VIDEO: HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT PIE - The Star launches St Luke’s campaign...with pie!

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IT IS an understandable quandary; you want to host a supper as part of The Star’s Great Pie and Peas Up campaign but there is just one problem – you can’t cook.

However, there is no reason why a lack of culinary skills should stop people supporting one of the year’s tastiest fundraising events.

Pictured are staff from St Lukes Hospice taking part in the Pie Taste Test

Pictured are staff from St Lukes Hospice taking part in the Pie Taste Test

The campaign is being held to raise money for Sheffield’s St Luke’s Hospice, which needs to fund a £5 million new inpatient unit.

Running throughout March, the aim is for Sheffielders to host traditional pie and pea suppers in their homes, workplaces or community centres, with a suggested minimum donation of £10 per guest.

But, if the thought of rustling up homemade flaky pastry is just too daunting, fundraisers can take the easy route and purchase ready-made pies.

To give some idea of what’s available, we set up a taste-test with staff at the Whirlow hospice, asking them to sample a selection of pies – and a quiche for vegetarians – to suit all tastes and budgets.

First up was Sainsbury’s Classic minced beef and onion shortcrust pastry pie, which cost £3.65 and was awarded a middling three stars by the workers.

“It’s a bit like a traditional school pie,” they said. “The minced meat and onion filling is very good but we would have liked to have seen just a little more gravy. But with a dash of Henderson’s Relish it would make a good family supper.”

The next pie to be judged was a wild mushroom and west country cheddar tart from Morrison’s Bistro Kitchen range, priced £2.49 and included as an option for non meat-eaters.

“It’s good for vegetarians, even though it is a quiche rather than a traditional pie,” said the hospice staff, who awarded the tart a respectable four stars.

“The wild mushrooms taste great and the cheese really comes through too, though the consistency of the filling could be a little firmer.”

Meanwhile the Co-op’s £3.89 deep filled chicken and white wine pie was pronounced ‘delicious’ and given five stars.

“You really can taste the wine in the sauce, there are nice big chunks of chicken and it’s generously deep too, just what you want in a pie,” said the workers.

“The pastry was really good, very flaky and not too greasy.”

Unfortunately, the next pie did not receive the same reaction – the Aldi Northern Catch Fisherman’s Pie, priced 89p, was deemed to follow the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’.

* See today’s Star to register or alternatively register online at Pie and Peas Up