As with Christmas cakes, mince pies are a traditional part of Christmas and ideal to serve up, warmed with a dollop of cream when you have impromptu guests. The trouble is that the quality varies greatly and whereas some mince pies could easily be passed off as homemade, others have that artificial twang that’s not worth the money.
We have spent the afternoon taste-testing a range of them and have gathered up ten of the best:
Co-op Deep Filled Mince Pies – £1 for 6
Need a packet just in case grandma wants a mince pie whereas none of your family really likes them? This is perfect for keeping in the cupboard and getting out for unexpected guests. With thick pastry and a deep filling of fruit, these had a real alcoholic kick.
Lidl Deluxe Mince Pies – £1.79 for 6
These are perfect for those who like a few nuts in with their mincemeat as it includes almonds and walnuts along with juicy fruit and a dash of cognac.
Iceland Six Luxury Mince Pies – £1.89 for 6
Gorgeous sweet, crumbly pastry packed with moist vine fruits which have been steeped in brandy and have a lovely spiced taste. We liked the star pastry topping which made them look homemade.
Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From Mince Pies – £2 for 4
Our taste-testing panel had heard good things about these so we added them to try and were pleasantly surprised. Okay they don’t look much cop but with pastry as good as some of our other mince pies, these certainly held their own and were packed with juicy fruit with lots of lovely Christmas spices.
Morrisons The Best Mince Pies – £2 for 6
Lovely buttery sweet pastry that holds plump, juicy vine fruits which have a delicious spice and citrus tang to them.
Tesco Finest Six Mince Pies – £2 for 6
These smell as good as they taste and we found that by popping in the oven for a few minutes really brings out the flavour of the spiced mincemeat and firms up the buttery pastry.
Heston from Waitrose Spiced Shortcrust Mince Pies – £3 for 4
We love Heston on Shoppersbase, I mean, who could forget his triumph of the Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns? This time he has turned his attention to Christmas and these are just as quirky and delicious, based on Sussex Pond pudding. They have a lovely spiced pastry with succulent fruit, a layer of lemon curd and a crumble topping. My favourite.
Lottie Shaw’s Seriously Good Mince Pies – £3.20 for 4
Just pop these in the oven to warm through, then dust with a little icing sugar and say you baked them yourself. These were another of my favourites as they were shallow and concentrated on the pastry which was sweet and buttery with a little mincemeat that was spiced with a little alcohol.
Selfridges Selection Assorted Mini Flavoured Mince Pies – £7.99 for 12
If you find a mince pie boring then prepared to be wowed with this selection box that contains amazing flavours such as orange & cranberry and lemon & ginger. Lovely little bite-sized morsels so you can eat several in one sitting!
Fortnum & Mason Manjari Chocolate Sour Cherry Mince Pies – £8.95 for 4
If vine fruits and mincemeat don’t float your boat then you might want to splash out on these beauties from Fortnum & Mason. They are like a Black Forest Gateau mince pie, as the pastry is made using cocoa and bitter chocolate and inside you get sour cherries with kirsch liqueur. Great alternative.