Mary Berry: experts say her pie is not a pie, just a casserole with a lid

Mary Berry stirred up a storm with her pie
Mary Berry stirred up fresh controversy with her pie recipe without a pastry base Credit: BBC

Mary Berry's latest culinary controversy - cooking a pie without a pastry bottom - caused the usual Twitter storm.

Was her "pie" really just a casserole with a lid? Now the leading authority on pies has spoken, and the answer is yes.

The annual British Pie Awards provides the following definition: "A pie is a filling totally and wholly encased in pastry."

Awards chairman Matthew O'Callaghan said Berry's hearty potato, leek and cheese pie, which she demonstrated on her BBC One show Mary Berry Everyday, did not qualify.

"That's not a pie," he said. "It's just a casserole with a bit of pastry on top.

"We want a top and a bottom. Lattice, open top, only a top - they're not allowed at the British Pie Awards."

He added: "We're not going to criticise Mary, though. She came to one of our food festivals in Melton Mowbray years ago, and she was very nice."

His views backed up viewers who watched the offending episode.

"That's a pastry lid - not a pie. You're going to give Twitter a meltdown. Disgraceful," snapped one fan on Twitter. "Sort yourself out."

"Sorry Mary, but it's not really a pie if there's no pastry base," said another.

One fan wrote: "Oh Mary you didn't... A PIE WITHOUT A BASE IS A LIE."

"That isn't a pie. It has no base. That's just a lid. Disappointed. Would still eat it though," said another disgruntled viewer.

Berry's sticky toffee pudding did not escape unscathed on Monday night's show, with viewers expressing their disappointment that it did not contain dates.

One viewer insisted: "It's not sticky toffee pudding. If it don't have dates!"

Another posted: "Why are there no dates in this £maryberryeveryday sticky toffee pudding? This is madness I tell you, madness!

Piers Morgan used part of Good Morning Britain to defend Mary Berry.

He said: "Imagine calling Mary Berry, the nicest human being in existence, a liar" 

The television host was shocked that so many feel so strongly about the pie versus casserole debate: "Let me get this straight. 5,000 people in our country signed a petition about a casserole not being a pie!"

"I eat a lot of pies and let me tell you if the pie is a crusty bit of pastry I am happy.

"I had a steak and kidney pie last night - I don't care if there is a bottom, all I want is a nice firm lid"

Berry's recipes on the BBC programme have been a talking point each week.

As well as "bolognese-gate", the 81-year-old surprised viewers by stirring garlic into her pizza dough last week, while admitting that she had never had a pizza delivered to her home.

 

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