Sainsbury’s Mini Ecclefechan and Mincemeat Tarts

Say what now?

Here, look:

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Well these are different, are they mince pies? Well, it says Mincemeat tarts, and it doesn’t mean meat as in “meat”, it’s definitely the fruity kind. So…they look legit.

Just like the Heston’s last year, I’m going to judge them as a mince pie and we’ll see what happens.

Packaging
Well, I’m going to rinse and repeat what I said about the Sainsbury’s Luxury Mince Pies…

The packaging on these looks smart and premium, but definitely lacks a Christmassy feel. Love the window to the pies, and these are pretty looking pies too so that definitely helps.

£2.00 a box makes these about 33p a pie, so in the reasonable but premium price range.

7/10 – Nice enough, but not particularly Christmassy.

I’ve crossed out the non-relevant bits.

These aren’t that pretty to look at and there are 9 for £2.00 so that makes them about 22p each.

6/10 – Same as the luxury brand, but the window is to a less pretty pie…so one down.

Presentation
Can’t really fault the presentation on these when you take them out of the box.

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Bagged nicely for freshness, neat and tidy and a nice golden tray.

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Unbagged, being really quite picky, there is some variation between the pies. And yes, I mean between the pies of the same flavour. The centre row looks most pronounced to me, with the middle pie on the photo here look the poorer relation to the other two.

Let’s get a bit closer:

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Look at evenness of the pastry, truly excellent. They must have really fine tuned the machines making these, hand made they are not.

9/10 – Excellent presentation and evenness. Hard to fault.

Filling
Well, this is interesting. There are three different fillings here:

  • Mixed fruit and nuts
  • Orange and cranberry mincemeat
  • Maple and pecan mincemeat

Honestly, you can see there is lots of filling, the pies are brimming to the top.

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What I will say, these are not very traditional being open and to make sure they are even and tidy the mincemeat is not especially moist.

8/10 – Hard to rate with the three different pies, but obviously full for the size of the pie.

Taste Test
I’ve really had to think about this, because these are not traditional pies and last time something non-traditional came along with Heston last year, I was pretty critical.

At the end of the day, these are posh party puddings, canapé deserts. Pick up, chuck it in and walk off, they are hard to savour like a normal sized big pie.

But with taste, I was pretty indifferent to the mixed fruit and nut flavour, but felt like a fairly flavourless bit of pastry and filling. The family were less enthused than me here and openly disliked.

The pecan and maple one was nice, the pick of the bunch, with nicely chunky nuts and a good mincemeat flavour. Not boozy though and very much a lack of moisture. Went ok with a brew.

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The Orange and Cranberry mincemeat wasn’t that great to me either. It was interesting, had some flavour, you could taste the orange, but just didn’t have that sweet boozy thing that real mince pies have.

In the end, there was just more pastry that filling too which for the size, makes sense but just meant the hit of flavour wasn’t big enough.

10/20 – Really disappointing actually. Not awful, but an acquired taste.

Overall
I won’t be buying these again, but I can see why people would. If you’re having a dinner party and want to dish some deserts up while people are drinking wine, I get it totally. To the rest of us, sitting in front of Micheal McIntyre on Christmas Eve, eating ourselves into a stupor, drinking cups of tea..they just don’t cut it and if these are your mince pie option, you’d be reaching for the Quality Street instead.

33/50 – Better score than expected, but they’re not bad, just not for me.

 

One Comment

  1. Helen Simpson says:

    Couldn’t disagree more with the low scoring on taste – these little tarts are the perfect size for a sweet Christmassy treat and are absolutely delicious!

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