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Mince pies are sold on supermarket shelves in the lead up to Christmas every single year. With there being so many mince pies on offer, it can be hard for customers to pick between the different ranges. Which? recently conducted a mince pie blind taste test which involved 11 mince pies each from all of the biggest supermarkets, including discount retailers Aldi and Lidl.
This year, pies were not only rated on flavour, but also texture and appearance too.
Aroma of the sweet treats was a factor also taken into account by the judges.
Iceland and Asda mince pies both won Which?’s Best Buy approval.
Iceland’s Luxury and Asda’s Extra Special all-butter mince pies both topped the leaderboard.
Which? said: “It’s the texture and flavour of the filling that helped them take joint-honours this year, with Asda also rated particularly highly for its simple but well-designed star-topped pastry cases.”
In this place, just one point behind, was Tesco’s Finest brand of mince pies which scored highly for their snowflake-topped cases.
Which? added: “Even better, none of the top-three packs of pies were anywhere close to being the most expensive on the test this year, with Asda and Tesco priced just £1.75 (29p a pie) and Iceland not much more at £1.89 (32p a pie).”
Upmarket Marks and Spencer came fourth with its Collection-branded mince pies which are priced at £2.50 per box (42p per pie).
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Waitrose was also amongst the most expensive mince pies being tested, priced as the same pack in M&S.
The cheapest mince pies tested came from discount retailers Aldi and Lidl, with their packs of mine pies priced at £1.49.
This year, Aldi has also released lots of different flavour mince pies including a crumble topping.
Flavours include Aldi’s Specially Selected Blood Orange & Gin Mince Pies and the Specially Selected Salted Caramel Crumble Mince Pies, costing £1.79 for a pack of six.
At the bottom of the list was the Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference pies which the judges said “had a very poor showing, with pastry and filling judged too hard, and a flavour that was just too weak”.
Other retailers in the taste test included Co-op, Morrisons and Spar.
Harry Rose, the editor of Which? magazine, said: “While this year Christmas might be a little different, we want to make sure that at least your mince pies don’t disappoint.”
The Iceland mince pies were also crowned the best overall supermarket mince pie in the recent Christmas taste test from Good Housekeeping.
The frozen retailer also took the top spot for their mince pies at the Quality Food and Drinks Awards.
A new and improved recipe for Iceland this year, the mince pies included a surprising addition of yuzu juice which adds a sharp tang to complement the buttery pastry.
The mince pies are also packed with spiced mincemeat made with currants, sultanas and raisins, a splash of brandy, port and yuzu juice, as well as lemon peel and orange zest.
David Lennox, Head Chef at Iceland, said: “Our new improved recipe certainly impressed the Good Housekeeping Institute judges and we have to admit, our luxury mince pies are very special. With their light pastry and great flavours – we’re expecting them to fly off the shelves.”
BBC Good Food Magazine judges also took the test, tasting a number of supermarket mince pies.
For these taste-testers, it was Spar’s luxury version of mince pies at £2 a pack which won the top prize in the category.
This is the first time the small supermarket has won the award.
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