Here at Gandey World Class Productions we like to make the hard choices so you don't have to. Which is why that we, as an office, have decided to sacrifice our winter waistlines in order to taste and review as many mince pies as possible in the run up to Christmas!
That's right – you don't have to go to the trouble of opening those pesky boxes, prying the pies free of the fiddly foil cases and gorging yourselves on festive treats. We've done all of that for you. Multiple times! Which leaves you free to buy the best and have a tasty pastry at Christmas with minimal disappointment.
We have suffered through dry pies and sickly sweet fillings to find the zesty diamonds in the floury rough. So, without further ado, here are the results:
Mr Kipling Deep-Filled Mince Pies
Unfortunately for Mr Kipling, these pies were exceedingly poor in comparison to the others we tasted. Visually, they looked good with a nice amount of filling, but the pastry was heavy and the filling tasted cheap and too sweet.
2 out of 5
Chatwins Luxury Hand-Made Mince Pies
Chatwins is a lovely bakery that's local to Cheshire, so these may not be available near you. These were perhaps the most disappointing of the bunch because they showed so much promise. The pastry was nice, the filling delicious, but the ratio was just not right! Far too little mincemeat for our tastes.
2.5 out of 5
Morrisons 'The Best' All-Butter Mince Pies
I'm afraid Morrisons' entry were some way from being 'The Best'. The pastry was good - nice and buttery as promised - and there was a generous quantity of filling. But the mincemeat was the blandest yet. The over-abundance of icing sugar meant that sugar was all we could taste.
3 out of 5
Tesco Finest All-Butter Deep-filled Mince Pies with Cognac
The long-winded title of this Tesco pie cloys in your mouth about as much as the pie itself. Both pastry and filling were rather dry on this entry. This split the office slightly, with one colleague awarding it a rogue 5, but the rest of us were fairly decided on a more modest score.
3.5 out of 5
Co-op Irresistible All-Butter Luxury Mince Pies
These entered the arena well with a lovely aroma emanating from the box. All in all, it was a respectable pie from Co-op. Not bad pastry, nice mincemeat with a hint of booze - if anything they were just a bit too syrupy.
3.5 out of 5
Aldi Specially Selected Cognac Steeped Mince Pies
The title didn't lie - these really were steeped in cognac with the boozy taste striking you straight away. The mincemeat was very tasty on these, with a good pastry to match. Well done, Aldi!
4 out of 5
M&S Mince Pies
Now this is a mince pie! A buttery pastry that tastes almost like shortbread and melts in your mouth, and a delicious mincemeat filling. These M&S pies went down a storm in the office, earning a couple of 5s. Again, there was a slight split in the votes, with one rogue 3, but you can't please everyone!
4.5 out of 5
Heston from Waitrose Shortcrust Mince Pies with a Lemon Twist
Well we're not sure where to start with these... so let's get the important part out of the way first – these pies were disqualified. After a vote, we agreed that these were so far removed from a mince pie that they did not meat the requirements. They consisted of thick shortcrust pastry, a small amount of mincemeat, lemon curd and a crumble topping. Would be a nice fruit tart served with cream, but not a mince pie! Sorry, Waitrose!
0 out of 5 - Disqualified
We hope this has helped you decide which mince pies should grace your tables this Christmas!
Just to clarify, all opinions stated are entirely our own based solely on personal taste and preference. As can be seen in our split decisions - one person's perfect pie may be another's festive flop.
So why not go out and experiment for yourself! Let us know which is your favourite mince pie this year!