Tag Archives: Mince Pies

Mince Pies Review 2014 – Waitrose Shortcrust Mince Pies

Waitrose’s standard shortcrust pastry mince pies make no grand claims, on the box or otherwise. These are simply the supermarket’s bog standard, but not budget, mince pies.

We’re talking about a relatively cheap mince pie here so the packaging has no frills – there’s no window here – but it’s finished in a nice classy green and white wintry scene.

Opening the box up and the pies look okay. There’s nothing fancy here but they’re smart enough. They have the popular domed top, rather than the flat version I tend to prefer but really they look like any other cheapish mince pie.

Sadly, that description can be applied to the eating experience too. In fact, these are actually a little worse than average.

That domed top serves no purpose, just adding extra air space between the filling and the top pastry and making for more of a mouthful. What’s more the pastry is crumbly with a lack of integrity and strength and it’s tasteless. There’s no particular pleasure inherent therein.

It’s a similar story with the filling. These pies clearly aren’t meant to be served warmed up as the filling is quite liquid straight out the box, unpleasantly so. The combination of the crumbly pastry and the sloppy filling makes for quite a messy pie.

The flavour of the filling is okay, with bits of fruit clearly present but the overall texture is more of a thickened paste akin to a cheap chicken pasty filling.

To be clear, they’re not the absolute worst by any stretch but they really are only average or just below.

Price: £1.70 for four

Score: 4/10

Mince Pies Review 2014 – Duchy Originals from Waitrose

Among the most expensive mince pies available from the main supermarkets, the Duchy Originals from Waitrose cite the use of all-butter pastry and the addition of cranberries as their main selling points.

As ever the package has a classy look to it, suggesting a quality product, though the little window in the front reveals a fairly lacklustre looking pie. They’re flat-topped and not obviously finished with an fancy extras.

Taking the pies out of their wrapper, though, reveals the rather thick looking pastry top has a light sprinkling of granulated sugar.

The blurb on the front of the pack suggests serving these warmed through and with a dollop of cream – generally the best way to serve any mince pie, though some target a good eat when served straight out the box – but I chose to try these straight out the box.

First impressions weren’t great. The pastry is quite thick and the depth of the pie makes them quite a mouthful, to the point where the first mouthful was almost all pastry. However, a couple of chews and the pie comes to the life.

The pastry may be thick but it’s tasty, with a welcome sweetness to it and the rich, tastiness that butter always brings. The filling is plentiful and, while thick and almost dry – as any good mincemeat should be when cold, it’s nice and evenly flavoured; there’s a hint of spice, plenty of sweetness and lots of fruit.

There could be a bit more of it and I’d prefer a little more spice, plus there’s no booziness here and some may find them just a little too sweet.

Warmed through and eaten as suggested with a bit of cream they do even better, with the filling lightening up and the pastry softening too.

Are they worth £4 for a box of six? Not quite. Although pretty good they don’t quite wow enough when even Heston Blumenthals signature pies are only £3.50.

Price: £4 for six

Score: 7/10