Saturday, 24 November 2012

Asda - Extra Special (created with Leiths School) - All-Butter Mince Pies

It would appear Asda have an "Extra Special" line for their mince pies. These surely cannot be as bad as their current mince pies. Can they?

The Facts

I passed these on the shelves in Asda by chance while looking for their regular mince pies. They were almost entirely overlooked had I not been looking for pie-like shapes on the box. Purple is not a Christmas colour. Other than this, the mince pies inside do look rather appealing.

Asda have not gone for the common description of what is in the box, but rather gone for a quote, as if someone has given these mince pies a mini review. It says "The all-butter pastry perfectly compliments the rich flavour of the fruit". Unfortunately, it's not credited, so I will automatically assume it is biased.

These have 253 calories, 20.7g of sugar and 8.4g of fat.

First Impressions

I have to admit this does look like a solid mince pie. The stars on top look pleasant, but not really Christmas specific. Some of the lids are misaligned, however the distance is minimal, so I can forgive this. This looks like a well cooked mince pie. Could this partnership between "Leiths School of Food and Wine", and Asda be a good relationship?

The Bite

I can taste two things, and only two things, in this pie; sugar and alcohol. There is A LOT of each. 

Let's start with the pastry. It is immediately sickeningly sweet from the first bite. While I will admit this has a satisfactory crumbly texture and holds up okay structurally, the sweetness is too much. I had to set this pie down to get a glass of water in an attempt to avoid sending my pancreas into overdrive. Comparing the amount of pastry to the amount of mincemeat, I felt there was too much of the former, but there is a good even spread of pastry around the pie.

As I'm sure you have worked out, the alcohol is in the mincemeat. I thought you could get hammered off a Morrisons mince pie, but I take that back. You will definitely get drunk off this pie. With 8% of it containing just brandy and port, I'm surprised I wasn't asked for identification at the checkout (Yes, I do look young for my age!). 

I would like to tell you more about the taste of the mincemeat, but the brandy is so strong that you can't taste anything else. It looks like it has a nice selection of vine fruits, and I think I can see some apple pieces in there too. It was also a little underfilled.


Way too sweet and alcoholic. This is how much alcohol I was expecting to be in Tesco's Finest mince pies. I was not expecting there to be so much in this, and to be honest, I have yet to finish this pie. It is sat in front of me as I type telling me I'm going to get diabetes... or maybe that's the alcohol talking.

- "Who loves mince pies?!"
- "Waseeeeem loves mince pies!"
- "Is it true?"
- "Mmm-hmmm. Just not with that much alcohol."

2 / 5

Tell me what you think in the comments below. Go on...