This year I went on a quest to find the Best Luxury Mince Pies. To find them, I made a comparison of 4 supermarket own luxury brands. I’ve compared Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, and Co-Op. Basically, I found a way to justify eating 24 mince pies almost a month before Christmas, with the help of my husband, luckily.
It was hard to pick our favourite. To make sure we were as objective as possible, I made up a list of things we should rate. We each gave a mark from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. Because not all aspects we’ve marked were as important, I’ve opted for an weighted average.
We’ve started with the packaging. We took into consideration how the pictures look, the thickness of the cardboard, any details they have about the product. For example, the picture on the package was the best on the Co-Op’s box, and the “V” for vegetarian looked better too. Unlike the other three, the ones from Sainsbury’s had an extra wrap. Both my husband and I gave it 5 points. The package we didn’t like was ASDA’s. I gave only 2 points, it wasn’t Christmasy at all.
After that we’ve continued with the overall appearance of the pie. My favourite was from Sainbury’s because the lid didn’t fully cover the filling like it did for the other three. Even so, I gave 5 points to the one from Co-Op too because it looked inviting.
For decorations on the lid, we both thought the nicest ones were on the Tesco pie, the most complex. If Saisbury’s would have picked a slightly more complicated cutter for the lid they would have received the highest mark.
I cut the mince pies in half and, to our surprise, the ones from Co-Op had less filling. That was a surprise. ASDA had less filing compared to Sainsbury’s and Tesco, but a bit more than Co-Op. We’ve tasted the filling and the pastry. First of all, we’ve rated the flavour of spices and alcohol. The ones with less filling were the ones that had more flavour.
The following scores were for taste of pastry and of the mincemeat. For these, Sainsbury’s got the highest score. When it came down to sweetness, ASDA was the sweetest one, I gave them a 3 and my husband scored it a 4. For us, luxury means flavour and not sweetness. What is puzzling is that ASDA didn’t have the most amount of added sugar.
For overall taste, cold ones were better from Sainsbury’s and hot ones were better from Co-Op. For the ones from ASDA, cold were better, as, when heated, they were even more sweet.
The chart with points is like this. As you can see the winner is Sainsbury’s with Co-Op and Tesco in a close second and third places. ASDA’s score is the lowest and is quite far from the other three. It was also the cheapest, at £1.50 for a pack of 6, compared to £2 for the other ones. ASDA does have a Baked-in-Store version that is £1.50 for 4. Of course, taste is so personal, so you might find that you might prefer other mince pies than I did.
It was fun to try mince pies and I’ve enjoyed doing this a lot. Do you have a favourite luxury mince pie?