Oh go on, indulge! Our food ed's fave store-bought festive treats
Where to buy delicious bakes for the holidays
At this time of the year, ready-made mince pies are ten a penny in the supermarkets (click here to see how they fared in our recent taste test). In one popular retailer, they sit alongside hot cross buns on the shelves so you can celebrate two Christian holidays in one go!
My favourite version of this traditional treat is a homemade mince pie with a spiced fruit mince filling laced with brandy and encased in melt-in-the-mouth pastry.
It must be served warm and ideally be accompanied with a lump of mature cheddar cheese - yes the two flavours balance themselves perfectly - and a shot of port. This way I know that Christmas has arrived.
If you don’t have the time to bake your own, here are some of the ready-made mince pies or variations of the theme, that have taken my fancy this festive season:
LEBANESE MA’AMOUL BISCUITS
Made around Easter and Christmas in the Middle East, these semolina- and coconut-based short bread cookies have a fruity filling not too dissimilar to a mince pie – think dates, pistachios, almonds, and dried figs.
Priced at R12 each, they’re available from Just Teddy Fine Boulangerie & Pâtisserie in Hyde Park Corner, Joburg.
MOEMAS MINCE PIES
Many Joburgers will fondly remember the now defunct Moemas Deli in Parktown North, so they’ll be pleased to know the brand lives on in form of the Moemas Catering Co. And, better yet, that they’re making the most delicious mince pies this year.
They taste homemade because the pastry is buttery and melt-in-the-mouth and the filling generous. Instead of the mincemeat “mush” found in some commercial pies, you can easily distinguish the raisins, sultanas and citrus peel in the sweet syrup in this one.
They're priced at R15 each and R130 per dozen. See moemas.co.za
CHRISTMAS CLEMENGOLD FRUIT MINCE PIES
For a citrusy variation on the mince pie, I can’t resist the Christmas ClemenGold Fruit Mince Pies from Woolworths.
I so enjoy the size – they’re small dainty mouthfuls rather than standard mince pie-sized – and come stuffed with citrusy mincemeat filling, which cuts the richness and sweetness so beautifully.
They’re priced at R59.99 for 9 pies.