Deep Fill vs Shallow Mince Pies: Which Is Better?
When it comes to the quintessential Christmas treat, the mince pie, there’s a divide as wide and as deep as the fillings in question: should one go for a deep fill or a shallow mince pie? It’s a debate that stirs as much passion as the age-old ‘cream first or jam first on a scone’ argument.
The Case for Deep Fill Mince Pies
First, let’s talk about the deep fill mince pies. These are for the mince pie purists, the traditionalists who argue that Christmas is about indulgence, and what better way to indulge than with a pie generously filled with rich, spiced mincemeat? There’s something undeniably satisfying about sinking your teeth into a deep fill mince pie, feeling the crust give way to an abundance of filling that is bursting with flavors of raisins, sultanas, currants, a dash of brandy, and a blend of festive spices.
A deep fill mince pie is like a hearty hug in cold weather, its substantial filling warming the soul. The ratio of pastry to filling leans heavily towards the latter, providing a luscious, dense bite that is the epitome of holiday comfort food.
The Shallow Contender
On the other end of the spectrum are the shallow mince pies. The modern, perhaps more sophisticated cousin of the deep fill. Shallow mince pies speak to those who prefer a balance, a harmonious blend of crust and filling where neither overpowers the other. The shallower filling allows for a more even distribution of flavors and textures. The subtlety of the mincemeat is complemented, not overwhelmed, by the buttery, flaky pastry.
A shallow pie is perfect for those who find the deep fill a tad too intense or heavy. It’s a refined choice, a nod to modern baking trends where less is often more, and quality trumps quantity.
Texture and Taste
The texture of a mince pie is as important as its flavour. Deep fill pies often boast a moist, juicy filling, wrapped in a sturdy, often slightly thicker, crust to hold the weight of the mincemeat. In contrast, shallow pies typically have a more delicate, crispier crust, offering a lighter bite.
Taste-wise, deep fills are robust, each mouthful a burst of Christmassy spices and fruity tangs. Shallow pies, with their more measured filling, offer a subtler taste experience, where the spiciness and sweetness are more nuanced.
Pairing with Accompaniments
How you like to enjoy your mince pie might also dictate your preference. Deep fill pies, with their rich and heavy filling, stand up well to being heated and paired with a dollop of brandy butter, clotted cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The heat melts the filling slightly, intensifying the flavors and creating a sumptuous dessert experience.
Shallow pies, with their lighter profile, are perhaps best enjoyed as they are, allowing the delicate balance of pastry and filling to shine. They are the perfect accompaniment to a mid-afternoon cup of tea or as a light dessert after a heavy Christmas meal.
So, which is better? It’s a tough call and, in the end, comes down to personal preference. Are you a lover of bold flavors and hearty textures? Then the deep fill mince pie is your go-to. If you prefer subtlety and balance, the shallow mince pie will be more to your liking.
But why choose? The beauty of the festive season is in the variety and abundance it offers. Perhaps the best approach is to have both! Start with a shallow pie as an appetiser and finish with a deep fill for dessert. After all, Christmas is about celebrating, and what better way to celebrate than with an array of delicious mince pies?
So which is actually better?
Each style has its appeal – deep fill has more filling (kinda obvious) and the shallow fill has more pastry. This Christmas, why not conduct a taste test of your own? Gather a selection of both deep and shallow mince pies from various bakeries and supermarkets. Rate them on flavour, texture, and overall satisfaction.
And remember, the best mince pie is the one you enjoy the most…that is unless it scores less than a 5, then it’s maybe not worth it.