Things are moving quick in mince pie land…this is the second review of 2018 already and it’s not even October yet!
This time, it’s the co-op’s turn. Now, interestingly, these pies were my favourite about four years ago, before this website was alive, and then the first year the website is up, they were not quite as good as I thought and then last year…they were a bit of a disaster to be honest. Those reviews are here:
Packaging-wise..literally nothing has changed from last year. Look:
Let’s just compare:
Wait a minute…
So, let’s just say, different camera and lighting don’t count here so just ignore the different colours. Let’s focus on the design…yes, it’s almost identical…I mean, insanely identical. How have they done that? WHY, have they done that?
Seems like extra effort to lay out the whole photo shoot identically to last time…UNLESS, it’s photoshopped!
Worth knowing too, the pies look different right? Which is fine…except the nutritional information is identical, 100% totally identical. Oh sure, you could use the identical ingredients with a different design, but what if it tastes different? What if there is more filling this year…read on, let’s see!
8/10 – Yeah it’s fine, it’s got a window, but it’s been basically the same for 3 years now!
Have to say…for luxury pies, these are pretty poor looking. This is the experience when you take them out of the box…
Anything bothering you about these? Something off?
I’ll tell you what it is…look at the packaging up top. Look at the pies on the picture. See it, the tops are domed right? With kind of pointed edges. Well…let’s try a different angle, let’s see if it all becomes clear.
You got it…flat tops. I mean…what? The one top right on this picture just looks sad!
I dunno, are these faulty?
They’ve calmed down a little on the icing sugar this year too, but there is still loads of it literally everywhere as soon as I opened the pack!
The bake does look a little more even than last year, and the snow flake is pretty enough.
3/10 – The flat tops are just weird when compared to the packaging. I’m not a fan of these, they just look a bit ugly.
Ok…maybe the filling will pull these around. But how can it? I moaned about this badly last year and there has been no change in the composition of the pies, so they are clearly identical right? Wrong!
It’s wet yes, but it’s choc-full in the pie. It’s chunky, plenty of fruit, but it doesn’t smell particularly boozy.
There is the merest hint of a soggy bottom too, the thinness of the pastry on the base meaning that the longer these sit in the shop, they soggier they’re getting.
8/10 – A real improvement on last year…but it shouldn’t be…
Acid test then…how do they taste.
It’s a complicated story.
The first thing you catch is the icing sugar. There is plenty of it and if you breathe out through your nose as you take a bite, you’ll create a dusty sugary explosion.
As you bite into the pie, there is a satisfying solidity to the pastry on the lid. It’s heavy, buttery and has a bit of a crunch. The polar opposite to the muck Sainsbury’s have given us for their pies. But then you realise there is a lot of it, it’s quite thick on top.
The filling meanwhile, doesn’t really smell boozy but when you catch it there is a massive boozy after-taste, it kicks you after the first mouthful. It’s really quite nice actually.
The rest of the pastry is thin and texture-less, which is really disappointing.
13/20 – A mixed bag, good bits and bad bits in the taste here.
Overall then, surprisingly improved from last year, despite the composition being apparently identical. They really need to work on the presentation though, can do better here for certain.
And frankly, that packaging is misleading, I was expecting domes…give me domes!