Mince Pies have launched in Oakham!
If you’re looking for some Mince pies, Oakham, then look no further!
Lily and Honey bakery, Gaol street, are home to the best mince pies in Oakham (probably) – they won an award for them last year, and sold out on every batch they made – so that goes for something.
They use an all butter pastry, filled with sweet mincemeat and a crunchy, crumbly, topping (said in your best M&S voice). I popped along as they started their first batch of the season to capture how they’re put together, as well as getting some promotional images for them
Mince Pies – an English tradition
Mince Pies are an English tradition dating from the 13th century when returning European crusaders brought back recipes containing spices and fruits. They were traditionally baked into oblong shapes, resembling a manger, and topped with a depiction of the Christ child.
The early mince pie was also known as a Christmas pie, and would usually include a mixture of minced meat, suet, a range of fruits, and spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. This tradition of eating a ‘Christmas Pie’ in December carried on throughout the years up until the Victorian times (as is often the case with most Christmas traditions!).
People began to prepare the fruit and spice filling months before it was required, storing it in jars, and as Britain entered the Victorian age, the addition of meat had, for many, become an afterthought. Its taste then was broadly similar to that experienced today.
Although the modern recipe is no longer the same list of 13 ingredients once used (representative of Christ and his 12 Apostles according to author Margaret Baker), the mince pie remains a popular Christmas treat.
Bakers Greggs reported sales of 7.5 million mince pies during Christmas 2011. The popular claim that the consumption of mince pies on Christmas Day is illegal is in fact an urban myth, so don’t panic!
Oakham Bakery – Lily and Honey
Oakham, the county town of Rutland and has a population of roughly 12,000 people. The streets in the centre of the town are filled with a wide variety of independent shops and cafes. The skyline is dominated by the spire of All Saints Church, which is visible for miles. The church itself is a grade I listed building with a light, spacious interior – Ideal for a wedding!
The town holds an open air market two days a week in the marketplace; right next to here is the town’s Buttercross – where, in medieval times people from surrounding villages would visit Oakham to buy locally produced butter, milk and eggs. Oakham’s Buttercross is also a grade I listed building, and even still has the stocks in it!
Oakham is very proud of the small and independent businesses it nurtures and supports, one of the many which are present in the town is the bakery Lily and Honey.
Lily & Honey was created in 2017; ran by Nicolle and Robert it initially operated from their home kitchen and dining room. They both worked full time jobs so attended events & festivals on weekends. To begin with, their focus was only on cakes, the famous sourdough came later!
In November 2019 they opened their shop on Gaol Street and are looking forward to celebrating their upcoming first birthday on 7th November – socially distanced, of course.
Robert is head baker and has a wealth of experience and knowledge surrounding all things cake & bread. Nicolle comes from a more corporate background, and deals with most things behind the scenes – a great combination! Last year, their mince pies Oakham won the Guild of Fine Food taste awards – and people were banging on the door to get more of them(!)
They have worked with some amazing businesses over the years; including supplying the Four Seasons Hotels & Ragdale Hall with their sumptuous treats. If you’re looking for the best mince pie in Oakham (or many other baked goods) then definitely check them out. They’re offering a click and collect ordering service throughout this second lockdown.
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