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Best mince pies Christmas 2018

By Michael Passingham

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We've picked out the best traditional mince pies money can buy this Christmas, so treat yourself and don't settle for less.

We got through more than 100 premium mince pies from 11 of the UK’s biggest food stores for our December 2018 edition of Which? magazine.

We also tested two varieties of ultra-premium pies from department stores Harrods and Fortnum & Mason to see what paying around £10 for six actually gets you.

Discover:

Best mince pies 

Only logged in Which? members can view the rest of our results and tasting notes in the table below. If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the mince pies on test. To get instant access join Which?.

 
Aldi - Specially Selected Mince Pies
 AldiSpeciallySelectedMincePies LO table Price Tasting notes Overall score
£1.35, 23p per pie Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

Aldi's all-butter mince pies are the cheapest we tested. Made with courvoisier VS cognac, these festive treats could be on your shopping list if you're on a tight budget.

Are you sacrificing flavour to save money? Hear what our expert tasting panel thought. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Asda - Extra Special Mince Pies
 AsdaExtraSpecialMincePies LO table Price Tasting notes Overall score
£1.50, 25p per pie Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

Made with spiced vine fruits and a 'splash of rich brandy and ruby port', Asda's mince pies are among the more affordable options we tasted.

See what score our expert panel gave them. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

The Co-Operative - Irresistible Mince Pies
 CoOpIrresistableMincePies LO table Price Tasting notes Overall score
£2, 33p per pie Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

These mince pies are made with all-butter pastry, which the Co-op claims makes a 'melt-in-the-mouth' casing. Are they really 'irresistible'?

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Iceland - Luxury Mince Pies
 IcelandLuxuryMincePies LO table Price Tasting notes Overall score
£1.89, 32p per pie Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

You'll get six star-topped mince pies in this Iceland pack. Described as 'luxury', they're filled with 'fruity mincemeat' and brandy.

Find out whether or not these mince pies deserve a spot on your plate. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Lidl - Deluxe Luxury Mince Pies
 LidlDeluxeLuxuryMincePies LO table Price Tasting notes Overall score
£1.79, 30p per pie Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

These mince pies from Lidl are made with shortcrust pastry and mincemeat that's 'laced with cognac'. They're finished off with a sprinkling of sugar, but were our experts impressed when it came to the taste test?

Hear from our expert tasting panel before you reach for your wallet. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

M&S - The Collection Mince Pies
 M&STheCollectionMincePies LO table Price Tasting notes Overall score
£2.50, 42p per pie Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

Considering this is one of the two priciest packs in our shortlist, we were hoping these M&S mince pies would have a luxurious and unique flavour.

Find out how they rank in our list. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Morrisons - The Best Deep Filled Mince Pies
 MorrisonsTheBestMincePies LO table Price Tasting notes Overall score
£2, 33p per pie Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

These Christmas goodies get their flavour from the mincemeat enriched with brandy, cider and spice, according to Morrisons. But did the recipe impress our tasting panel?

Which? members have full access to our taste-test scores. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Sainsbury's - Taste the Difference All Butter Mince Pies
 SainsburysTTDMincePies LO table Price Tasting notes Overall score
£2, 33p per pie Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

These mince pies are described by Sainsbury's as 'rich and buttery', but did our expert tasting panel really 'Taste the Difference?'

Choose your mince pies wisely with the help of our expert reviews. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Spar - Luxury All Butter Mince Pies
 SparLuxuryMincePies LO table Price Tasting notes Overall score
£2, 33p per pie Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

With a sprinkling of sugar and mincemeat full of vine fruits, bramley apple, brandy and almonds, Spar's mince pies sound great on the packet. But how will they taste?

Find out whether these mince pies were among our top scorers. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Tesco - Finest Mince Pies
 TescoFinestMincePies LO table Price Tasting notes Overall score
£2, 33p per pie Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

These courvoisier VS cognac and port-infused mince pies from Tesco cost £2, but are they the tastiest pies we tried?

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Waitrose - 1 All Butter Mince Pies
 Waitrose1AllButterMincePies LO table Price Tasting notes Overall score
£2.50, 42p per pie Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

Filled with the supermarket's 'rich' mincemeat, these Waitrose all-butter mince pies were one of the two most expensive packs we tried. But will they be the star of the show?

Which? members can see what our expert panel thought of these mince pies. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Table notes: Prices correct as of October 2018 for single packs of six pies. All pies contain alcohol and are suitable for vegetarians.

Gluten-free mince pies 

Nobody need miss out on the zest and spice of a mince pie, which is why we also tested 10 varieties of free-from mince pies, including two options that were simply free from gluten, and eight more that were free from dairy as well. All varieties are also free from alcohol and are suitable for vegetarians.

These inclusive pastries come in smaller packs than conventional mince pies, with packs of two or four the norm here, and pricing starting from £1.79. Our full rundown of the free-from options can be found on our guide to the Best Free-From mince pies.

Mince pie recipes 

While our experts couldn’t agree on everything, one topic they were unanimous about was that any home baker could produce a mince pie superior to a supermarket offering with a little time and not too much skill.

With that in mind, we have an entire page of mince pie recipes with top tips from one of our expert judges, Dan Lepard, along with recipe tweaks from the likes of Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood and Ella Woodward.

How we tested 

Each of our experts tasted all the varieties of mince pie. The bakers didn’t know which pie belonged to which supermarket, so all they had to go on was the pie in front of them.

Each judge scored the pies on taste, appearance, aroma and texture, with these scores combined to give each pie an overall score. 

Each pie was heated for six minutes in a professional fan oven at 160 degrees Celsius to allow the mincemeat filling to really sing and to release a rich buttery aroma from the pastry.

Our experts were:

  • Dan Lepard award-winning baker, food writer and broadcaster
  • Charlotte Marrifield owner of Harrogate Cake Company
  • Patrick Moore founder of More? The Artisan Bakery and Café, Cumbria
  • Kathryn Roberts general manager of Bread Ahead bakery
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