Scots hope for success with pies

More than 20 top Scots piemen have entered the British Pie Championships, which take place in England later this month.

Three World Scotch Pie champions – the current holder, Murdoch Brothers from Forres, plus Stuart’s of Buckhaven and Boghall Butchers of Bathgate – are in the record field of 122 entrants.

They will submit 713 products for judging – a 40% increase on the first British Pie Championships 12 months ago – when the event takes place in Melton Mowbray on Wednesday, 19 May.

Fife baker and butcher Alan Stuart, founder of the World Scotch Pie Championship, now in its 11th year, said: “Scots won a number of major awards last year and gained a tremendous amount of positive publicity and sales because of it. Word has spread. We’ve doubled the entries from north of the border this time and that’s really encouraging.”

He added: “The World Scotch Pie Championships are all about raising standards. Obviously, the judges were impressed with Scottish products last year, but the competition looks as if it will be tougher this time. The challenge is really on.”

Last year, Paul Boyle of Boghall Butchers, Bathgate, a two-time winner of the World Scotch Pie Championship, won the Best Fish Pie in Britain title. Other winners from Scotland in 2009 were A J Learmonth of Jedburgh with the Best Savoury Pie in Britain, Macdougall and Hastie of Inverness with the Best Football Pie in Britain, and the Best Apple Pie in Britain title went to Stuart’s of Buckhaven.

Alan Stuart from Methil added: “Last year, Scots won four out of the 10 categories. That was a tremendous result. It shows standards north of the border are really high and that Scottish bakers and butchers provide quality produce.”