Friday, 18 October 2013

Greggs 6 Sweet Mince Pies

Last year Greggs was second only to Heston Blumenthal's spiced shortcrust mince pies. It was a tough decision, but the originality of Heston's trumped the traditional mince pie. Can Greggs return to the mince pie game this year and triumph with the traditional mince pie done well? Have they changed the recipe? Design? Price? Lets find out...

Presentation - 5

I'm very much in two minds about the design - in that there really isn't any. It's simply 6 mince pies in a paper bag with a window. I accept that these are baked in store and so packaging them all in fancy boxes may not be feasible to do by hand. I also accept that ultimately, Greggs see themselves as a local bakers and so the paper bags are in line with that image. However, I cannot help think that they could have done more than just a red label with a thin outline of various Christmas related items. Maybe a festively decorated paper bag?

As for the mince pie itself. I like the use of icing sugar as dusting on top; it makes a change from the sugar granules everyone else uses. However the way they are lined up inside, means that the base of the pie above touches the top of the pie below thereby rubbing off part of the icing. It's a minor flaw, but here's where the better packaging ideas may come in handy. The pies are generally quite neat, there was no leakage and they all look evenly baked all around. 

Nutritional Content & Price - 5

As these are made fresh in store, there is no legal requirement to list nutritional information on the packaging. I would, however, expect a large chain like Greggs (that i'm sure have very strict rules on the amounts of pastry and mincemeat to use, to ensure uniformity across their stores), to have a good idea on the nutritional information to be able to print a label in advance? At the time of writing this the Greggs website was also silent on the nutritional information, but this could simply be because I'm eating mince pies in October and they haven't got around to writing it yet. Therefore, I cannot compare this to last year's 290 calorie mince pie, but I suspect it to be around the same.

In terms of price, these are £1.50 for 6 or £2.20 for 12 mince pies. There has been an increase of 10p from last year's £1.40 price tag.

Pastry - 32

What this mince pie may lack in appearance, absolutely astounds in everything else. The pastry is not too thick all around and despite it's UFO-like shape it is structurally sound. It's crumbly, but not overly that you have to use your other hand to catch crumbs; you are safe to eat this mince pie like a burger. It is perfectly cooked all around. No soggy bottom from moisture being absorbed from the mincemeat. It almost has a crispy texture. I love it. My only qualm (and I'm splitting hairs) is that the pastry was a fraction dry.

Mincemeat - 33

I think my score says it all. I have doubts there is another mince pie out there with mincemeat this good. These are actually filled to the top; there is probably more mincemeat in here than most deep filled mince pies. You can taste everything, from the juicy vine fruits, to the candied orange and Bramley apples. It also has a lovely zesty flavour from the lemon peel. It all compliments each other so well. Again, a very very minor point - If I was eating the mincemeat alone, it would be a little too sweet, but the lack of sugar in the pastry makes up for it.

Overall Satisfaction - 10

(Regular) Work comes to a grinding halt when these are placed in front of me. They satisfy me completely, bringing a beaming smile to my face with every bite! If you need a quick mince pie hit, Greggs is the place to go. You are probably not far from one now. When I picked these up, I was also a 5 minute walk from 2 other Greggs stores! Despite the increase in price and the lack of Christmas decoration, these are worth it. Absolutely fantastic. I do not think I could be more satisfied with a mince pie.

Here are the scores from my fellow Mincers. 

Tester 1 
Presentation (6) Nutritional content & Price (6) Pastry (34) Mincemeat (33) Satisfaction Level (9.5)
"I don't think we will find a better pie!"
Tester 2
Presentation (7) Nutritional content & Price (7) Pastry (30) Mincemeat (31) Satisfaction Level (8)


85.5 / 100

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