tomatoes, aubergine and feta... making the second Higgidy product I've tried the second one to contain one of my least favourite cheeses. Weird... But the weirdness doesn't end there.

I have to say, before going into too much further detail, that I love the presentation of these things - not just the awesomely crowded packaging, full of the cute sketches, commentary, company history, invitations to send recipes, and so much information about the ingredients (broken down into filling, base pastry and topping pastry) I'm surprised they could fit a barcode - but the pie itself. Rather than being just a normal, boring 'pie with crust', the top of the pie is formed into a star, so that you can see, even before cutting in, that this is one seriously packed pie. Not for Higgidy, the 'half full' approach to pies.

Unlike the quiche, the pies have to be cooked, but they only take about 20 minutes, so they're eminently suited to being a quick and easy lunchtime snack. The base is made of their usual seeded shortcrust pastry, while the star on the top is a puff pastry. Both are nice and light, and add considerably to the overall flavour.

But the filling is where it's at... Being predominantly tomato (spiced, according to the ingredients), the contents of the pie are rich and sweet as one would expect, but with a good savoury kick from the added herbs and spices. The aubergine is a noticeably smoother note, and the perfect middleground between the tomato and the sharp, bitter feta.

If I had to have a complaint about it, it would be one I never expected to express: it could do with more feta. The cheese is the perfect counterpoint to the rich, sweet vegetable component, but I'm not sure there was quite enough. These pies being handmade, it could easily be that I picked up one that was a bit light on feta and that, somewhere, there's a Moroccan Vegetable & Feta Pie with more than its fair share of the cheese... But that's the beauty of anything hand-made. The best part is that these excellent pies can be frozen, so I'll be sure to buy a good stack of them next time I see them.

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