Supermarket luxury mince pies – ranked – The Guardian, Google News

Which? panel blind-tests 11 premium mince pies – with surprising results

A  plate of mince pies

Pastry, mincemeat and overall ‘attractiveness’ were all aspects upon which stores ’pies were judged. Photograph: Magdalena Bujak / Alamy

This year’s best mince pies are from Marks & Spencer, according to baking experts at Which ?, with Iceland the much cheaper runner-up.

The panel blind-tested 11 supermarket premium mince pies to uncover the most delicious, as well as the blandest, wettest and least appetising.

The best buy went to M&S Collection Mince Pies, priced at £ 2. 50 for six. Which? experts said they had a “quintessentially Christmassy aroma”, praising the “golden, buttery pastry” and the “boozy, fruity mincemeat” and describing them as attractive-looking pies.

Steer clear of Spar, whose luxury pies were judged by Which? to be bland and under-baked, while the “overly sweet” filling was too wet and lacked spice.

Iceland, perhaps better-known for itsprawn rings and value-for-money frozen burgers, was the surprise runner-up. The tasters liked the star decoration, which partly exposed the “juicy” mincemeat underneath, but some experts said the filling lacked spice. Iceland Luxury Mince Pies sell for £ 1. 89 for a packet of six – 25% cheaper than the M&S equivalent.

The other budget option that scored well were Asda’s Extra Special All-Butter Luxury Mince Pies – at £ 1. 50 a box, one of the cheapest in the test – which impressed with its “moist, well-flavored” mincemeat, although the pastry was found to be pale and a little dry.

Waitrose’s pies were jointly the most expensive with M&S but were the biggest let down. Which? said its No 1 All-Butter Mince Pies (£ 2. 50 for six) looked appetising but the mincemeat disappointed, with one expert describing it as claggy.

But the supermarket scored better with itsOwn-Brand Champagne, which was named last week by Which? as its Christmas best buy, tasting better than established brands Piper-Heidsieck and Veuve Clicquot.

Taste test – winners and losers

1. M&S Collection Mince Pies £ 2. 50

2. Iceland Luxury Mince Pies £ 1. 89

3. (Asda) *********************************** (Extra Special All Butter Luxury Mince Pies £ 1.)

4.Waitrose1 All Butter Mince Pies £ 2. 50

5. (Aldi) *********************************** (Specially Selected Mince Pies £ 1.)

6. (Tesco) *********************************** (Finest Mince Pies £ 1.)

7. Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference All Butter Mince Pies £ 2

8.LidlDeluxe Luxury Mince Pies £ 1. 79

9. Co-op Irresistible Luxury Mince Pies £ 2

10.MorrisonsThe Best All Butter Deep Filled Mince Pies £ 2

11. Spar Luxury All Butter Mince Pies £ 2

Source:rankings according to the Which? mince pie expert panel: Patrick Moore,the Artisan Bakery, Rebecca Levell, Hobbs House Bakery, Aidan Chapman, Bread Ahead and James Adams chef and restaurant food consultant)

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