Sunday 27 November 2016

Award Winning Luxury Mince Pies (Iceland)

Ok, I admit it. Despite my current marketing undergraduate status I recently  fell prey to the first trick in the book: the advert which promises that the product is the best and tastiest on the market. I was a bit dubious of the claims that Iceland have outshone both Harrods and Selfridges with their luxury mince pies however, so I undertook a spot of research. But indeed, it's true, Good Housekeeping magazine have lauded the budget frozen supermarket's festive offerings as the yummiest this year, saying that they "look for a homemade taste with an authentic yet impressive look – the fruit-to-pastry ratio is crucial and it has to have festive flair!"

That was certainly enough to persuade me to buy a pack anyway. At £1.50 for 6, they were slightly cheaper than the chocolate orange and salted caramel flavoured mince pies from ALDI, but would they be as special?

"All butter shortcrust pastry mince pies filled with a fruity mincemeat containing vine fruits and brandy."

I loved the design of them; the star on top and dusty coating of icing gave the pies a wonderfully Christmassy feel that I approved of. They also smelt good too, although they were slightly smaller than ALDI's funky versions. Slicing them in two revealed a good amount of filling, but there was still a slight gap between the mincemeat and the lid.

The pastry was every bit as delicious as i'd hoped following Good Housekeeping's recommendations. It was crumbly, rich, buttery and sweet -almost shortbread-like in it's decadence. The mincemeat was more delicate than I expected too, and I'm sure I could detect a spiced pear flavour -although I must've been imagining this as there was no mention of pears in the ingredients. Sometimes mincemeat can be on the heavy side but I didn't find this to be the case with these pies. This might not be a benefit if you're watching your weight because it means that that they are easier to eat and therefore tempting to enjoy more than just one -or is that just me?

I found that the mince pies were equally tasty at ambient temperature and warmed up in the microwave or oven. Of course I also enjoyed one with Morrisons' fresh salted caramel custard and can highly recommend that strange sounding pairing if you want to try something slightly different for dessert.

All in all, I am pleased that I was the advertising schmuck this time because Iceland really have produced some excellent mince pies, although they still don't beat the fresh ones I used to make every Christmas with my grandma -but then I don't think any ever will. They might not be as creative as ALDI's pies, but then sometimes traditional is better, don't you agree? Which supermarket do you think make the best mince pies? I'd love to know!


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