Match of the minces

Match of the mincesTo ring in the festive season, my workmates and I have decided to dedicate ten minutes each Friday afternoon to the demanding task of analysing and scrutinising the most Christmassy of delicacies – the mighty mince pie. Throughout this selfless mission we’ll be judging the treats based on their pastry, filling and appearance, and then assigning each a definitive mark out of 10 which will rank it against its rivals.

Overwhelmed by the incredible variety available, we’ve decided to stick to the classic or standard range of pies available from leading London supermarkets – that said, if you have a favourite we need to include, let us know and we’ll tell you how it stacks up.

1st place: Sainsbury’s deep mince pies – 7.5/10

Sainsbury mince pie and boxThese mince pies are a very solid choice with plenty of tasty filling, festive decoration and passable pastry.

Pastry – 6/10
We weren’t blown away by the pastry: it wasn’t terrible, just a bit uh exciting and there was rather a lot of it. This was probably the low-light of the pie.

Filling – 8/10
Surprisingly tasty, and a generous amount of it to boot.

Appearance – 8/10
Relatively simple, but definitely tempting enough for a Christmas party spread.

2nd place: Waitrose shortcrust mince pies – 7/10

Waitrose box and pieWe enjoyed these pies and thought the pastry was scrumptious, however, they simply didn’t have enough mince meat and left us a bit unsatisfied as a result.

Pastry – 8/10
The pastry was lovely – nice and buttery and almost like shortbread!

Filling – 6/10
If we’d been judging on flavour alone, this filling could have scored a seven, but sadly there just wasn’t enough.

Appearance – 7/10
Quite simple, but there’s no mistaking it’s a mince pie.

3rd place: Marks & Spencer all butter mince pies – 6.5/10

MS Pie and Box - mediumGenerally speaking, these mince pies were pretty consistent all round, but they just didn’t wow us.

Pastry – 6.5/10
The pastry was nice and thin, however it was a bit dense and not as light and buttery as we would have liked.

Filling – 7/10
The flavour of the filling was fine, and there was an alright amount, but it just didn’t blow us away.

Appearance – 6/10
These were probably the least impressive pies in terms of appearance and weren’t really very Christmassy. We’ll admit that taste is the most important factor but feel like they could have made a bit more of an effort…

Tied for 4th place: Tesco and Lidl – 6/10

Tesco box and pie - mediumTesco Christmas mince pies
These pies looked great, but were just a bit disappointing in general.

Pastry – 6/10
The pastry was just a bit average and bland. It was passable but didn’t bring much to the party.

Filling – 5.5/10
This was one of the few pies that actually had enough filling in it, however, the flavour was probably our least favourite of the five.

Appearance – 8/10
These looked lovely with the star and had a nice golden brown colour. They were a touch small, but very appealing nonetheless.

Lidl - box and pie - mediumLidl Snowy Lodge luxury mince pies

We actually chose the luxury mince pies from Lidl rather than the basic or classic ones, and while they looked wonderful, they didn’t live up to expectations.

Pastry – 5.5/10
The pastry was disappointing, and not as buttery or flavourful as we would have liked.

Filling – 6.5/10
The filling was fine – it didn’t blow us away, but it was definitely passable.

Appearance – 8.5/10
As with the Tesco pies, these looked incredible, but sadly they didn’t have the taste to back them up.