“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Cakes „
Being Christmas time, there is nothing I love more at this time of year than being able to eat Mince Pies. I don't like all of them though, I only like the iced top ones and I prefer the Tesco ones over any. They only come out in the festive season, so I make sure I stock up on as many boxes as I can and then eat as many as possible until I am fed up of them for the next November when they begin to appear once again. I am the only person I know that likes Mince Pies, they just sum up Christmas to me and I love them with a nice cup of tea which is why I've decided to review them.
The packaging on these Mince Pies is quite distinct. They used to come in a dark cherry red box but now they are an emerald green box, still keeping the Christmas colours. They have a photo on the front of the pies themselves which makes them look very appetising. The Tesco logo is also on the left hand side with a description of the product, stating that they are sweet short crust pastry cases filled with rich mincemeat and topped with soft icing.
The box also states the nutritional information of the pies. Per mince pie, it is 215 calories which isn't as bad as I thought they'd be considering they are quite heavy. There is 22.8g of sugar in each though which is very high which is 25% of the daily required amount. There are 6.8g of fat and 2.7g of saturates as well as salt traces. The mince pies contain no artificial colours. For allergy reasons, it states that they contain milk, wheat and gluten and there are no nuts. They are not guaranteed nut free as the factory equipment as has been used for nut products previously.
These should be stored in a cool dry place so that the icing does not start to melt as this makes them a bit sickly otherwise. There is a contact address on the back of the box for complaint reasons and so on.
The pies are all in individual foil cases and there are six in the box. They look almost like bake well tarts but are with the pastry crust and the icing overlay. They are quite heavy but once out of the case can be instantly eaten. Biting into them causes sometimes the whole icing top to come off which can be annoying. Once biting in you get the sweetness of the icing as well as the sweetness of the mincemeat which is a really nice combination.
I feel without the icing these are really bland and the icing just adds to the sweetness and really enhances the flavour of them. I do always find that after having one of these, I am usually quite full as the mincemeat is very heavy once finished. The pastry is not at all crumbly, which I also like as I have had them in the past where the pastry has made a mess which I suppose is why they come with the foil case to keep them all together.
I have tried the Iced Top Mince Pies from all of the competing supermarkets such as Asda and Morrison's, the Morrison's are probably my next favourite but I think Tesco gets the mix just right. Their mince pies have a lightness to them and the icing is not too sickly it is lightly sweet whereas the others have thick, heavy icing and it is just too much. I also like the lightness of the pastry on these ones. I can't be the only one who is a fan because at this time of year I have to stock up in advance as they usually sell out quickly of the iced ones.
I can safely say for another year I have had too many again and now that Christmas is over, I am ready to say goodbye to these until next year.
These are obviously available from most Tesco's, I'm not sure if they will still have any left in stock as I usually find this near Christmas they will most likely have sold out. However, if you are lucky go to the cake aisle and you might be lucky enough to grab one of the last boxes. They are not the easiest to spot as all the Mr Kipling boxes usually take over the shelf but as I said look for the emerald green box or just ask staff.
These cost £1.09 I think it was something like this for a box of six which is about right for these in all stores. It isn't too bad and they should last if you don't have a big family. They are a nice sweet festive treat and you should give them a try if you haven't already.
I am very partial to a Mince Pie at Christmas although I can be slightly fussy. This is because pastry isn't my favourite thing in the world & also because you sometimes seem to buy pies from shops that claim to be "Deep Filled" & look large, only to take a bite & discover that "Deep Filled" actually means where the filling ends is deep inside the pie & half of it is air!
The thing I like most about these pies is that you don't have the problem of a mince & air pie. The Icing is on top of the mince. No huge gap & no pocket of air. Great stuff.
The packet comes with 6 pies inside. The icing is Royal Icing only in my opinion slightly softer. It tastes very nice & goes well with the Mince. The Mince is sweet & fruity & seems to have a good quantity of raisins along with a little candied fruit. The Pastry is good. Pretty sturdy & doesn't break up too easily, although it is still soft when biting into it. It tastes good with a hint of butter & isn't too dry.
These Mince Pies tend to be priced around the £1.00 mark. A couple of words of warning though. Firstly, in my local supermarket they tend to sell out pretty quickly & aren't always in stock so if you want them, it might be worth buying a couple of packs when you see them. Secondly, because they have icing, the sell by date isn't very good. I bought 3 packs in the first couple of days of November, only to get them home & see their sll by date was 24/11/09 - a whole month before Christmas. Needless to say I've eaten them all! The last time I was in there the best date they had was Christmas Eve. I'm sure they have some which actually last 'till Christmas Day by now, but it's something you should look out for.
I would certainly recommend the pies. They taste good. Aren't filled with a load of air. Are reasonably priced & because they have icing they even feel a little more luxerious than normal Mince Pies. A nice item.
From the Tesco Christmas range comes....
What are they?
Just as the packet states "sweet shortcrust pasty cases filled with sweet mincemeat and topped with a soft icing"
These are by far the best and most original mince pies I've ever tasted. The pastry is moist,soft and sweet to taste. Unlike most mince pies these have no pastry "top" as it were, instead they are topped with a devine layer of sweet white icing. The icing compliments the sweet mixed spice mincemeat incredibly and makes for a fantastic Christmassy taste in your mouth!
What's in them?
Mincemeat, fondant, wheat flour, vegetable oil, sugar, milk protein, salt , raising agent, emulsifier, colour.
Trace of salt.
They are suitable for vegetarians.
These pies contain milk, wheat, gluten and sulphites and although the recipe is nut free it cannot be guaranteed that some naughty nuts have not snuck themselves in. Lets face it what ingredient wouldn't want to be part of this amazing recipe!
Very festive, lots of warm red tones. The pies are centre of attention and decorated with some holly to add that extra Christmassy touch.
A pack of six pies will only set you back 98p (16p each!) - Grab yourself a delicious bargain this Christmas at Tesco!
Merry Christmas x
Time was when a mince pie was simply a dollop of mincemeat encased in a pale pastry case, simple as that. You knew where you were and what you would receive if you went into a coffee shop or tea house and asked for a mince pie to accompany your hot drink. Nowadays if you set out to buy this little yuletide treat you are faced with a bewildering array of mince pies in all shapes, sizes and styles. You can have them in puff pastry, choux pastry and shortcrust pastry. You can have them covered in chocolate (Yuk!) you can have them with Viennese style cake on top, you can even have them with fresh cream oozing out of every hole. The mincemeat has had virtually every alcoholic drink available added to it with very little effect to the taste but plenty of effect to the price. It can surely only be a matter of time before some genius with no regard for tradition decides that the next big thing in the mince pie market is to have them deep fried or, heaven forbid, sealed in marzipan and boiled.
So it was with some trepidation that I happened upon the latest offering from Tesco, Iced top mince pies. My first thoughts were to give them a wide birth and look for some more traditional looking cakes, but then I noticed they were on special offer. Any two packs of Tesco deep filled mince pies, Tesco mince pies or Tesco Iced top mince pies for the reasonable sum of £1.50. With a price of 99p for one pack I had very little to loose financially and so took the plunge with a pack of deep filled and a pack of Iced top and the idea of comparing the two.
Packaging wise all of Tesco mince pies are much of a muchness, a predominantly red box with the pie in question posing wantonly on the front. The back of the box is taken up with Ingredients and nutritional Information. Opening the box I was alarmed at the over protection of the pies, a plastic tray held the mince pies in place which were covered by another shallower plastic tray, this hole arrangement was then sealed in a cellophane bag and glued into the box. Since the pies were not especially fragile this seemed to be overkill on the part of the manufacturers, and a factor that adds to cost and waste issues, a simple cardboard holder would have sufficed.
So to the mince pies themselves and on first inspection they look just like a Mr Kiplings Bakewell tart save for the absence of a cherry on top. There is no aroma to speak of while the pie is whole, and the icing top is fairly firm to the touch. The pastry is universal in colour and seems to have been baked for the correct amount of time. Breaking the pie in half reveals a decent amount of mincemeat in proportion to the other constituents, with plenty of sultanas and raisins in evidence. The mincemeat has a pleasant fruity smell with just the hint of spiciness you would expect. Unfortunately the icing that makes up the top of the pie has been over used, and a quick look at the packaging reveals it makes up a whopping 27% of the total pie weight, far too much in my view.
But enough of this visual examination lets see how this offering performs where it is meant to, in my mouth. A single bite with my big mouth rips the pie clean in two. First impressions are that the liquid part of the mincemeat flows onto the tongue, (and down the chin if your not careful), and gives off a pleasant flavour. The spiciness is in evidence here mixed with an underlying fruitiness; however the mincemeat is just a little on the sweet side for my liking and lacked any real depth of flavour once the initial pleasantness dissipates. The pastry is of fairly standard fare for the product; soft and well cooked but leaving little lasting impression, it seems its sole role in this mince pie is to stop the mincemeat escaping and little more. As for the icing top, well as Ive said it looked like there was too much in proportion to the other ingredients and this theory is born out in the eating process. It cloys the mouth and does its best to usurp the mincemeat and pastry rather than compliment them, thus giving a disjointed feel and taste to the whole mince pie. The fact that there is so much icing also adds to the astronomical calorie count, an astounding 202 kcals per pie is ridiculous for an item of food weighing less than two ounces. Add to that the fact that some of the Ingredients are, shall we say, not completely natural and this is a mince pie probably best avoided if you dont approve of additives.
This mince pie could have been so much more, if I had been involved in the making of it I would have made the pastry shorter, with that glorious melt in the mouth texture. I would have also given the mincemeat a fuller flavour with the addition of more fruit, spice and a little less sugar. I would also merely drizzle a small amount of icing on top to set off the richer mincemeat nicely rather than swamp it out of existence. 10% maximum is the amount of icing needed for this product rather than the 27% in evidence. On the plus side, these mince pies are suitable for Vegetarians and can be frozen; however, they have been made in a factory that uses nut ingredients so people with such an allergy should steer well clear.
I have given the Tesco Iced top mince pie 2 stars as it is simply too sweet for my taste, maybe youll disagree, but for me its back to the good old fashioned mince pie with a pastry top on, you know where you are with them