The great mince pie taste test!

The great mince pie taste test! FEMAIL tries out 16 supermarket pastries in search of the best festive treat for 2021 – and the ones you should leave on the shelf

  • Femail tasted 16 of the pastries on offer from Britain’s top supermarkets
  • Included luxury all-butter pies, to the quirky alternatives made from carrots
  • Read on to discover the winners and losers of our great mince pie taste test
  • Snow is falling, Michael Bublé is on the radio and turkeys are filling our fridgesthe countdown to Kersfees has begun, and nothing marks the starts of the festive season more than your first mince pie.

    But with so many options on the shelf, which mince pie should be top of your list and which are festive flops?

    From ultra luxury all-butter pies, to the quirky alternatives made from carrotsthere’s dozens of treats to get your head around.

    Hierdie jaar, Femail has tasted 16 of the pastries on offer from Britain’s most popular supermarkets in a taste testwith reporters describing the sweet treats as everything from ‘deliciously soft, with a crumblyto ‘run of the milland ‘unspectacular’.

    Read on to discover the winners and losers of our great mince pie taste test

    The best mince pies for 2021

    Morrisons Deep Filled Mince Pies

    £2 for a pack of six

    Calories per pie: 234

    Fat per pie: 7.8g

    Deliciously soft, with a crumbly base and a centre packed full of boozy fruity goodness, this mince pie is an absolute treat. I couldn’t fault it.

    From the manageable but not modest size to the pretty star decoration on top, I really thought this was a great festive treat.

    I particularly enjoyed the fillingit’s loaded with a good amount of fruit, with a fun boozey kick of an after taste. I’d highly recommend. – Harriet Johnston

    Gradering:

    FEMAIL's Harriet said the mince pies were loaded with a good amount of fruit and a fun boozy kick

    FEMAIL’s Harriet said the mince pies were loaded with a good amount of fruit and a fun boozy kick

    Sainsbury’s Winter Berry, Clementine & Gin Mince Pies (with a Clementine-Flavoured Crumble Topping) – £2.00 for six

    £2 for a pack of four

    Calories per pie: 199

    Fat per pie: 6.2g

    Hierdie is, in a strong field, the most Christmassy mince pies I’ve ever tried. You really can, as the box claims, ‘taste the difference’.

    As Frasier Crane, portrayed by Kelsey Grammer in the hit sitcom ‘Frasier’, puts it: ‘If less is more, think how much more more will be.

    These are more than your average yuletide treat. – Henry Martin

    Hierdie is, in a strong field, the most Christmassy mince pies I've ever tried. You really can, as the box claims, 'taste the difference' - Henry Martin

    Hierdie is, in a strong field, the most Christmassy mince pies I’ve ever tried. You really can, as the box claims, ‘taste the difference’ – Henry Martin

    Gradering:

    Co-op Irresistible All Butter Pastry 6 Luxury Mince Pies

    £2 for a pack of four

    Calories per pie: 215

    Fat per pie: 7.2g

    The luxury mince pie offering from Co-op are beautiful and sprinkle with icing sugar.

    They are as tasty as the traditional mince pies on offer, but make a worthy addition to any Christmas feast if you’re trying to impress your guests -Claire Toureille

    Gradering:

    The luxury mince pie offering from Co-op are beautiful and sprinkle with icing sugar - Claire Toureille

    The luxury mince pie offering from Co-op are beautiful and sprinkle with icing sugarClaire Toureille

    Co-op 6 Mince Pies, £1.00

    £1 for a pack of six

    Calories per pie: 207

    Fat per pie: 7g

    Always a winner, Co-op keep things simple with their traditional mince pies recipe.

    The filling is generous and the crust is not dry and does not crumble into pieces when you tuck into itClaire Toureille

    Gradering:

    The filling is generous and the crust is not dry and does not crumble into pieces when you tuck into it - Claire Toureille Rating:

    The filling is generous and the crust is not dry and does not crumble into pieces when you tuck into itClaire Toureille Rating:

    Sainsbury’s Mince Pies with All Butter Pastry, Taste the Difference

    £2 for a pack of six

    Calories per pie: 207

    Fat per pie: 7g

    I found the Mince Pie very satisfying, with a pleasant tangy and fruity flavour.

    There was a definite butter aftertaste from the pastry and the sweet aroma conjured up memories of Christmas pastDan Sales

    Gradering:

    There was a definite butter aftertaste from the pastry and the sweet aroma conjured up memories of Christmas past - Dan Sales

    There was a definite butter aftertaste from the pastry and the sweet aroma conjured up memories of Christmas pastDan Sales

    Morrisons Gingerbread Crumble Mince Pie, Gluten free£2.50 for four

    £2.50 for four

    Calories per pie: 200

    Fat: 7.1g

    The ginger crumble mince pie has a crunchy pastry exterior that gives way to delicate sweet cinnamon mincemeat topped with a snap of ginger crumbleso good you cannot tell it’s gluten free. – Lauren Lewis

    Gradering:

    The ginger crumble mince pie has a crunchy pastry exterior that gives way to delicate sweet cinnamon mincemeat topped with a snap of ginger crumble - so good you cannot tell it’s gluten free. - Lauren Lewis

    The ginger crumble mince pie has a crunchy pastry exterior that gives way to delicate sweet cinnamon mincemeat topped with a snap of ginger crumbleso good you cannot tell it’s gluten free. – Lauren Lewis

    M&S Food Collection 6 Mince Pies

    £2.50 for six

    Calories per pie: 214

    Fat per pie: 7.6g

    With a rich and buttery pastry and a tasty filling – amplified by a fair kick of Cognac – this year’s M&S collection mince pies, as expected, do not disappoint.

    And they look great in the classic M&S gold coloured packaging. But at £2.50 a box they aren’t cheap, and pound-for-pound there could be better options for less this Christmas. – James Robinson

    Gradering:

    With a rich and buttery pastry and a tasty filling – amplified by a fair kick of Cognac – this year’s M&S collection mince pies, as expected, do not disappoint - James Robinson

    With a rich and buttery pastry and a tasty filling – amplified by a fair kick of Cognac – this year’s M&S collection mince pies, as expected, do not disappointJames Robinson

    Co-op Free From Mince Pies

    £2.00 for four

    Calories per pie: 218

    Fat per pie: 8.5g

    Any good mince pie will be ranked on its pastry, given that this is the initial thing that hits you when taking your first bite, and in this case Coop certainly earns the ‘luxury’ tagging. The pastry hits a fine balance between being thick and crumbly.

    The generous dusting of icing sugar on top ensures that this is certainly on the sweeter scale of mince pies, as does the filling, which is balanced more towards the vine fruits within than the port and brandy. – Alexander Robertson

    Gradering:

    The generous dusting of icing sugar on top ensures that this is certainly on the sweeter scale of mince pies, as does the filling, which is balanced more towards the vine fruits within than the port and brandy. - Alexander Robertson

    The generous dusting of icing sugar on top ensures that this is certainly on the sweeter scale of mince pies, as does the filling, which is balanced more towards the vine fruits within than the port and brandy. – Alexander Robertson

    Iceland Mince Pies

    £1 for six

    Calories per pie: 200

    Fat per pie: 7.6g

    This was very tasty indeed. The pastry was light and the filling was both delicious and not too sweet. A lot of supermarket mince pies taste like what they are, which is mass-produced, but this one did not.

    The only criticism would be that it could be a bit bigger, but obviously I’m being picky. Algehele, would definitely recommend. – Harry Howard

    Gradering:

    This was very tasty indeed. The pastry was light and the filling was both delicious and not too sweet - Harry Howard

    This was very tasty indeed. The pastry was light and the filling was both delicious and not too sweetHarry Howard

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    and the mince pies that should be left on the shelf

    Sainsbury’s Gluten Free Mini Mince Pie

    £2.50 for nine

    Calories per pie: 121

    Fat per pie: 4.2g

    For vegans or those already following a gluten free diet, these bite-sized mince pies will be tasty winter treat.

    However traditional mince pie lovers looking for an alternative this Christmas should expect a slightly drier and flakier pastry.

    Though when it comes to the filling you’ll be hard pressed to taste the difference. -James Robisnon

    Gradering:

    Traditional mince pie lovers looking for an alternative this Christmas should expect a slightly drier and flakier pastry

    Traditional mince pie lovers looking for an alternative this Christmas should expect a slightly drier and flakier pastry

    Tesco Mince Pie

    87p for six

    Calories per pie: 209

    Fat per pie: 7.3g

    Tesco’s own mince pies seemed small, and the pastry was slightly on the thick side. It had a consistency and texture which was closer to shortbread, crumbling off as you take a bite.

    Egter, the mincemeat inside was tasty and plentiful with a good balance of spice and fruitiness.

    If you’re looking to fill out your Christmas spread this year, you can’t go wrong for the priceKatie Feehan

    Gradering:

    If you're looking to fill out your Christmas spread this year, you can't go wrong for the price - Katie Feehan Rating:

    If you’re looking to fill out your Christmas spread this year, you can’t go wrong for the priceKatie Feehan Rating:

    Morrisons’ Free From Mince Pies

    £2 for four

    Calories per pie: 211

    Fat per pie: 7.2g

    The pastry around the mince pie was surprisingly crunchy, similar in texture to shortbread.

    The filling was very sweet, but it was bland and lacked spiceI would give it two stars.

    The mince pie gets a three out of five overall, with its rating slightly bumped up by the intriguing brittleness of the pastry.

    This is perhaps down to it being gluten free, not a diet I subscribe to. – Ross Ibbeston

    Gradering:

    The mince pie gets a three out of five overall, with its rating slightly bumped up by the intriguing brittleness of the pastry - Ross Ibbeston

    The mince pie gets a three out of five overall, with its rating slightly bumped up by the intriguing brittleness of the pastryRoss Ibbeston

    ASDA Extra Special Extra Indulgent Orange Zest Mince Pies

    £1.95 for four

    Calories: 324 per pie

    Fat: 12g per pie

    With the promise of both brandy and port flavours, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a boozy treat, however it never quite lives up to its potential.

    It’s the smallest of hints of flavour at best, but doesn’t do enough to separate itself from the run-of-the-mill mince pie.

    One saving grace is that it may offer just enough of a different note to prevent it from being too sweet.

    The pastry is solid, if unspectacular, not so crumbly that it will fall apart in your hands, but nothing to write home about.

    3/5 – but it should’ve been higherMatthew Sivyer

    Gradering:

    The pastry is solid, if unspectacular, not so crumbly that it will fall apart in your hands, but nothing to write home about - Matthew Sivyer

    The pastry is solid, if unspectacular, not so crumbly that it will fall apart in your hands, but nothing to write home aboutMatthew Sivyer

    ASDA Extra Special Luxury Mince Pies

    £1.75 for six

    Calories: 244

    Fat: 8.6g per pie

    After being intrigued by the crumble topping I was instantly disappointed by the size of the mince pie.

    I did demolished the festive sweet treat in a matter of seconds, the pastry was silky and buttery but the filling was quite dry, I was impressed by the boozy flavour. I have definitely tasted better supermarket mince pies. – Gabriella Cassandro

    Gradering:

    After being intrigued by the crumble topping I was instantly disappointed by the size of the mince pie - Gabriella Cassandro

    After being intrigued by the crumble topping I was instantly disappointed by the size of the mince pieGabriella Cassandro

    Heston Waitrose 6 Night Before Christmas Mince Pies

    £3 for six

    Calories: 220

    Fat: 8g per pie

    Not convinced by Heston’s effort here. My first reaction was that they were overcooked, and the pastry somewhat on the dry side.

    The sherry gave the filling a nice kick, but it was hard to see what the carrot added. Nothing particularly offensive, but still one I’ll be leaving for Rudolf. – Rory Tingle

    Gradering:

    Not convinced by Heston’s effort here. My first reaction was that they were overcooked, and the pastry somewhat on the dry side - Rory Tingle

    Not convinced by Heston’s effort here. My first reaction was that they were overcooked, and the pastry somewhat on the dry sideRory Tingle

    Greggs Sweet Mince Pie

    59p for one

    Calories: 281kcal

    Fat: 11g per pie

    The Greggs pie had a nice homemade taste but were not as deep as some others available.

    Inside the filling had a nice fruity flavour , but the pastry was perhaps a little dryDan Sales

    Gradering:

    The Greggs pie had a nice homemade taste but were not as deep as some others available.

    The Greggs pie had a nice homemade taste but were not as deep as some others available.

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