I've already reviewed the winners of this years' prestigious Good Housekeeping Institute's prestigious Mince Pie taste tests, and today it's the turn of the 2015 runners up -made by Greggs. For those of you who, like me, live in non-mince-pie eating households, it's always handy to be able to buy a single pastry without committing to a whole box. Unfortunately traditional British bakeries offering freshly baked bread and cakes are somewhat on the decline, but most high streets do offer (at least one) Greggs. In fact their mince pie was the first I tried this season -before I thought sod it, and bought three 6 pack boxes to eat to myself. Hey, it's Christmas, it's traditional to be more stuffed than the Turkey throughout (November and) December, right?
"It's that time of year when you can enjoy our sweet mince pies!
Deliciously crumbly shortcrust pastry, filled with a sweet mincemeat, made with vine fruits, Bramley apple and candied orange and lemon peel - YUM!"
This was a fairly wide and shallow mince pie, much more akin to the ones I used to make with my Grandma every year (I miss doing that so much) than most of the deeper shop bought varieties. The pastry was a light golden colour and there was a fair amount of caster sugar gracing the top. So far, so good.
Unfortunately, the taste wasn't fantastic. At the time I wondered whether my tastes had changed (yet again) and I'd just gone off mince pies, but I've since tried Iceland's fabulous luxury versions and ALDI's wacky flavoured offerings, and realised that Greggs just haven't done a great job. The case to filling ratio was off, and the sheer amount of pastry made it rather claggy to eat. Unfortunately it wasn't buttery or shortbread-esque like Iceland's either, which made for a rather cumbersome eating experience.
Please excuse the nibbled edges - I was eating this on the train!
The mincemeat was pretty standard, on the plus side it was quite heavily spiced but it hadn't been cooked for long enough, resulting in globs of unattractive suet permeating the filling. Humf.
Perhaps this is why the Greggs Mince Pie dropped to number 17 out of 24 in the Good Housekeeping's Taste Test this year. C'mon Greggs, more effort next year please!