Monday, 2 November 2015

Waitrose top crust pie - the clue's in the name

Waitrose pie review

Normally, when it pops up in conversation that I write for the pie review blog Pierate, a common question for people to ask is "What do you think of those top crust pies?"

And I tell them: "They are not proper pies!"

And then some people can be rather taken back by this. "It has to be a pie," they say. "It has pie in the name."

Well with this post I hope to convince you (if you hadn't already been convinced!) why the top crust pie is vastly inferior to its mainstream cousin, the fully-encased pie. I appreciate I may be preaching to the converted here, but I hope this pie will be the final nail in the coffin for all those 'false pies' out there.

Exhibit A: Dark & Velvety Aberdeen Angus Steak & Ale Top Crust Pie. Purchased from Waitrose, cost £2.99.

pie review

Waitrose even know that the top crust pie is the inferior product to the fully-encased pie - that's surely why they've put it in the name, so you can avoid disappointment later!

pie review

Out of the oven, the pie does look fairly nice. It has attained a nice golden brown complexion, and the puff pastry has lived up to its name. However it is let down by the boil out on the left hand side of the pie. Boil out, of course, that's resulted from this being just a top-crust pie. If this pie had the correct infrastructure (sides and a base), there wouldn't be gravy dribbling down the outside of the casing.

Now, onto the next problem with a top crust pie. How do you eat this thing?

pie review

Lifting the lid on this pie reveals long strands of flabby pastry trailing off the lid and flopping around in the gravy soup below. Clearly this isn't the effect Waitrose are going for with this pie, but what other option do I have to get this pie out of the foil tin? Unless I'm meant to eat the pie in the foil? That can't be right, surely?

waitrose pie

Okay, so I've got the pie out of its foil bath tub, and now its swimming around on my plate, topped off with a raft of pastry. I hope you can see now why the top crust pie is inferior - I might as well have just had a stew!

The filling itself tastes very nice. The gravy has a very smooth consistency (some might say 'velvety'), with a fine taste of Fullers ale, and the pastry at least tastes nice and buttery, even if it doesn't go all the way round. Together, it's a nice combination of flavours, and the meat is not chewy (which is always a good thing). Cost-wise, £2.99 is at the upper scale of a supermarket pie - especially an own brand, 1 person portion - so unfortunately it will lose a few points there.

Although you could taste the quality in the filling, overall this pie was not a great experience for me and I personally couldn't recommend it.

Waitrose Aberdeen Angus Steak & Ale Top Crust Pie
Score: 3.5/7
TJP

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