Sunday Times Food Awards

Where to buy the best mince pies this Christmas

Nothing says Christmas like a rich, spicy fruit mince pie. Here's which local supermarket's mince pies came tops in our taste test

26 November 2017 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller
Christmas mince pies from left: SPAR, Checkers, Pick n Pay, Woolworths.
Christmas mince pies from left: SPAR, Checkers, Pick n Pay, Woolworths.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

HOW WE CONDUCTED OUR TASTE TEST

It's free and fair!

Taste is a subjective thing, we know, but when you gather a group of 42 Sunday Times readers together and ask them to blind-taste readymade Christmas mince pies from four retailers, there will be winners and losers.

The mince pies were served without any packaging or branding, and the tasters were asked to rate them according to price, appearance, taste and fruitiness and pastry.

Auditor Morne Kok oversaw the event, tallied the scores and gave the tasting his stamp of approval.

THE RESULTS

FIRST PLACE: SPAR mince pies

Price: R32.99 for 6

Judges's comments:

  • Ashton: The pastry and sugar topping is lovely and the filling nice and moist.
  • Heather: Crispy pastry but a bit crumbly. Spicy moist fruit. Excellent.
  • Charlotte: Beautiful to look at but a slight acidity in the filling.
  • Jakkie: Spice just enough, not overwhelming.

SECOND PLACE: Checkers mince pies

Price: R32.99 for 6

Judges's comments:

  • Constance: Pastry crumbly but nicely done. The spicy flavour is not there in filling. It's sweet.
  • Sipho: I have had better pies but this pastry is good.
  • Meco: A few of the pies fell apart but the taste was great.

THIRD PLACE: Pick n Pay mince pies 

Price: R29.99 for 6

Judges's comments:

  • Ashton: The pastry is very thick and has a soggy bottom. Not completely cooked? Too sweet for me.
  • Heather: Golden brown colour on top is appetising but I didn't like the 3 big holes on the top. The filling is a bit sweet.
  • Katlego: The pie looked nicer than it tasted.

FOURTH PLACE: Woolworths mince pies

Price: R34.99 for 6

Judges's comments:

  • Collette: Out of the four tasted it was my least favourite. Pastry too sweet and filling jammy.
  • Charlotte: I found the pastry dry and filling too sweet.
  • Obed: Filling too dry and pastry is hard.

ANC Conference 2017
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