The 10 Best Mince pies

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1. Highgrove

£9.95 for 12,

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,

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,

Tiny maybe, but bursting with flavour. The sugar dusting gives good crunch plus, at just 100 calories each, you can eat three.

4. Bettys

£9 for 12,

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,

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.

6. Villandry

£4.50 for 8,

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,

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.

8. Daylesford

£6.49 for 6,

We were split down the middle on these, which is pretty much exactly what happened to the pastry when we tried to eat them.

9. Bertinet

£14 for 12,

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,

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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