Norfolk truffle pork pie auctioned off for hospice

A connoisseur's pork pie baked in Norfolk and featuring a very special ingredient has raised nearly �200 for charity in an auction.

The pie, containing a truffle, was baked by Sarah Pettegree, of North Norfolk-based Bray's Cottage Pork Pies, with help from friends Jenni Nicholls, of Norwich's Northcote Brewery, and Derek Hardy, of Naked Wines.

Miss Pettegree, whose kitchens are at Bayfield, near Holt, was sent the truffle by Truffles by the Gram, a new business which is trying to encourage cooks to use the hard-to-come-by fungi by making small quantities available online.

With her friends' help, she came up with a recipe involving truffle-infused quail and hen's eggs and truffle shavings, decorating the top with little pastry truffle pigs.

'We made some little individual pies and they were really nice with a very distinctive flavour,' said Miss Pettegree.

She took the pie, which measured 7in (18cm) across and weighed nearly 3lb (1.3kg) to a food lover's event, Fire & Knives' Mixed Grill, in London on Saturday, describing it on stage and inviting more bids in an online auction, conducted via social networking website Twitter.

The pie was eventually sold for �180 to Barry Hipwell, of Norwich. The money which will go to East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH).

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She chose the charity because of the help it has given to her friend Paul Saxton's family. Mr Saxton is a prominent Norfolk Tweeter whose baby daughter Maggie has cerebral palsy and receives respite care at the Quidenham hospice.

'Making a pork pie with such a valuable and unusual ingredient was great fun,' said Miss Pettegree.

'I really enjoyed making the pie with Derek and Jenni and then auctioning it for so much money was thrilling! People have been very generous with their bids - people from Norfolk and all around the country.

'I'm delighted that it raised some funds for Quidenham as it's a cause very close to a lot of Norfolk Twitterers' hearts.'

One anonymous bidder who lost out said they would honour their �75 bid for a bag of Bray's Cottage 'Crackle' pork crackling, bringing the raised to �255.