The must-have mince pies this ChristmasBest Buy mince pies for all budgets and palates

18 November 2015

Mince pies on a plate with cream and a fork

The best mince pies have crisp, buttery pasty and delicately spiced mincemeat

You know Christmas is coming when you taste your first mince pie of the year. At best they’re warming and indulgent, with crisp buttery pastry and delicately spiced, fruity mincemeat. But the worst pies have soft, crumbly pastry, gloopy or dry mincemeat and a bland flavour.

Harrods Classic Mince Pies With Brandy are definitely the former. They topped our mince pie blind taste test this year. But they're a very pricey Best Buy at £8.95 for six.

Much more wallet-friendly at just £1.15 for six are Lidl Snowy Lodge Luxury Mince Pies. Our judges awarded these a Which? Best Buy, commending them for their 'beautifully crisp' pastry. Our third and final mince pies Best Buy this year are Waitrose Christmas Shortcrust Mince Pies – the only pies we tested this year that don’t contain alcohol. 

Find out which must-have mince pies best suit your budget and palate – and which shouldn't be on your Christmas shopping list – by consulting our Best mince pies results and taste notes.

Perfect pairing for mince pies

Sweet, sparkling muscat wines are the perfect accompaniment to mince pies, especially if – like 44.9% of Which? readers who eat mince pies – you prefer to enjoy your mince pies plain rather than with cream, custard or even cheese.

A great sparkling muscat will be light and fruity, with just enough acidity to balance out its sweetness. 

We've taste tested muscat (also known as moscato or Asti) just in time for Christmas. Our experts found two excellent supermarket own-brand muscats that earned Best Buy status over the well-known brands on trial. Find out which most impressed our judges and which of the big brands we tested was so sugary it could overpower your dessert in our sparkling muscats review.

Which? mince pie taste test

We tested 14 traditional-recipe luxury mince pies this year, all of which are available in stores nationwide or online.

Our panel blind taste tested the following mince pies:

  • Aldi Specially Selected Mince Pies
  • Asda Extra Special Luxury Mince Pies
  • Fortnum & Mason Six Traditional Mince Pies
  • Greggs Sweet Mince Pies (£1.50 for six, or available individually
  • Harrods Classic Mince Pies With Brandy
  • Iceland Luxury 6 Mince Pies
  • Lidl Snowy Lodge Luxury Mince Pies
  • Morrisons M Signature All Butter Deep Fill Mince Pies
  • M&S Christmas Star Mince Pies
  • Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference All Butter Mince Pies
  • Spar 6 Luxury Mince Pies
  • Tesco finest* Mince Pies
  • The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Mince Pies
  • Waitrose Christmas Shortcrust Mince Pies

Compare the scores for each of the mince pies and find out which other food Best Buys should be making it onto your Christmas food order this year in our round of the Best food and drink

We heated our pies according to on-pack instructions. Our judges tasted the pies in a different order, each scoring them out of ten for taste, appearance, aroma and texture. We combined these into an overall score – taste accounted for 40% of the final score while the other categories each represented 20%.

Our experts were: Gerhard Jenne, creative director of Konditor & Cook; Dan Lepard, award-winning baker; Chris Malec, general manager of Bread Ahead; and Patrick Moore, award-winning artisan bread maker.

More on this...

  • Best gluten-free mince pies – don't miss out if you're avoiding gluten or dairy
  • Best Champagne – pick up Best Buy bubbles to make Christmas extra special
  • Best and worst supermarkets) – see where yours ranks