Traditional Bramley apple pie filling has joined the Cornish Pasty in being given protected status by the European Commission.
The apple filling has been named on the traditional specialities guaranteed list (TSG), which seeks to protect the reputation of regional products.
Bramley apples are grown commercially across Kent, East Anglia and the West Midlands, and the filling is used by companies such as Premier Foods in its Mr Kipling Bramley Apple Pies.
The mixture is defined as ‘a homogeneous blend of Bramley apple pieces, sugar and water, with the option of Bramley apple purée, cornflour and lemon juice or other antioxidant.’
Adrian Barlow, chief executive of English Apples and Pears, said: "We are delighted that Bramley apples have been recognised by the EU and that they, like us, realise that the heritage of such an iconic British ingredient is worth celebrating and the traditional Bramley apple pie filling worth protecting."
The apple filling has also been praised by the restaurant trade. Celebrity chef and restaurateur Antony Worrall Thompson said: “The Bramley is rightly recognised as being the best apple for cooking. Indigenous to Britain, the apple’s unique qualities such as higher acid and lower sugar levels produce a strong apple flavour even when cooked and a superb texture once cooked.”
A farm product may be registered as TSG only if it is produced using traditional raw materials and prepared with traditional methods.
The commission outlined that any Bramley apple pie fillings made with a mix of apple varieties would not adhere to its definition of “Traditional Apple Pie Filling”.
The TSG is one of three European designations used to protect local foods, including Cornish pasties, Jersey royal potatoes and French Champagne.