Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Marks and Spencer All Butter Mince Pies

This is the pie I have been looking forward to. They have been my favourite for the past couple of years. Can M&S make it a hat-trick?!

The Facts

I do appreciate M&S taking the time to re-design their mince pie box each year. I can tell someone has thought about its layout. Although, I was initially a little confused when I turned the box over to find the ingredients written in French and Dutch. Are M&S testing the nation's French? Another quick scan of the box found the English ingredients list and instructions on the side of the box instead, which may be a well thought out idea; by placing it on the side of the box it prevents you from having to flip the box over in the store and potentially damage the mince pies. Or it might have the complete opposite affect, as it did in my case, and nearly destroy its contents looking for the ingredients list. Once I found this, there are 225 calories and a mere 7.2g of fat per mince pie.

The box says these are "delicious all butter pastry pies, deep filled with our fruity classic mincemeat bursting with juicy sultanas, Vostizza currants & raisins". If anyone would like to tell me why Vostizza currents are so special, by all means, let me know in the comments below.

First Impressions

The mince pies in the box are clearly inconsistent, like the ones pictured above. The top right appears to be over inflated and the middle two that appear to have deflated. Some also had quite a lot of sugar on top while others did not have so much. Other than this they do look like well cooked mince pies. I decided to pick the one that was over inflated to eat.

The Bite

The pastry is very nice. I really like the shortcrust pastry. I can definitely say it is all butter! The pastry used for the lid seemed a little thin, but it was made up by a good amount in the base and around the edges. This pie has a good crumble and does have a tendency to break in your hand. As the lid is thinner, it tends to be this that falls off first.

The mincemeat I found to be quite tasty. The raisins, currants and sultanas were all visible and whole, there was a good amount of them. When chewing, I could easily feel that I was biting into a fruit (must have been those Vostizza currants!). The pastry had not absorbed very much of the mincemeat so it was crumbly all around.

The picture does look like it's half filled. However, as I picked the pie that looked over inflated, I would assume that a normal filled pie would be about right.


I decided to eat a few of these pies to see whether my feelings were the same and whether the inconsistent appearance continued through into the mince pie, and gladly it did not. I did feel that one of the pies was sweeter than the others and that another was lacking in filling quite a lot. Therefore, while these mince pies are delicious and has one of the best shortcrust pastries I have tasted, I was let down by their inconsistency.

"Show me the mince, SHOW ME THE MINCE!!"


Let me know what you think in the comments.