Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Harrods Flaky Pastry Mince Pie

This is a rare treat. I have managed to get my hands on a Harrods mince pie from their in-store bakery in Knightsbridge, London. Lets see if you really get what you pay for.
As an unexpected mince pie to enter The Administration and due to its status, it might have to get a little special treatment.

The Facts



There is very little known about this pie, so i'll tell you how I got it instead. It was made in-store in their bakery that same day. I was originally meant to bring back just one regular deep filled mince pie, but the rather unhelpful lady at the counter would not let me have just one as they come in packs of six and would set you back a whopping £9.50. I was not about to spend that much on mince pies no matter how much I love them.

Eventually I came to an area that would sell me one mince pie, but unfortunately they only have these flaky pastry ones. So, I bought one for £1.75!

First Impressions




Doesn't it look fancy! I think because it is a Harrods mince pie, it is allowed to get away with being a little lop sided! It is one huge mince pie. I thought the Mr Kipling mince pies were large, but this is a whole new level. Hopefully the pictures show its size.

It was bought early afternoon and by the time it made it home and was tested late into the evening, it did not appear as flaky or crispy. It looks perfectly cooked all around. Although it lacks a festive appearance, I do like the sugar glazed star on top.

The Bite



Despite being told on numerous occasions that I have a big mouth, this was too big for a comfortable bite. I decided to cut it in half first. The pastry had kept a surprising amount of crunch as my knife went through it. After the first bite, it just tastes like a premium mince pie. I suspect this is partly psychological as I am expecting a Harrods mince pie to do nothing but ooze quality.

The top and sides of the pastry was still crispy but as you move towards the center and bottom it was very much returned to dough-like form as the liquid from the mincemeat had been absorbed by the pastry. I would guess that had I eaten the mince pie there and then, this would not be the case. The pastry itself is very nice, you can taste the butter clearly.

The filling is unique. I'm no culinary master, nor do I have a refined palate, and I sometimes have difficulty telling apart the standard mince pies. However this is unlike anything else I have tried. It is rich in every way. Huge pieces of fruit are everywhere. It is properly filled from bottom to top and all the way through. The filling is sweet and tangy with a hint of brandy (I think!) to it.

As you can see from the picture, everything holds together quite nicely, even while biting through it.

Overall

I could not possibly have more than one of these mince pies in one sitting, not just because it costs £1.75 each, (I had to take a picture of the receipt for those that don't believe a mince pie can cost so much)


but also because it is huge and very rich in taste. Despite my gripe with its price, I do like it. It certainly is a different experience for my taste buds, one that I will be talking about for a while. I'm starting to see more flaky pastry mince pies appearing on the market and while I have nothing against them, I do still prefer the traditional shortbread pastry. I also think I am far more used to the 6 for a £1 mince pie! 

"Gentlemen, you can't mince in here! This is the Pie Room!"

4/5

If you have tried this mince pie or any other Harrods mince pies, do let us know what you think in the comments below.