It’s still only November but, as I’m not from these parts, I’d like to get ahead of the curve. What makes a great mince pie!? I, honestly, have no idea.
If an alien fell to Earth and you had to explain what is enjoyable about this small sweet Christmas treat, what would you say?
Mince pies are a very recently experienced taste for me, and I’m not quite sure what to make of them just yet.
In my experience at home, Christmas treats would involve cakes and candy canes, Maybe something like a Danish Kringle or even an actual pie might come close to the mince pie concept?
Did you know that an estimated 370 million mince pies are sold each year in the UK during the festive period? Britons eat 27 each year on average!
We’ve covered a similar topic before in the debate between store-bought and homemade mince pies.
Having the plethora of variants; iced, latticed, frangipane etc isn’t helping me either.
So my question to you, as something of a mince pie outsider, is this: what makes a good pie ‘good’?
The crust of the issue
Seeking a deeper understanding, I asked around the office, only to find opinions definitely varying:
🥧 “I like the pastry bit of them when it’s dry and flaky”
🥧 “I like when the pastry isn’t too dry”
🥧 “I like them, but not with the full pastry lid. The star ones are nice”
🤢 “The flavour is too dense and intense”
🤢 “I absolutely despise them, sorry”
But there was one consistent theme: Christmas is the only time of the year anyone will even consider eating them.
Fortunately for me, last Friday Which? revealed the best mince pies for 2019. Will you be heading out to grab a Best Buy this year?
What criteria do you use for a good mince pie? Should I be looking for good texture? Spicing? Fruity taste?
Should the pastry be crisp, flaky or moist? And where do these rank on a scale for sweetness?
Maybe it’s simply the time of the season, with the pie embodying all the memories of Christmas trees, fresh snow, mulled wine and celebrations.
Either way, let me know your tips and advice in the comments.