Sunday Times Food Awards 2018

Which supermarket makes the tastiest Christmas mince pies?

To help you buy the best, we put five supermarkets' own-brand mince pies to the taste test

18 November 2018 - 00:00 By Annabel Frere
A good mince pie has a rich pastry, which is not too thick and melts in the-mouth, and has a generous amount of brandied fruit mincemeat filling.
A good mince pie has a rich pastry, which is not too thick and melts in the-mouth, and has a generous amount of brandied fruit mincemeat filling.
Image: 123RF/Lenazajchikova

HOW WE CONDUCTED OUR TASTE TEST

IT'S FREE AND FAIR!

To make it a fair tasting, we purchased standard mince pies from five leading retailers and gathered a group of home bakers for a blind tasting. 

All mince pies were stripped of their packaging and numbered before being served to the tasters, who rated them on appearance, aroma, taste, and whether they would buy them. 

Auditor Jade Craig checked the scores and collated the results.

THE RESULTS

FIRST PLACE: SPAR

Freshline Fruit Mince Pies

Price: R32.99 for 6

What the judges said:

  • Kathy: Very tasty pies. Nice-looking too and I like the sugar on top.
  • Annabel: Light pastry with generous filling.
  • Marguerite: Very good in all aspects
From top to bottom: mince pies from SPAR, Pick n Pay, Food Lover's Market, Woolworths and Checkers.
From top to bottom: mince pies from SPAR, Pick n Pay, Food Lover's Market, Woolworths and Checkers.
Image: Christoph Hoffmann

SECOND PLACE: PICK N PAY

Deep Filled Mince Pies

Price: R35.99 for 6

What the judges said:

• Gino: Good fruit, tasty pastry. Light and crisp.

• Penny: Shortbready pastry with juicy filling. A tad too sweet for me.

• Glen: Pastry a little thick but tasty.

THIRD PLACE: FOOD LOVER'S MARKET

Signature Mince Pies

Price: R34.99 for 6

What the judges said:

• Kathy: Very pretty but has no aroma. Very average taste.

• Ann: Pastry nice — light and melts in the mouth.

• Linda: Looks good but flavour lets it down. Good amount of filling.

FOURTH PLACE: WOOLWORTHS

Mini Fruit Mince Pies

Price: R44.99 for 9

What the judges said:

  • Annabel: Nice size. Good colour but overspiced filling and heavy pastry.
  • Gino: Pastry too thick, filling dry.
  • Linda: No aroma and pastry not cooked through.

FIFTH PLACE: CHECKERS

Fruit Mince Pies

Price: R34.99 for 6

What the judges said:

  • Pam: Pastry too yellow and breaks very easily but tastes good. Didn’t enjoy filling.
  • Jane: Pastry tastes better than it looks.
  • Glenn: Pastry funny colour with artificial taste.

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