REVIEW: M&S The Collection Mince Pies (2019)


These are number one in the 2019 Which mince pie reviews chart. I wonder what I think?

Packaging

First off, the box is a normal kind of fancy box. It’s not Christmassy in anyway. Remember the rule, the less you say about Christmas on the front, the more subtle your branding and imagery, the more fancy the pies.

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There is a window to the pies and the double star effect shows through nicely, with the icing sugar giving a mixture of thoughts from ‘very lovely’ to ‘these might be a bit messy’.

The packaging is nice enough, but very boring.

6/10 – Just not Christmassy enough, but bonus points for the window. Let the pies do the talking I guess.

Presentation

Sliding them out of the box, the tray is solid and transaparent, which is always nice and continues the theme of making us look at only the pies.

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The double star effect is really good. Nobody is noticing if they don’t put that extra small star on top, nobody is complaining, but the fact they’ve done it, they’ve pushed the envelope of pastry decoration. Respect to them, it looks great.

The icing sugar helps too, the snow-like effect works well. Caution though, as expected, they are a bit messy and breathing out and biting down will look like you’ve had an interesting visit to Bolivia.

They’re evenly baked, no rough edges or falling apart. Magic!

9/10 – Genuinely beautiful mince pies, one point off for the messy icing sugar!

Filling

One thing these mince pies are not, is large.

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The sizing here is more like the Iceland ones, not so deep, and they’re certainly no Fortnum and Mason in size. But that’s ok, the box isn’t extra large, it fits the pies and something else that fits, is the filling.

The filling comes right to the brim, never overflows, and has real genuine chunks of filling. Nothing much more to say.

10/10 – Faultless

Taste Test

So, just how does it taste?

Rather excellent actually!

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The pastry is crisp, very slightly buttery, but no claggyness, a reasonable crunch and no suggy bottom.

There is a lovely aroma from the pies too, it’s not massively boozy but the orangey clementine with the cognac does fill your senses and there is a great kick back. It’s perhaps a little uneven, suggesting your mileage may vary a little, with some pies much richer than the others. When you catch the good stuff, there is a great flavour journey here though.

You can definitely get two in a bowl too, if you’re going for the custard topping!

I think it’s fair to say Which are on to something this year and I may well be buying a bunch of these for Christmas week. If only the Ocado deal was this year!

19/20 – Just a tiny bit uneven across pies, but properly lush.

Overall

Big score here, big big score…

44/50

Second best pie ever! Wowsers!

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