Best mince pies Christmas 2018
By Michael Passingham
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.
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?.
Table notes: Prices correct as of October 2018 for single packs of six pies. All pies contain alcohol and are suitable for vegetarians.
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 two-and four-packs 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.
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.
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