Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Harrods Alcohol-Free Cranberry Mince Pies

Last year you were all treated to the review of a puff pastry mince pie from Harrods' in-store bakery. They were good, but we didn't get to try their standard, boxed mince pies. This year, I am pleased to say I braved the Saturday morning tourist and Christmas shopper traffic and squeezed into one of the busiest stores I have been to in a long time. Not being a regular Harrods shopper, I had no idea where I was going and with some general directions given to me by staff, I eventually emerged (20 mins later) with a box of these alcohol-free mince pies. I'm not sure whether there were other types of mince pies around, but due to the sheer number of people I had to negotiate around, I picked the first thing that said mince pies, paid and left.

Presentation - 10

What can I say, other than I love it! It's got everything! I love the bold Christmas colours of red, gold and white. I love the window into the box being shaped like a snowflake. What I especially love is the pictures on the box made (mostly) with words - and not just any words, lyrics from the popular Christmas carol "We wish you a Merry Christmas!" The border has "we wish you a merry Christmas" on loop. Santa's sleigh and his reindeer's have a combination of "we wish you a merry Christmas","and a happy new year" and "good tidings we bring for you and your kin". The golden picture, while a little hard to see against the red background, is of Harrods' Knightsbridge store and has written in addition to the lyrics from above, "now bring us some figgy pudding". This must have taken a long time to do and I certainly appreciate every minute spent.

The mince pies are wrapped in cellophane and the moment you tear it open, you smell mince pies. as if they were warm and straight out of the oven. Lovely. It took me a few seconds to work out what was on top of each mince pie, but then I realised it was not Christmas related, but just the "H" from the Harrods logo. Each mince pie looks large, lovely and brown with a very fine granulated sugar dusting on top.

Nutritional Content & Price - 5

Harrods have listed the nutritional content on the box, but only per 100g. I've calculated that each mince pie has 248.6 calories, 9.1g of fat and 27.1g of sugar. Maybe a fraction high in the sugar content than you average mince pie, but nothing that Dentists will be up in arms about.

At £7.50 for a box of 6, they may not be as high as Fortnum & Mason, but still very much more expensive than your standard box. That's £1.25 for each mince pie. I'm not sure whether any mince pie can really be worth this much.

Pastry - 32

Okay, this is nice. The box says "All Butter" and I think these are quite literally all butter! It is the first thing you can taste. The pastry is perfectly cooked all around, it has a nice crumbly texture, but didn't fall apart after one bite. It reminded me of the crunchy organic mince pies we reviewed earlier. It is not too sweet, the sugar on top adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the pastry and it is not very thick all around, given it's size. Good job Harrods!

Mincemeat - 31

On looking at my picture, you would think that the mincemeat looks quite dry. I wouldn't blame you for thinking that too, as it does. However, the large fruit inside ooze juice and sweetness making this a lovely and moist filling in your mouth. You can clearly see individual currants, sultana's and even a little crimson red from the dried cranberries. This mincemeat really is quite good, but I was expecting something a little more than just the addition of cranberries. Yes, the cranberries taste great and go really well with the mincemeat, but it just feels like you're eating a standard mince pie, just done to near perfection.

Overall Satisfaction - 8

I am very impressed with this mince pie. As you can see, I loved the presentation and Harrods have made sure that the same attention to detail and traditional feel has gone into their mince pies. It's not just simply style over substance. They are moreish too, which can make this a very expensive addiction if you were so inclined. Thankfully, Harrods is not around the corner for me and so unless I was in the vicinity again, I might consider buying these again, but at £7.50 per box, it's not a decision I would make without some internal conflict.

Here are the scores from my fellow mincers;

Tester 1 
Presentation (10) Nutritional content & Price (4) Pastry (35) Mincemeat (35) Satisfaction Level (10)
"This is mince pie perfection. Neither the pastry nor the mincemeat overpowers each other, they work in perfect harmony to create a sublime mince pie :-)"
Tester 2
Presentation (9.5) Nutritional content & Price (9) Pastry (30) Mincemeat (34) Satisfaction Level (9.5)
 "Nice, but a little crunchy for my taste."


90.7 / 100

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