The great Christmas mince pie test
Mince pies are usually one of the first Christmas treats to arrive at supermarkets. Megan Baadjies reviews four offerings
PICK N PAY MINCE PIE (R34.99)
I really wish Pick n Pay had put a bit more effort into their packaging and presentation, it is Christmas after all.
The crust is slightly softer than others and breaks easily, causing more crumbs, which landed all over the place.
These pies are ready to eat and require no heating and that’s a plus.
In terms of taste, I got mostly raisin and spicy flavours, and not much of anything else, although the ingredients list vaguely states egg, fruit mince and citrus peel. I recruited four other tasters who all thought the Pick n Pay pies were sweeter, but not necessarily better than Woolworths mince pies.
In fact, all four of then said they preferred the Woolies mince pies.
Unlike its competitor, the Pick n Pay that I went to didn’t have a variety of flavours.
Although I had it on its own, I would suggest having these pies with a scoop of ice cream.
5/10 SPAR MINCE PIE (R32.99)
Once again, the importance of the pastry is evident here. While it should be buttery, soft and crumbly, it shouldn’t break almost immediately after getting the pie from the plastic packaging.
That’s what happened with this pie. The filling was not moist enough and though it wasn’t too sweet, I needed to have a drink after having a small piece of the pie because of how dry everything was. I suggest having this one warm with some cream. It tasted better after I warmed it up in the microwave for a few seconds. 5/10 MINCE pies are a Christmas staple for many of us and fall in the same category as a brandy-soaked Christmas cake.
Even if you don’t get to it immediately after your meaty feast, your Christmas menu is not complete without a traditional sweet treat. These mini pies are of British origin and filled with a sweet mixture of dried fruit and spices.
The outer shell is a shortcrust pastry, which has to be perfect, as it holds the pie together. The finishing WOOLWORTHS mince pies come in a range of flavours, including pecan fruit, classic fruit and Clemen Gold fruit mince pies.
For the chocolate lovers, there is, of course, a decadent chocolate flavour as well.
I loved the simple yet festive packaging, which makes for a very nice gift.
In true Woolies’ fashion, the “delicious shortcrust pastry filled with our exclusive spiced fruit mincemeat, packed with juicy vine touch is usually a dusting of sugar or icing sugar.
According to www.whychristmas.com, the mince pie was originally filled with meat and was first made in an oval to represent the manger that Jesus slept in as a baby, with the top representing his swaddling clothes. Over the years, bakers have become creative with the different shapes on the top, including hearts, stars and flowers.
The site also states that a custom from the Middle Ages was that if
WOOLWORTHS CHRISTMAS FRUIT MINCE PIE (R35.99)
fruits and dusted with sugar” is “best served warm”.
The shortcrust pastry has a thick, biscuit-like texture, which you can easily bite through, but doesn’t easily break apart.
I preferred it at room temperature, as warming the mince pie only intensifies its sweetness. I quite enjoyed the flavour combination of the raisins, sultanas and dates. 6/10 you eat a mince pie each day from Christmas to Twelfth Night – the evening of the January 5 – you will have happiness for the next 12 months! I think I will take my chances on this one and pass.
Unless you have a sweet tooth and have a taste for some of the sweeter things in life, these little pies may not be your cup of tea.
However, if the pastry is the right consistency, then it adds the perfect balance to the sometimes overly sweet filling.
CHECKERS BLUEBERRY MINCE PIE (R49.99)
The most important thing in a mince pie is its pastry. It’s what keeps everything together and so, when the pastry is terrible, it just spoils the whole experience.
This particular pastry was very soggy and stuck to my teeth. The only saving grace was that it wasn’t sweet, because there was no dusted sugar.
I was excited to taste the filling of blueberries, which makes it appropriate for a summer Christmas pie. The filling was not sickeningly
When it comes to Christmas, I’m usually most excited about the food.
Personally, I don’t have a sweet tooth, but we can’t celebrate Christmas without a festive treat.
Mince pies can be served hot or cold and adding a spoon of your favourite ice cream and cherries will turn this into a summery, festive dessert.
With all the retailers’ festive foods on full display, we went on a quest to find out whose mince pies were the best. sweet, which was a major relief.
If it weren’t for the pastry, then it would be really amazing. Extra points for the gourmet look and the packaging. 6.5/10
1. WOOLWORTHS CHRISTMAS FRUIT MINCE PIE2. CHECKERS BLUEBERRY MINCE PIE3. SPAR MINCE PIE4. PICK N PAY MINCE PIE