The 10 Best Mince pies
Samuel Muston is deputy editor & food editor of The Independent Magazine. He writes a weekly food column – On the Menu – which appears in The Independent on Friday and i on Monday. And also travel and general features. Follow him on Instagram at @smuston
Friday 02 December 2011
£9.95 for 12, fortnumandmason.com
Fit for a king (in waiting), with plump raisins that have more than a whiff of brandy to them. But the pastry could be firmer.
2. Asda Extra Special All-butter
£2 for 6, asda.com
For the price, hard to beat. The pastry and granulated sugar on top give a nice crunch and the mincemeat has a light fruitiness.
3. M&S Mini
£2.99 for 9, marksandspencer.com
Tiny maybe, but bursting with flavour. The sugar dusting gives good crunch plus, at just 100 calories each, you can eat three.
£9 for 12, bettys.co.uk
The voluminous mincemeat has a citrussy tang to it and the shortcrust pastry is delightfully crisp. The Yorkshire tearoom and bakery's offering scored top marks with our testers.
5. Aldi Specially Selected
£0.99 for 6, aldi.co.uk
Went down well. Pastry was just so, the filling rich and fruity. The gap between the lid and the filling was seen as a failing, but you could fill it with brandy butter.
£4.50 for 8, villandry.com
The London deli and restaurant has turned its back on big, claggy mince pies, opting for bite-sized ones with some of the tastiest, butter-rich pastry we have tasted.
7. Harvey Nichols
£5.95 for 8, harveynichols.com
Titchy, but perfectly formed, with a pastry that is crunchy and rich and boozy-tasting mincemeat. They also have the coolest packaging of any we tried.
£6.49 for 6, daylesfordorganic.com
We were split down the middle on these, which is pretty much exactly what happened to the pastry when we tried to eat them.
£14 for 12, thebertinetkitchen.com
If you don't like almonds, give these nutty, rich pies a miss. One problem, apart from the cost, is the pastry – it's a little heavy.
10. Sharpham Park
£6.60 for 6, sharphampark.com
Made from that most unloved of wheats: spelt. So far, so unpromising. But, actually, the pastry provides the perfect counterpoint to the sugary mincemeat.
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