Bellingham Bakery in Northumberland is an establishment of contradictions. There is no till, the varying denominations of coin kept in plastic tubs on the shelf behind the counter. However, they see fit to hand-wrap their patisserie in cellophane, which vexes perhaps more than it should. Flying the flag for tradition, your correspondent purchased a mince and onion pie.
First impressions were mixed. The pastry was good to the touch, but lacked the fabulous glaze evident on other wares from this establishment. Since the egg wash is Bellingham Bakery’s primary strength, this did not bode well. The pastry itself was good, but perhaps somewhat bready and voluminous.
If one has to force one’s way through more pastry than is perhaps proper, one expects great things of the filling. Past form suggested this was unlikely to be the case, and thus it transpired. Unobjectionable perhaps, and perhaps better seasoned than some of their other offerings, but at the end of the day, this was slightly bland mince in an overly thick crust.
The one meagre saving grace of this pie is the onion. Onion is a boon and a blessing to men, and eponymous all too seldom in the kingdom of the crust. However, it is habitually underdeployed even when name-checked, and one suspects that its presence in a mince and onion pie owes more to advertising and metre than to flavour. In this instance, though, while not exactly shining through, the onion did at least glimmer. This is a small victory, but such are the lot of the committed pie-lover.