This review is going to refer back to the 2016 version of these pies quite a bit, the review for those is here: https://themincepie.co.uk/2016/10/08/mince-pie-review-coop-irresistible-all-butter-luxury-mince-pies/ and it’s worth a read to remind you how I’ve always been a fan of these pies.
So, this looks just like last year’s box…but let’s do a side by side:
On the left is 2017 and on the right is 2016. When I bought these, I genuinely thought they were the same. Check out the layout of the pies on the box, it’s almost the same. It’s very clever, but I can’t think really why they’ve done it like this.
Notable differences though on the calories, 2017 are 246 calories and 2016 are 254. The composition is different too, and you’ll note that last year the salt count was orange and this year it’s green. The weight is the same though, so really it just suggests a different recipe. The blurb at the top makes mention cherries too, which it didn’t last year.
Notable too the absence this year of the crimped edges, and the less defined spring of holly on the pastry design.
Pretty much though, my comments from last year still stand. It feels fairly premium as far as these things go, but not very Christmassy.
So, last year, we had some fairly nice things to say about these, being quite pretty to look at. I also noted the bucket of sugar chucked at it too.
Well, personally, I think these look really quite untidy for a start. They look really quite uneven, not exactly consistently circular. The sprig of holly is no so indistinct, suddenly they really not so pretty. The removal of the crimping around the edges from last year also really takes away from the overall impression.
Worse though, they’re no longer chucking a bucket of granulated sugar over these. Instead, they’ve poured two buckets of icing sugar all over them. That’s right, they’ve binned off the granulated sugar, replaced with icing sugar. Horses for courses to a degree, but it’s just massively over done.
So, all in all…a massive fall from grace for these from last year.
Now, we’ve had a fall from grace on the presentation front…what next..
That’s a whole lot of air in there!
So, you can see the mincemeat is quite fruity and chunky, but the very fact that it’s not even half full is a disgrace. No wonder these are less calories!
It’s not an isolated problem either, although this is marginally better:
Overall, the filling is also quite “wet”, which means it’s a surprise that there is no soggy bottoms here (unlike Aldi).
It really needs to taste good though given the limited quantity of it.
So, how do these taste then? Well, the answer isn’t totally straightforward.
When you munch in, the pastry is very buttery, but very dry. This results in the pastry immediately applying itself to the roof of your mouth. 100% requires a cup of tea to wash these down. Now, I remember, that is quite similar to last year, but with the lack of filling here, there is less of something to mix with the dry pastry.
For what it’s worth, the taste of the filling is really excellent. It’s fairly fruity and has a good kick of brandy in there, definitely a boozy type of pie.
All in though, you eat these and you feel that you’re having to work hard eating not great pastry with little reward. Really really disappointing.
They’re not awful though, the filling is fine, and if they added a bit more of it they might not be so bad. They could be decent warm with custard, at least that would help with the dryness.
A real disappointing outcome here after the middle of the road outcome last year. This is a huge fall from grace as a couple of years ago, I swore by these pies as the best around.