Review: There must only be a few places in the UK that supply nationwide food retailers with mince pies – and I wonder if Aldi and Tesco have switched suppliers this year? This cognac laced, deep filled finest mince pie is really good – let down only slightly by pastry that could be a tiny bit crumblier – a touch on the soft side. Last year Aldi’s specially selected pie was one of the top picks – and Tesco have managed to leapfrog them with a very solid 8.5/10 for this pie. You can definitely get a nice hit of the VS cognac and the mincemeat tastes expensive too. It looks nice and festive and I’m sure guests would be suitably impressed if you served these up over the Christmas period. I expect these to be the pick of the Tesco pies this year.
Review: Tesco have a large range of pies out for 2018 and this lattice topped number caught my eye the other day. As you can see from the picture, the lattice top isn’t as structurally sound as a normal top – so it does crumble a bit more than you’d expect. However the pastry is tasty and not too claggy with a hint of sweetness. The mincemeat is probably not as firm as I’d like which makes the whole thing a little bit tricky to eat. Having said that the flavours from the mincemeat are all good – sultanas, currants and raisins in numbers too. This is a very enjoyable mince pie – but the overall structure and the mincemeat let it down a little. All in all it’s worth the money and will go down well at Christmas I’m sure!
Review: Aldi did quite well in 2017 with a range of good standard mince pies and fancy numbers too. Their mini pies were a big hit too.
Disappointingly something’s gone wrong this year. Their posh standard pie with courvoisier VS cognac isn’t a patch on last year. Overall the taste is far from unpleasant but there’s just too much soft pastry. In fact of the few I sampled, both had soggy bottoms. The pastry almost collapses as you handle it. You can get a hint of the cognac, but the mincemeat is a bit on the dry side which doesn’t help matters. Certainly wouldn’t be a disaster if you served these up on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, but you can get a nicer box (this year’s isn’t particularly good) and a nice pie for a similar price.
Review: I didn’t know this existed – but seeing as how much people know I like mince pies, a colleague brought this by my desk for me to try (I encourage this by the way!). I’ve had Joe&Sephs popcorn before and so it’s more the flavours that I’m reviewing here. The packet says “Popcorn with Caramel, Brandy, Fruit and Almonds” and so it’s not quite a mince pie taste or smell, but it’s certainly festive. The popcorn is quite dark so it has a ‘burnt’ look to it – but pop some in your mouth and it’s really nice. The caramel and fruit come through and you do get a hint of the brandy – so safe for kids too. Seems like the sort of thing you could pop in a bowl at a Christmas gathering and it would get a fair bit of interest – a conversation starter maybe. You can pick some up here if you want to try it > Joe&Sephs Gourmet Mince Pie Popcorn
Review: Another decent ‘standard’ mince pie from Co-op. It’s the luxury range so I’m judging this expecting good things. However the pastry lets this pie down in my books – it’s very soft, no crumble to it at all and verging on a soggy bottom. Having said that the taste is very good and the fill is great. The mincemeat is very different to the Brandy Buttercream mince pie (also from Co-op) which is a good thing – it’s a nice mix and the texture is lovely. The icing sugar on top plus the soft pastry means the overall feel from eating this isn’t amazing. Not a disaster but there’s got to be better to come this year.
Review: An enticing looking mince pie, with a nice brandy buttercream topping – this Co-op ‘fancy pie’ is actually decent. The mincemeat filling it a little on the drier, coarser side but not at all unpleasant. In fact it maybe feels a little more upmarket as a result – you can feel the bits of fruit and nut, all very tasty. The brandy buttercream that draws you in is nice as well – a definite hint of brandy but not too much. Last year the pastry on a few of the Co-op mince pies let them down but this one is very good – the crumble you want and a little bit of sweetness too. However, the added buttercream does make the whole thing a little sweet but I think 7.5/10 is a fair score. Within the ‘fancy pie’ range I think this could be one of the top scorers this year – they do sometimes look better than they taste!
Ladies and gentlemen, after weeks of looking, I’ve found a 10. And in the most unlikely place imaginable – amongst the terrible selection Co-op have managed to put out to date.
The pastry is a perfect mixture of crumbly, soft, sweet and firm. I’m not sure how they’ve done it, but they have.
The mincemeat is the best too – lovely full fruit, juicy and brandy-soaked (just the right amount of brandy) and the perfect amount to.
The top is sugary but crucially not too sweet. Again, not sure how they’ve done that.
This is a tall pie – it does say deep filled but lots of them say that and they disappoint. It’s 1 1/2 inches tall and flat on top – a real big eat. Only comes in a pack of two though – and I can’t work out why?! Maybe on some stores they sell them in 4? I’ll have to tweet Co-op and find out…watch this space.
Oh dear Co-op. Such fancy packaging, such a lovely name. Yet such a poor mince pie.
Nothing much to shout about here I’m afraid folks. Pastry is just ‘claggy’ – stuck in my teeth for a minute or so after I’d finished the damn thing. Mincemeat tastes of nothing. I’ve got so many better things to do than eat a bad mince pie then write a few hundred words about it. So I’m done. Avoid. You can do better, for less.
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.