‘BRITISH Pie Week’ runs from 5-11 March 2018. There can be few foodstuffs more deserving of a whole week devoted to their recognition, celebration, glorification and exploration. I read recently that 75 per cent of us in the UK have a pie at least once a month and I would question that it were not more.

A pie can be sweet or savoury; filo-wrapped, puff-topped, encased wholly in buttery short crust or hugged by crispy flaky, the possibilities are endless. The fillings are infinite, apple, apple and blackberry, cherry, key lime, Mississippi Mud, custard, lemon meringue, cheese, cheese and onion, steak, steak and ale, steak and kidney, chicken, chicken and bacon, chicken and mushroom, chicken and, well, you get my point, there is much you can put in a pie.

I wonder what it is that so captivates us. Is it just taste? Is it tradition? Is it comfort? Is it adaptability? Is it that they’re filling, satisfying and can be made affordably and yet, still deliciously? Likely it is all of the aforementioned.

Some of my earliest memories are tangled up with pie. My Nana’s corned beef and tatty pie was the stuff of family legend. When we would travel to her village in the valley, for miles and miles before we even entered the county, we would be talking about and imagining the kitchen table laden with these pies in all different sizes and shapes. Never one to waste anything, the last scraps would have a few currents stuck in and be called a scone. There was a main large pie, several medium sized ones and then a few individual dishes and they were served warm when we arrived and cold for the days of our visit. Common to all was that they were made with love and care and above all to nourish and sustain.

My children’s favourite pie that I make is a chicken, leek and tarragon pie with a filo pastry top. It is loaded with cream and butter and the crispy pastry snaps against the soft chicken and vegetables. Served with a pile of carrots and maybe some mash, it is warmth, comfort and care on a plate.

I love David Lush’s pies, bought from their Glebe Street shop. My parents stock up and take home to sustain them between visits to south Wales and they’re handy to have in the freezer should you need to rustle up something cosy mid-week.

Cardiff has Clarke’s pies, a local institution, impossible to separate from history, tradition and family and I think for me that is the beauty, the wonder and the joy of pies. They can be anything to anyone; they can adapt to all occasions; they can suit any mood and they can deliver taste, variety, sustenance, refinement, practicality, in a way few other foodstuffs manage with such aplomb. So next time you pop a pie in the oven, home-made or ready-made, take a moment to ponder the greatness that you are baking and then, enjoy.