Taste test: the best mince pies for Christmas
We blind-tasted 25 different mince pies to find this year’s very best; from upmarket bakes to supermarket stalwarts. Tasters didn’t know the price or producer, nor did they see any packaging. As you can imagine, the results were rather interesting…
Discover our favourite mince pie of the year – you might be surprised – plus, a couple more strong contenders.
AND THE WINNER IS…
The high street bakery beat the competition by a country mile with its chunky, icing sugar-dusted pies that look and taste homemade. The shortcrust pastry tastes like grandma used to make, and it encases juicy mincemeat with a citrus tang. Brilliant value.
Konditor Mince Pies, £10 for six
Petite, glossy golden pies are deliciously buttery with excellent pastry – would make a pleasing gift in their ribbon-tied box. Available UK-wide via mail order.
Forman’s Mince Pies, £19.95 for 12
Flattish, fist-size pies with enticing shortbread-like pastry, filled to the brim with citrussy mincemeat. Available UK-wide via mail order.
Pretty, star-topped pies with lots of filling, which have a good sweet-sharp balance. Some tasters found the pastry a little on the tough side.
Marks and Spencer Collection Mince Pies, £2.50 for six
Crumbly, shortbread-like pastry, attractively dusted in icing sugar. The mincemeat comes with a lovely zesty flavour, but is perhaps on the dry side – warm through in an oven to enjoy at their best.
FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT…
Cartwright & Butler Cranberry & Orange Mini Mince Pies, £7.50 for six
Bite-size pies in a cute presentation tin, ideal for gifting. Intensely citrussy, with lots of dried peel and a touch of bitterness. Almonds add crunch.
Baking Agent Mini Mince Pies, £3.79 for 12, Ocado
Glaze with egg and bake from frozen at home for a great sweet festive canapé. The golden flaky pastry is a welcome change, while the interior is nicely spiced and saucy.
How we taste tested
Our panel are taste experts. We conduct our tests without packaging, so our tasters don’t know who produced each product or how much it costs. And to prevent one tester influencing another, the panel aren’t allowed to confer during the tests, so the results here are unbiased.