Saturday, 17 November 2012

Greggs Sweet Mince Pies

I have to admit, this not a place where I would usually go to get a mince pie. I've always associated Greggs with pasties and danishes, but I have been hearing good things about their mince pies and so I just had to have some.

The Facts


The package itself does not have very much information except the name, price and a short description of what is in it. There is no nutritional information written on the packet and this is completely allowed by law. As these mince pies do not come pre-packed and are made fresh in each store, there is no legal requirement for Greggs to stick anything on the packet other than the name. Yes, I did check this. It is in the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 for those that don't believe me. The package states, "Our Award-winning Mince Pies are baked in our shops from deliciously crumbly shortcrust pastry. Filled with a sweet mincemeat, made from vine fruits, Bramley apples and candied orange & lemon peel".

I decided to do a little investigating and Greggs are kind enough to give you very brief nutritional information on their website. These have 290 calories and 11g of fat. There is no sugar amount listed.

First Impressions


For a mince pie that is baked by a chain of over 1,000 stores nationwide it definitely has that home-cooked look to it. The kind of mince pies your aunt makes each year. As you would expect from a hand-made pie, these are not all exactly the same size, and I would guess that the pastry thickness between batches would differ slightly. Instead of sugar granules, Greggs have chosen to dust their mince pies with icing sugar. While this is a very simple way to decorate, I think it suits a mince pie that is hand made. The only problem is that the moment you touch the icing, it sticks to your fingers.
The foil cup is entirely pointless after the baking process as it just falls off the pie. They probably could have left this off when packing them up, as the mince pies do seem quite robust.

The Bite


My concern with home made mince pies has always been that there is often way more pastry than filling. I'm pleased to say that although there is more pastry than filling, I think it is closer to even than you think.

The shortcrust pastry was just as their description stated; crumbly. It was nicely cooked all around and throughout. It was not too sweet and you can taste a little butter. I am very impressed with this pastry. Despite the good crumble, the pie holds up fairly well after a bite, but I would recommend having this over a plate, just in case.

The pie is wider and shallower than most, but the amount of space inside for mincemeat is deceptively similar to those regular deep filled mince pies. The mincemeat is very tasty. I found mine to be nice and moist with a good amount of vine fruits and apples. We don't know whether the usual combination of raisins, currants and sultanas are used, since they are listed as vine fruits. Hitting your taste buds in these mince pies are the candied lemon and orange peels. There is a strong tangy flavour that comes through which I liked a lot. It compliments the sweetness of the mincemeat.

Overall

I am very impressed with these mince pies. The two that I ate were very nice. A very pleasant blend of sweet and tangy with a lovely pastry. However, my mother tried one of these and said her pie lacked filling. I guess that as a mince pie, which is hand made in each store, there is a strong chance that if you go to your local Greggs, you may not get the same great tasting pie as I have had here because bakers would differ. I would suggest that if the first one you have is not that great, try a different branch. You are probably only 100ft from another!

"Houston, we have a pie!"

4.2 / 5

If you have tried a Greggs mince pie and have had a difference experience, let us know in the comments.