Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Pret A Manger - Mince Pie

This was another mince pie that was hard for me to get my hands on with a store not being either where I live or where I work. Fortunately, a avid reader of the blog (my mother), was heading into London where she was kind enough to pick up a couple of these in one of the many stores dotted around the capital. A deeper mince pie than last year, but has that improved it?

Presentation - 8

Unlike Costa, Pret A Manger has produced a Christmas bag to place your treats into. It's not over the top, but it is simple and acknowledges Christmas. Inside, the mince pies came in the usual Pret bag which had no Christmas cheer.

As for the mince pie itself, Pret have it easy. Their logo is a star, so placing a star on top of their mince pies is a no-brainer this time of year. Each mince pie looks messy, but has that home made feel about it. They are chunky mince pies which do not come with a foil base but a paper one. The paper base was pretty hard to remove, but once there, it can unravel into a mini plate for your mince pie. Neat!

Nutritional Content & Price - 4

The Pret website is very easy to use and the nutritional information is easily accessible. However, they have listed the information "per pack". As these mince pies are sold individually, I can only assume that the information listed is in fact, per mince pie. So, each one of these has 315 calories, 24.1g of sugar and 14.7g of fat. This is pretty high for something so small; especially in the fat content.

Each mince pie will cost you £1.50. Again for something only slightly larger than a regular mince pie, these are expensive. If these were sold in packs of 6, you would pay £9 for that box. You could buy a box of 6 Greggs mince pies for the price of just one of these. Bad value.

Pastry - 20

Last year my sister described the pastry and "cakey". I'm going to have to use that same word this year too. It looks like the recipe has remained the same, just made it a bit deeper. It still tastes great, but I cannot help but wonder whether they were going for a cake-like texture or whether it was meant to be harder. As a result of this texture, the pie is quite crumbly and tends to fall apart after a bite. The pastry seems about right for the size of the mince pie and the amount of mincemeat there is. A thick pastry base appears to show that this could have done with being a little longer in the oven. Other than this it is buttery but lacks sugar, which I expect will come from the mincemeat.

Mincemeat - 12

I'm sorry Pret, this isn't very nice. Your website says the mincemeat was made in July and has been "gathering flavour" ever since. I would say that it has been gathering new intersting flavours, but it's lost some existing ones in the months that have passed. The filling is dry and a little sour. You can taste a little ginger in there which gives it that spicy/sour taste. It needs to be sweeter. I think the vast amounts of vine fruits in there were once sweet, but have lost that flavour over the months. It is a shame that the taste does not fulfil; especially as this mince pie is properly filled right up to the top.

Overall Satisfaction - 5

This is a chunky mince pie with plenty of mincemeat. It is just a shame that it was not what I expected. At £1.50 each, It is quite expensive and I would rather buy a box of supermarket mince pies for £1.

Here are the scores from my fellow mincers; 

Tester 1 
Presentation (9) Nutritional content & Price (1) Pastry (20) Mincemeat (5) Satisfaction Level (4) 

Tester 2
Presentation (6) Nutritional content & Price (3) Pastry (20) Mincemeat (16) Satisfaction Level (5)

Tester 3
Presentation (7) Nutritional content & Price (5) Pastry (12) Mincemeat (5) Satisfaction Level (2) 
"Known for lovely sandwiches, their mince pies are not up to scratch! Very dry, maybe wanting us to buy another coffee?!"


42.3 / 100

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P.S. Please support the Pret Foundation Trust. They raises money all year long to support charities across the UK working to break the cycle of homelessness for good. Find out more here.