This year I've decided to review the once-a-year treat that is the mince pie. There's plenty of choice and this year and I've been piling on the Christmas pounds for your mince pie happiness. Here's the low down.
Shortcrust: 5/10 - This from the extra special range had a great filling but was let down by a under baked pastry. Unforgivable.
Shortcrust: 7/10 - After going viral with their 'Minge Pie' typeface issues, these dinky pies are a bargain at £1.50 for 12. Surprisingly they are well baked and the mince is tasty with a pleasant nutty crunch.
Shortcrust: 9/10 - Really nice mince to pastry ratio, and the mince itself is probably the best I've tasted. Puff Pastry: 6.5/10 - Brilliant mince pie, however I think they have slightly over done it with the pastry, minus points for the flaky mess.
Shortcrust: 6/10 - Not a bad attempt, let down by the tasteless mince meat. Puff Pastry: 4/10 - This didn't put me in the festive mood at all, too dry.
Shortcrust: 7/10 - Lovely mince pie, pastry cooked really well, mince good but not excellent. Puff Pastry: 8/10 - Tesco have nailed the puff pastry on this one, it would have received a really high score had the mince been up to Sainsbury standard.
Shortcrust-cake: 5/10 - This won't come as a surprise to anyone familiar with Costco, but these are 3x the size of your standard. Call me a traditionalist but I'm not sure if these even meet the 'pie' brief since they have a mince/cake filling, sorry but it's a little wrong if you ask me.
Shortcrust: 6/10 - I've been a huge advocate of Aldi and in past years I remember their mince pies being extremely good, however I was disappointed with this years offering. Pastry fine, mince ok. A little sugar on top and some booze in the mince would've gone a long way.
Shortcrust/Crumble: 7/10 Full marks for inventiveness, the crumble topping is inspired and certainly brings something new to the party. Quite a hefty pie borderline too big, but it is Christmas after all.
Martins Shortcrust: 8.5/10 - For a chain bakers such as Martins these pies look surprisingly homemade, not the prettiest but don't let the exterior fool you, they are fantastic.
0/0 - The branch I visited didn't even bake mince pies, tut tut tut.
Mr Kipling Shortcrust: 5/10 - The most worrying thing about these pies is how long they last (best before the middle of 2015!)
Pret a Manger Shortcrust: 6/10 - At the pricier end of the market, £1.30 per pie isn't what you'd call cheap but they are deep and well filled. The mince wasn't to my taste it's a little stodgy and doesn't really pack any punch. It could have been luck but mine was still warm which definitely adds a couple of points.
Shortcrust: 5/10 - Even pricier than Pret at £1.55 but just as disappointing probably more so. The mince had a nice texture but it wasn't matched in taste, pastry was nothing a bog standard Mr Kipling couldn't manage.
So there you have it, my roundup for 2014. Have you stumbled upon a glorious mince pie? I'd love to hear your thoughts tweet me @ricriley