Mince Pies (The Sainsbury’s Epic)

Ok so hopefully you’ve see the intro to my mince pie tasting. As a follow-up I’ve bundled my over zealous trip to Sainsbury’s in an epic collection. When I went to Sainsbury’s they had a massive Christmas aisle so I had to calm down and not buy half the shop. I ended up going for a selection that covered the styles on offer. I included the gluten free pies as I’ve had requests for gluten free beer so thought it worth putting this one out there too. So enough chat lets eat…

The Pies

  • Sainsbury’s Free From
  • Sainsbury’s Bakery
  • Sainsbury’s Deep fill
  • Sainsbury’s Iced top
  • Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference

Sainsbury’s Free From

Sainsburys_FreeFrom_Half

It is good that Sainsbury’s have a Free From range so people with food allergies are not stuck between having nothing or something that will potentially make them ill. The question is what is a mince pie like with gluten free pastry.

Well the graph tells the sad picture. The crust:filling ratio was near perfect but that doesn’t stop the crust and the filling lacking in all the other dimensions. There was a buttery/sugary crunchy top which wasn’t good but there were some fat juicy raisins which were tasty. Just not enough to save this pie from a low score.
Sainsburys_FreeFrom

Sainsbury’s Bakery

Sainsburys_Bakery

I’m always hopeful for the in house bakery pies as the only reason to bother is to do it better than the pre-packaged options. Here we have a little pack of four that have full lids and a sugar sprinkle. Sealed lids often means lack of filing and unfortunately as you can see here there just isn’t enough filling for the amount of crust we have:
Sainsburys_Bakery_Half

This pie just fell a little short. The filling was ok the extra sugar on top wasn’t required and there was just way to much pastry. Perhaps just a little triangle or star of pastry would have been right, or double the filling.

Sainsburys_Bakery

Sainsbury’s Deep fill

Sainsburys_DeepFill

After the disappointment of the own bakery not having enough filling hopes are high that a good deep fill pie will come out with glowing colours. What happened! The pastry was super thick.

Sainsburys_DeepFill_HalfClose

It wasn’t even good pastry, dry and cloy. The picture doesn’t quite capture it but the ‘deep fill’ was actually in name only as the pie was only half filled. We were very disappointed here.

Sainsburys_DeepFill

Sainsbury’s Iced top

Sainsburys_IcedTop

Our hopes of Sainsbury’s having something good were rapidly waining especially as next up is a style of mince pie I’m not a big fan of, the iced top. The good news is that the filling had a good balance of sweet and spicy. They must have used a slightly different recipe to the deep fill pie. If only that goey, chewy icing top had been swapped for a little more pastry then this would have been so much better. As it is, this mince pie is let down by the icing but is the best Sainsbury’s pie we’ve tried, so far.

Sainsburys_IcedTop

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference

Sainsburys_TTD

We saved the Taste the Difference for last in the hope that we would, ‘Taste’ the difference. These were larger and deeper that the other offerings of the day. Finally we struck gold! The filling and a super orange twist that wasn’t overly sweet and brought an interesting spicy profile. However our luck ran out in finding the perfect pie as the pastry here was poor with an overly buttery texture that just didn’t work.

Sainsburys_TTD_Half

Whilst the pie wasn’t stuffed full the balance between crust and filling was almost right. In fact it was a a little filling heavy, but that might have been down to the odd crumbly texture of the crust. It was however the best pie we’ve tried and perhaps if warmed and a healthy dollop of brandy cream was added then you might not notice the pastry problems.

Sainsburys_TTD

After all that sugar intake we’re buzzing round the room so we’ll have to up the ante for the next and final round.