We were sent a number of portions of the Premium Apple Pie for review. The items had been preserved in dry ice which is a shock freezing technique using carbon dioxide.
Note: The official message we have received from Food Safety in Catering governance is that frozen items should be defrosted in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature, so we followed this protocol before testing.
This is an apple pie without a pastry top, the base is made from short crust pastry, although short there is not much bite to it and it is more cake-like in texture. Recent methods adapted by many chefs when making fruit pies is to poach fruit in pan with a little butter and sugar, spices and other filling ingredients, first, before settling in between the pastry components. If the apple used is a variety that will hold its form then the result does not need to be mushy mix whether you pre cook in a pan first or put it uncooked straight into the pie. The apples used in this instance are of the Cripps Pink variety, and are chunkily sliced. The Cripps Pink Apple, is primarily an eating apple that cooks well even though it is juicier than some cooking apples. It is extremely sweet tasting, but not a tart or tangy variety and some people prefer the taste qualities of an old fashioned ‘cooker’ in an apple pie, especially if you are adding sugar as it can end up overly sweet. This erlenbacher has many good qualities, but taste-wise borders on being a little too sweet, because rather than topping with a pastry layer they have played a little with cooking sugar and fat to arrive at this golden look of presentation.
We found the apple filling in our Premium Apple Pie portions, although cooked through, did have a slight rubbery, slightly under cooked texture about it when served cold, and, whether served warm, chilled or at room temperature, there was no crispness evident to the almond flakes on the top. A Premium Apple Pie slice certainly looks the part however, it has a nice colour and sugar glaze, and good depth and generosity to the portion size, so would appeal to the sweet lovers eye when being displayed. We found it difficult however, to maintain the magnificence of the freshly defrosted structure for much more than a few hours, especially when passing a slice from plate to plate. Our testers preferred their slices served warmed through rather than chilled.
Many of us Europeans have probably been served an erlenbacher dessert at some time or other. The company have been manufacturing premium frozen cakes and desserts for decades. They are suppliers to the hospitality industry in the main. 200 varieties of sweet pastry pies and fancy cakes are brought in by restaurants, bars, clubs and hotels and served in sliced portions by the hosts to visitors at their tables.
Despite the recent rise in small food businesses offering artisan baked goods straight out of home kitchens, the company is still experiencing a demand from the retail trade for their products. The large automated production and factory staff employed on the lines means that the company can offer a competitive unit trade price to a wider market in most cases.
Available to the retail trade are portions that are individually packaged, altogether the aim is to convey that the items have been homemade in the traditional sense of the word. Erlenbacher uses only natural ingredients, so there are no hydrogenated fats or oils present and no added preservatives, colourants or flavours in any of their recipes; therefore this working ethos runs in line with their mission statement.
See erlenbacher at THE RESTAURANT SHOW 2014 at Earls Court 2 on the 6th, 7th and 8th of October – Stand C58
For more information about the selection range visit the website