Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Co-Operative - Truly Irresistible - Luxury All Butter Mince Pies

During university Co-Op mince pies were never very far away. I had always been impressed with these. I hope that this is not because I was too lazy to travel anywhere to get a decent mince pie and simply accepted what was put in front of me. Let's find out.

The Facts


After stating that mince pie makers are brave to place a window on their box to see the pies inside during my Waitrose review, we have another straight after! At least these mince pies look nice with their festive appearance. The box says these have a "luxurious all butter pastry, filled with a rich fruit mincemeat made from plump vine fruits, apple purée, brandy and almonds". Its interesting to note that these do not have a shortcrust pastry. 

Co-Op warns you with its bright red highlighting on the nutritional information table that these pies are probably not very healthy. These have 250 calories, 20.8g of sugar and 9.5g of fat per pie. Someone should tell Co-Op that it is not that bad, but thanks for looking out for us.

First Impressions


This looks like a very neat pie. A good size, a nice frilly lid with by far the best decoration on a mince pie yet. There has been a lot of attention to detail. Three holly leaves with berries in between each one - very festive. The pie had been dusted with sugar rather generously, but much of it had fallen off inside the box. As I picked up the empty box to have a read of the ingredients, I poured a good teaspoon of sugar onto myself.

The pie looks nicely brown around the frilly parts, but a slightly pale in the middle, suggesting a little under cooking.

The Bite


What immediately hits you is that it is very soft. I suspect it was not cooked enough. The pastry is quite thick all around so the softness of it does not help, as you get a lot of it. I could not really taste a great deal of butter in the pastry despite the butter being the second highest ingredient. I am rather upset at this pastry as I think if it was cooked further it would have been decent.

The mincemeat is much better. It is very moist compared to the pies I have reviewed so far. I initially thought that this could be the reason for such a soft pastry as it could have absorbed much of this moisture, but I did not see any evidence of that. I was impressed with the variety of distinct colours in the mincemeat. I admit that this is just a variety of the shade of brown like the mincemeat in other pies, but Co-Op has a wider spectrum of brown! I could clearly see individual fruit in the mincemeat. While I could mostly taste the apple purée, I did get hints of the brandy, but only very slightly. The mincemeat is not too sweet either which I liked. The pie held up well structurally after the first bite, but because it is so soft, there was no chance of it crumbling away.

I decided to heat up one of these mince pies (in the oven) to see if the pastry would harden up and I'm pleased to say that it did a little, but it still tastes quite powdery and gets stuck in your teeth.

Overall

This would have been a great mince pie had it not been for the poor pastry. As a heated mince pie it hardened the pastry slightly but affected its texture. If you like that sort of pastry, then this is a great pie for you - I just don't particularly want to spend the next 5 minutes after eating one of these, picking it out of my teeth. I think I'm definitely a shortcrust pastry man. Sorry Co-Op, I don't think you're that "gud with fud"!

"A pie, ovened not microwaved."

3.1 / 5

If you've tried these mince pies, let me know what you think in the comments below.