This week, we salute the humble mince pie. They’re as much a part of a British Christmas as Buck’s Fizz, crackers and pigs in blankets. Here, the City A.M. team gives their verdict on the best luxury pies in the run up to the big day
Konditor & Cook Mince Pie Dozen 7.8/10
With the golden glaze and thick texture of a savoury pie, these were packed full of sharp, citrusy mince meat wrapped in a rich, moist pastry. They impressed despite the fact they’re not the prettiest of the bunch. One reviewer even exclaimed “This IS the pie!” in a moment of pastry revelation.
Harrods Luxury Almond and Brandy Mince Pies 6.6/10
“Built like a tank”, according to one of our pie experts, and packed full of booze. This traditional effort from Harrods has a generous filling with plenty of currants but some found the pastry dry and uninspiring. The decorative letter “H” on top is a nice, distinctive touch.
Benugo Mince Pie Slice 4.6/10
Benugo has branched away from the old-fashioned pastry pie with this floury number. The traditionalists in the office were horrified while the progressives enjoyed its moist and crumbly texture. One reviewer simply asked, “What is this?”
Fortnum and Mason Three Kings Mince Pies 6.5/10
Inspired by the gold, frankincense and myrrh that the three kings presented to baby Jesus on Christmas Day, these extra fragrant pies divided our tasters. Some loved the unusual taste while others complained of a pot pourri-after taste (“like a hippy’s living room”, according to one pie critic).
Harvey Nichols Mini Mince Pies 5.7/10
These party-size mince pies are rich and buttery. Dainty and homemade-looking, they would suffice as finger food but something more robust is required for a family feast.
Aldi Specially Selected Mince Pies 6.8/10
You wouldn’t know these were Aldi mince pies to look at them because the name is nowhere to be seen on the front of the box. But our team thinks Aldi should stand proud because these mince pies are “good all-rounders”, and a “solid, classic mince pie”, if a little on the stodgy side.
Marks & Spencer Ultimate All Butter Mince Pies 5.7/10
Like other retailers, M&S has gone for the rustic look but they’ve also sprinkled sugar lumps for extra glamour. An alcoholic after taste will make these a favourite with booze hounds.
Selfridges Assorted Selection of Mini Mince Pies 5.6/10
These miniature pies are encased in a substantial amount of buttery, crunchy pastry. Our testers were a little disappointed with the amount of mince meat found inside though. A case of style over substance due to a disappointing pastry-to-filling ratio.