One of the most delicious weeks of the year — British Pie Week — falls in the first week of March. Pies have been in existence since about 2000 B.C. and have been loved by the British since the 12th century. Jus-Rol, a British pastry-rolling company, invented this week in 2007, and it has been celebrated annually since then. It’s the perfect opportunity to indulge in your favorite pie without worrying about the cost or the calories. Pick up your fork and dig in. If you’re making your own pies, work on getting the crust as flaky as possible.
History of British Pie Week
No one in the world loves pies as much as the British. They are responsible for the invention of most of the pies that we know and love today. Sweet or savory — there’s a pie for every occasion and we’re here to celebrate all week!
Pies are said to have been invented by the ancient Romans sometime before 2000 B.C. The story goes that a recipe for chicken pie was written on a tablet in Sumer. Another piece of evidence proving a long history of pies is to be found in the Valley of the Kings — Pharaoh Ramesses II’s tomb to be precise. Pie cases get a mention in a 1st-century Roman cookbook called “Apicius.”
In the Medieval era, pies in the United Kingdom were usually savory meat pies cooked over an open fire. One of the many pie traditions that goes back centuries is eating mince pies during the festive season. This dates back to the 13th century, when the Crusaders brought home recipes for pies containing fruit and spices.
Medieval England had an early form of sweet pies, but they were called tarts. At this time, fruit pies were unsweetened, because sugar was rare and costly. In the 15th century, people started making custard pies and pies filled with dried fruit. A cherry pie served to Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century became the first fresh fruit pie to be recorded.
British Pie Week was founded in 2007 by Jus-Rol, a British pastry-rolling company. However, in 2016, the website Pierate decided to take over the holiday, baking hundreds of pies and sharing the recipes online with their followers. Each year, Pierate holds competitions and ranks pies based on their taste and construction, inspiring others in Britain to do the same.
British Pie Week timeline
A recipe for chicken pie is written on a tablet in Sumer, Rome.
Returning crusaders bring home pie recipes containing meat, fruit, and spices to England.
The first fruit pie is recorded when Queen Elizabeth I is served cherry pie.
The British pastry-rolling company, Jus-Rol, invents British Pie Week.
British Pie Week FAQs
What is a pie in the U.K.?
They are a baked dish consisting of a savory or sweet filling, and enclosed in or covered with a pastry.
What’s the best pie in the U.K.?
In 2021, Bowring Butchers was deemed to have made the U.K.’s best pie. It was a masterpiece of meat and potatoes.
What is a British meat pie called?
Although not a traditional pie, one of the United Kingdom’s best-loved comfort foods is known as Shepherd’s Pie.
British Pie Week Activities
Bake some pie
With hundreds of recipes to choose from, the flavors are endless. This week will be a perfect opportunity to bake your favorite pie recipe. Choose a recipe you’d like to try out, and invite friends and family over to sample the end product.
Register for a contest
Jus-Rol, as well as other platforms such as Pierate, hold annual pie-baking contests. If you’re an excellent baker, now is your time to shine. Bake a pie of your choice and enter one of the online competitions to reap the rewards.
Attend a pie event
British Pie Week is celebrated across England. Many restaurants and companies organize events within the week to cook up some fun. Find an event happening near you and pick a few days in the week to attend.
5 Fun Facts About Pies
They were once banned
In 1644, Oliver Cromwell banned pies, declaring them an evil source of pleasure.
Pumpkins weren’t always a thing
Pumpkin pies only became a thing after 1623, when they were introduced at the pilgrim’s second Thanksgiving.
The crust had a deadly name
In the 12th century, crusts of the pie were known as ‘coffyn.’
There’s a town named after it
There’s a town called Pie Town in New Mexico, U.S.A., that specializes in making pies.
Apple pies take the lead
Apple pie claims the crown as the most popular pie in the U.S.
Why We Love British Pie Week
There’s no such thing as too much pie
British Pie Week provides the perfect opportunity to eat as much pie as you want. Concerns like carbs and diets take a backseat and give us room to enjoy these delicious pastries without guilt.
It’s a fun week
There are so many activities packed within this delicious week. From pie tasting to pie contests, there are loads of ways to have fun. It creates the perfect lineup of activities in a once-dull week.
It’s a bonding experience
Along with the amazing activities comes an amazing bonding opportunity. Pie week presents the perfect time to go out with loved ones and spend quality time together, while also enjoying delicious pies.
British Pie Week dates