To some a puff pastry mince pie is heresy. Certainly in my opinion you can get a very poor puff pastry mince pie. This is not one of those.
Maybe in my last post I portioned the mince pie market a little hastily – I think there’s three types. The workhorse, the very special and now the trick pie (I’d add icing topped pies alongside the puff pastry variety).
The puff pastry in this ‘pie’ is really great, silky yet with enough crunch to be a true puff pastry. A good shake of chunky sugar crystals on top and a really lovely mincemeat hidden inside. There’s enough mincemeat to make sure this isn’t too dry (as happened with the previously Review puff pastry pie) and not too much that it turns soggy.
If you want a ‘trick’ pie – something different but still really tasty, this is a good shout.
“How!?”, I hear you cry. “How can the standard Tesco pie score the same as the Finest?” You’re angry, it’s understandable. Calm down and read on mince pie lover…
I don’t take this ‘job’ lightly, nor do I ignore the costs or hierarchy that have become so entrenched in the UK mince pie market (surely the world’s most mature?) A ‘Finest’ or ‘Extra Special’ pie is judged more harshly than a standard pie. Simple. I expect more from them.
Back to the task at hand. This is a great little mince pie. Very slightly smaller than its Finest cousin, but the taste from the pastry is great. A definite buttery after taste. Probably not enough sugar on top and the star isn’t as fancy as the design on the Finest range. But that’s nit picking.
The mincemeat is almost indistinguishable from the Finest mince pie – which makes me wonder if only the pastry and size differ here?
The whole pie tastes great and I can see many families sitting round the TV demolishing multiple packs post Turkey et al. Nice work Tesco – a pie for the people in my book.
The last few times out Tesco’s ‘Finest’ range mince pies have been top notch. The class of 2017 is a cracker too…
A nice design on top giving you a lovely Christmas feeling before you’ve even sunk your teeth currant-deep into the pie. The sugar sprinkle on top is text book – as if they’ve been reading the past reviews!
The only small negative is the bottom of the mince pie – the crust has become a little soggy and there’s a real risk of ‘mincemeat loss’ if it collapses. That would be a real shame as the mincemeat is great – really fruity and full, with a hint of the Courvoisier Brand Cognac too.
This mince pie just shows how important it is for all the elements to be perfect in their own way – a ‘perfect’ mincemeat on its own is too ‘juicy’ for the perfect pastry. So you either need a slightly thicker or drier pastry, or a slightly less juicy mincemeat. #mincepieproblems
A mighty effort from Tesco – but, can it beat their standard pie? That’s up next so keep your eyes peeled…
Being wider and shallower than the traditional mince pie gives no particular advantage to the Co-op Shortcrust offering. While eating it I did think it felt a little ‘mean’ but then you realise it’s wider so it balances out. Not sure why they’ve gone for this form factor.
Onto flavour, and overall it’s very nice indeed. There’s quite a bit of sugar on top and the shortcrust pastry is sweet anyway, but there’s significant tang from the mincemeat filling and that’s enough to balance it out.
The filling is moist but not overly so – it goes well with the slightly drier crumb of the shortcrust too actually.
I can see this being one of my favourites this year – and it’s only my second one. Nice work Co-op 👍🏻
Tasting Notes: This is a really nice mince pie. The mincemeat has a good flavour and a smooth texture, it’s on the more moist side. Nice bit of sugar on top and good sweet pastry. No more needed. Buy it – cracker!