If Memory Serves: Mr. Kipling's Apple Pies

If Memory Serves chronicles moments from my dining past, perhaps explaining why I'm so damn warped.

It's funny how memories become jumbled sometimes. For several decades now I've remembered sitting in our London flat, pouring clotted cream over McVitie's apple pies.

These were tarts sold in boxes of six at the local grocer's, each about three inches in diameter. Sweet, buttery and rich, they took to cream so very well...and I can find no reference to the company ever having made such an item.

McVitie's made--and continues to make for their new owners, United Biscuit--cookies and snack bars that are popular in England. But a brand called Mr. Kipling produces the type of miniature pie I remember.

Probably find out next that it wasn't clotted cream.

Oh, well. Mr. Kipling's pies stand out in my memory because, for a processed and massed produced grocery item, they were so damn good.

We lived over there before multinational firms began to erase those annoying regional differences. So the Twix bars I bought in London back in 1979 were richer and more interesting than the same purchased in the U.S. The chocolate had more depth of character, the caramel seemingly more butter. Whatever, it just tasted like more.

I believe the chocolate was made according to standards other than Hershey's. I know the Cadbury's I tried there was more impressive than its American cousin.

Or I think I know. Setting does affect one's perception of things.

Perhaps Mr. Kipling's pies weren't actually that impressive. But clotted cream--and double cream, which was one step down in fat content--carry 15 to 25 percent more fat than American whipping cream. A container of that stuff poured over a couple of tarts...


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Dave Faries
Contact: Dave Faries