Friday, 15 November 2013

BHS Deep filled Mince Pie

BHS - A great department store with plenty to things to buy like clothes, shoes, bags and mince pies? Yes, BHS have a cafe who are now selling mince pies! This revelation was stumbled upon via BHS' twitter account. We swiftly made our way to a local BHS cafe to pick up some of these little giants. Can these deep filled mince pies measure up and break into to the well established clique formed by the supermarkets?

Presentation - 3

As these pies are sold individually so with a lack of a box and just a white paper bag, there is little to score on in terms of packaging. A Christmas themed paper bag may have been nice.

As for the mince pie itself, it is huge! Even larger than Fortnum & Mason's mince pie in terms of diameter, but depth appears the same. I know this because i happen to still have the foil base lying around from the Fortnum's review. I'm a bit of a hoarder, I know, but that's a story for another blog!

The mince pie looks well baked all around, a little uneven on top, but it looks like a mince pie you would make at home... if you have unusually deep baking trays. There is also a generous helping of sugar on top.

Nutritional Content & Price - 3

Once again, this is another mince pie that comes with no nutritional information. The BHS website is silent too. In fact, the photo of their "festive treats" has their deep filled mince pie peeking out from behind a plate in the background.

At £1.50 each these are not cheap. Should you buy 6 (a normal box amount), you would be paying £9 for it. This is more than Harrods' mince pies. It's only saving grace is that these are huge and so much much larger than your regular mince pie.

Pastry - 16

As this is such a large mince pie, there is a lot a pasty, but in fairness it is in proportion to the size of the mince pie. Unfortunately, it's not a great pastry. It was soft and stodgy. It looks like it has absorbed the moisture from the mincemeat as I could taste a slight citrus flavour from a piece of pastry I ate in isolation to the rest. The pastry held out well structurally, but I believe that it was helped by the vast amounts of mincemeat.

Mincemeat - 12

At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, this is a large mince pie and so there is ample mincemeat. It is great that it is full to the brim with mincemeat, so there is none of that £1.50 wasted.  However, the mincemeat is mostly purée which is disappointing. There are some whole fruit pieces, but it is most apple purée. I will admit that I liked the zesty flavour which first hits you when you take a bite, but there is an after taste. The mince pie is quite heavy on the spices and this leaves a strong after-taste. It is a fairly strong flavour and I felt ruined the overall taste from this mince pie.

Overall Satisfaction - 4

There is plenty of mince pie to eat here and I think would be nice heated up with some vanilla ice cream (like one of our mincer's did before rating the mince pie - hence the unusually high score!). A great desert after a meal. But on it's own, as a snack to be eaten on the go, i'm not so sure. Maybe BHS could serve these warm instead? A few simple alterations (most importantly the reduction of those spices) and this could be a decent mince pie.

Here are the scores from my fellow mincers; 

Tester 1 
Presentation (8) Nutritional content & Price (1) Pastry (20) Mincemeat (10) Satisfaction Level (4)
"Structurally the pastry was good, the taste was a little bland. Too much mincemeat. The proportion of mincemeat to pastry was too high. There was almost no sweetness at all and I even had a hint of curry! Get out of town BHS - I'm not impressed!"
Tester 2
Presentation (7) Nutritional content & Price (5) Pastry (31) Mincemeat (31) Satisfaction Level (8) 


54.3 / 100

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