Monday 18 June 2012

(Peppa) Piggy in the Park

Peppa Pig and Evie
Before I start, let me just clarify that no Peppa Pigs were harmed in the making of this pie. And also that Peppa Pig didn’t eat all the pies, as I fortunately got my hands on one before we met her.
So with the disclaimers over, what about the pie itself?! Well it’s time for a Bramley Apple overload, as those pie makers at ASDA have picked up the Bramley bug and made some delicious tea time treats! And what better treat than to crack out a six-pack in the park with your mates? So with hand model Ad kindly showing off the colourful green box, it’s time to be a little piggy and wallow in the apple-y goodness...

Firstly, while there were definite small air pockets in the pie I had, it was pretty well packed and the pies were in good condition. The ASDA Bramley Apple pieces and apple filling were very nice and supported the pastry nicely. The short crust pastry was crisp and held the apple contents well too. While it’s not the deluxe version of the apple pie, it’s certainly no cheap smartprice version either and is a very good tasting pie. Well worth carrying a six pack in your picnic hamper (especially if you might bump into a little piggy in the park!*)

Asda Bramley Apple Pies
Score: 5.4/7


(*I’m not talking about myself in the third person there, by the way!)
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Sunday 17 June 2012

The Great British Bramley by Tesco

Tesco Bramley Apple Pie Review

When a type of apple has its own website, you know you’re branching out in the right direction. So while I’ve been rooting around, leaving nothing to chance, I’ve found a lot of information about the contents of our latest pie review. Don’t worry - I’ve not gone barking mad, but I've got to the core of the issue, and yes, you’ve probably twigged by now: I’m talking about the humble Bramley Apple.

Tesco bramley apple pieAnd what an apple it is! A mainstay in many a great apple pie, the Bramley Apple (circa 1809) has become firmly rooted as a fan’s favourite in the sweet pie world. So it’s great to see Tesco getting on board with their Tesco Bramley Apple Pie! And as it says on the box, it really does contain juicy chunks of Bramley apple in a delicious sweet apple sauce. I had my pie with evaporated milk and it was very nice. The short crust pastry was lovely and crunchy and the apple sauce was particularly good. While not blown away, it was a very reasonable pie and I would certainly commend it. Good work, Bramley!

Tesco Bramley Apple
Score: 4.8/7


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Thursday 14 June 2012

Arrogance about the aragon? Pieminister Chicken of Aragon pie review

Pieminister Pie Review - Chicken of Aragon
Pieminister chicken of aragon pie review

It can be the difference between a good sportsman and a great sportsman; it can make you look a hero or a fool. But arrogance can also be translated to the pie world, especially when a pie box contains the words “Heavenly pies. If you’re still looking for the perfect pie, Pieminister make some of Britain’s best.”

Pieminister chicken of aragon pie review
So let’s get down to business – how would the ‘chicken of aragon pie’ by Pieminister fare? Could it really be the perfect pie, as they claimed? After all, it does say it’s award winning on the front (though I’m not going to go all Rhod Gilbert on you and write letters to my local Pieminister outlet demanding info on what awards it has won...particularly as you can see the list on their Pieminister website!) So as you can see, the pie was filled with big meaty chunks of chicken, though the pieces of bacon mentioned on the box were tiny and few and far between. The rest of the ingredients did compliment each other reasonably well, however I have to admit to feeling slightly underwhelmed by the chicken sauce present in my pie. Certainly nothing to write home about and I’ve had plenty of better chicken pie sauces in my time. The pastry was very crisp and the condition of the pie was pretty good, especially considering the state of the box the pie came in! Capacity was good and the pastry was a golden brown. All in all, a decent pie, just nothing to get too arrogant about just yet!

Pieminister Chicken of Aragon Pie
Score: 5.5/7

and let us know your thoughts!

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Tuesday 5 June 2012

Young at Heart or Burnt Out?

Young's Old Ship pub - Steak Pie Review

I recently paid a visit to the lovely Old Ship pub on the banks of the Thames just down from Hammersmith bridge on my search for London Pie. Owned by Young's brewers, they had a small menu which I was pleased to see still saved a place for a Young's Steak Pie. Apparently this was to come served on a bed of mash and kale. Intriguing, but I had to remember to focus on the pie and not the sideshow that was to come with it.
Unfortunately when my pie came to be served it had fallen off it's glorious vegetable perch. This slightly detracted from the presentation. However, it didn't hide the more noticeable fact that the top of the pie looked to have taken the crispy golden brown colour to the extreme. So much so that it looked dangerously close to being called 'burnt', the dreaded antithesis to the seven C's that we use to score our pies. A burnt pie can lose points on Colour, Condition, Consistency and possibly even Chewiness if it is really bad. But, perhaps this pie was supposed to come 'well done' I had after all not specified for it to be medium-rare.

The first stab with a knife and the pie oozed glorious gravy. The pastry, especially around the sides where it wasn't burnt, was fantastically gooey. The pie had a great Capacity which was packed with Content. However, the first bite confirmed my worst fears. Credit where it is due, the initial taste was certainly what you would expect from a gourmet pie. However, behind that was an all too familiar bitter carbon tang. Like burnt toast, it was so disappointing because this pie could have been in the upper echelons of the pie rankings. My pie eating companion for the evening said that he quite liked the burnt flavour. However he claims that 'pasties are a type of pie'. Clearly he is not fit to judge pie flavours so this view can be safely disregarded. Overall however, I did really enjoy this pie, it certainly did not ruin the experience. The mash and kale in particular were done to perfection. On another occasion I'm sure this could score better but we can only rate what is put in front of us. For the price of a bit over a tenner it is certainly above average for a London pub.

Young's Steak Pie (The Old Ship - Hammersmith, W6 9TD)

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Monday 4 June 2012

A Royally Jubilicious Pie

To mark Queen Elizabeth's 60 years on the throne and as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the Senei produced a royally good pie! Provided at the Jubilee Lunch, hosted by City Church Birmingham, the red, white and blue bunting, flags and decorations by the children only added to the carnival atmosphere, as I dived in to grab the first slice of homemade Chicken & Stuffing Picnic Pie. The first thing to note were the nice chunks of chicken that were spread throughout the centre of the pie, giving every slice of pie that meatilicious content every savoury pie reviewer craves. The chicken and stuffing worked perfectly together, combining well with the nice thick pastry coating. I must have picked the perfect slice, as it did not crumble until the last mouthful, and while I did spot a few slightly crumbling slices on other people’s plates (notably the chef and chefess themselves), it was indeed a very fine and well crafted pie. And even better – it did not cost me a penny! It was packed full of content, my only slight criticism being a slightly higher content of chicken would have rounded it off perfectly, but all in all my first taste of Chicken & Stuffing Picnic Pie has left me craving for more! Bring on the 70 year celebrations!

The Queen would have certainly given this pie her royal seal of approval! A great pie to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee weekend with!

Score: 6.1/7
Chicken and Stuffing Picnic Pie

Bryony's patriotic Jubilee Cake, eaten at another Jubilee celebration!
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