Best Christmas mince pies 2022: How supermarkets rank
NationalWorld weighed in on minced patties to find out which retailer has perfected their minced meat and pastry mix
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With December upon us, the Christmas fever of 2022 has well and truly arrived.
Food and drink are especially important components of the upcoming bank holiday, and with the cost of living high on the agenda, retailers are starting to offer Christmas dinner deals. NationalWorld has also produced its own feed of the cheapest turkey and trimmings on the market.
But there are some Christmas gifts that people are unlikely to skimp on – one of which is mince pie. Every year the UK’s largest retailers market several ranges, from the basic to the premium and everything else in between.
So, NationalWorld decided to find out which supermarket served the best premium-grade mince pie this year. This is what we found.
How did NationalWorld choose its favorite mince pies?
NationalWorld’s rigorous judging process saw your author crunch his way through 16 mince pies in just two days. By getting two of each product, i felt really able to pass judgment on the quality of the sweet treat.
I also decided I didn’t want to eat another mince pie for at least 12 months – a decision that lasted less than 24 hours.
In recent years, the minced pie market has been flooded with changes in theme. Call me the Grinch but I just want the classic straight fudge, not the chocolate covered and crunchy fudge you tend to find at retailers these days (I’m looking at you Waitrose, with Heston Cheese Pastry Lab Experiment).
What I wanted to find was the best of the best, a premium mince pie. The classic crème de la creme that nailed the brief. The criteria NationalWorld searched for included:
- Butter pastries
- Sweet (but not too sweet) minced meat and minced meat
- Slight firmness on pastry and texture of ground beef
- Packaging that screams “Eat Me!”
The sponsored letter reads: “A rich, crumbly, perfectly buttery pastry filled with a delicious blend of grapefruit and cherry icing. Loaded withrench brandy and ruby, with a tangy touch of lemon zest, tangerine oil and festive spices.inished with a light sprinkle of sugar.”
- Great minced meat full of flavour. You can taste the orange.
- Generous filling and good mouth feel.
- Decadent, buttery pastry that isn’t too crumbly. Decadent, buttery pastry that’s not too crumbly.
- It lacks a lively note – It’s Christmas, Give Us More Brandy.
- The packaging is a little busy for me.
Blurb: “Filled with brandy infused mince. All buttery mince pies melt in the mouth with a festive blend of delicious fruit, aromatic rind and warm spice, filled with a generous sip of brandy. Perfectly baked in a family-owned bakery with four generations of baking experience.” And that’s why you can taste the difference.”
- A delicious package that doesn’t get crowded for Christmas.
- Pastries are well made and have a good level of butter which works well with the minced meat.
- The ground beef has a good texture and tastes grown – there’s just a little booze that tells you December has arrived.
- It’s a little too much mince for my liking.
The publicity letter reads: “With grapefruit, Valencia orange oil, spices, rich ruby port and cognac, in a shortcrust pastry. An all-butter pastry made with a drizzle of cognac.”
- The pastry has a good texture, albeit without the heft of butter.
- The packaging stays on the right side of taste and even has a bit of a sparkle to it.
- The general taste is very nice.
- The minced meat leaned heavily on the orange oil, and I didn’t feel dizzy.
Blurb: “Infused with brandy, dry cider, and ruby port for a deep, rich flavour.”
- I really liked the texture of the pastry, although the butteriness doesn’t come out as crunchy as I would have liked.
- Inside this mince pie, a healthy ground beef recipe is waiting for you.
- You can taste the apple juice, but the other flavors are missing in action.
- All the basics covered, but that means premium class – all stops need to be pulled out.
I had to go the small batch because regular sized mince patties weren’t available at my local store. I assumed that – no matter how big they were – mince pies are about the same
Blurb: “Filled with sumptuous mince rich in brandy and fruit. The best mini mince pies are part of our signature Christmas collection.”
- Low calorie count (127kcal), even when doubled to regular size.
- The pancakes weren’t plump to the rafters with the minced meat – the three I had were half full at best.
- Only a very small hint of flavor and zero luxury in the ground beef.
- The pastry was almost sandy in texture and not at all buttery – a real shame.
- If you put “best” on your packaging, the product better live up to the title – this one doesn’t.
The blurb reads: “Crumble, all butter shortcrust pastry boxes, generously deep filled with lightly spiced ground beef with brandy and finished with a sweet dusting.”
- The snowflakes on top are beautiful.
- Anemia in almost every department.
- Maybe the pastry didn’t exist either. It was way too crumbly and disjointed in my hands, making a huge mess.
- Little flavor in the minced meat.
“A rich and buttery puri pastry, stuffed with rich minced meat made with apricots, amarena cherries and almonds, and garnished with cognac,” reads the publicity letter.
- Waitrose hits all the verbal cues with a blurb. rench pastry phrases? put a mark. Luxurious sounding ingredients? put a mark. Is it “decorated” with wine? put a mark.
- The simple gold packaging is also a win – it looks delicious.
- You get a lot of booze – almost too much at some points during a mouthful. But it gives ground beef a smooth texture and depth of flavor that develops as you eat.
- A rich filling of minced meat on the right side of the minced meat.
- It weighs in at 275kcal a pop – it’s Christmas but it might do the trick if you care about such things.
- The pastry is a bit on the sandy side, though the texture provided by a dusting of sugar on top does keep things somewhat crunchy.
- Pastries can go even further with butter.
- The package sells slightly mince pies, which – while good – aren’t exactly stellar (especially for £3.50).
Blurb: “Melt-in-the-mouth butter shortcrust pastry filled with grapefruit, cranberries, clementines, and cognac. Delicious served hot.”
- The packaging is a work of art.
- The pancakes are really buttery and really well delivered, almost savory at times in a way that provides you with an almost complete sensory experience.
- The minced meat is full of flavour. It’s a little on the sweet side but also makes a good dose of apple juice – you can also get orange and cherry.
- The texture of the meat pie is luxurious. It also warms the throat.
- Lots of minced meat filling.
- Only very minor criticism, however the bowl could have been asked for slightly.