We tasted mince pies from Aldi, Tesco and Lidl to see which ones are the best this Christmas

We tasted mince pies from Aldi, Tesco and Lidl to see which ones are the best this Christmas

December 17, 2021

BUTTERY pastry, plump raisins, that sticky Christmassy tasting sauce and lashings of sugar on top make for the ultimate mince pie.

It’s a classic festive staple, and we Brits chomp our way through millions of them each holiday – and demand for the treats has never been higher.



According to data from Kantar, Brits are expected to spend more than £100million on the Christmas treats this year.

Supermarkets have also reported a 10% rise in the number of sales as Brits raced to buy the pastries following warnings there could be a shortage.

But because mince pies are such a Christmas favourite, it can be really disappointing if you bite into a bland – or soggy – one.

That’s why we put nine through a blind taste test to crown who is selling the ultimate mince pie.

We pitched eight supermarket own brand mince pies against one big brand, Mr Kipling, to see which one came out on top.

We picked packets of six mince pies, apart from Lidl, which was only selling boxes of 12.

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Tesco triumphed with it’s delicious mince pies which we thought were great value for money, while Mr Kipling and Asda both came bottom of the leaderboard.

Points were knocked off Mr Kipling’s pies for their sloppy design, while Asda’s left us feeling disappointed in the blind taste test.

The Sun approached Asda and Mr Kipling for comment.

We ranked each mince pie based on price, taste, appearance and value for money.

We also did a blind taste test to get a fair judgement on what the pies tasted like without being swayed by fancy packaging or the look of the pie itself.

Here’s how they fared:

Tesco

  • Winner: 28.5/40

At first, we were a little sceptical about Tesco's mince pies.

While they were the third cheapest packet on offer at 87p for six, we weren't blown away when we took them out of the packet.

Some of the filling was visible through gaps in the pastry, and the simple star design looked a little faded on some of the pies.

However, when we took the pie out of the film, it held firm and didn't crumble, which made it easier to eat.

It was also stuffed full of mincemeat filling.

It was the tastiest mince pie we tried when we tested them blind.

The raisins were fat and covered in a rich, sticky sauce that tasted just like Christmas.

The pastry was thick but not too much that the pie became claggy.

Sainsbury's

  • Second place: 26.5/40

Sainsbury's mince pies were yummy, which made up for the fact that they weren't the cheapest pies you could buy.

At £1, it ranked nearer the upper end of the price scale – but we thought shelling out a bit more was worth it.

The pies were crammed full of mincemeat filling, sealed in a crusty pastry.

There was also a nice covering of sugar on top, giving it a nice crunchy, sweet texture, helping them score a 7.5 out of 10 on taste.

However, the pies came out of the packaging a little chipped around the edges and the Christmas tree design was a little faded on some of them.

But that didn't stop us from giving them a 7 out of 10 for value for money, helping Sainsbury's nudge up to second place on the leaderboard.

Lidl

  • Third place: 26/40

Lidl's mince pies were a bargain at £1.49 for a pack of 12 – which works out at around 12p per pie.

They looked like a strong contender when we opened up the package to discover a beautiful Holly leaf design on top.

There was also a generous sprinkling of sugar on top, which made us want to tuck straight in – so we ranked them 7 out of 10 on look.

But when it came to the blind taste test, Lidl's mince pies left us underwhelmed.

The pastry was soggy and turned instantly claggy in our mouth.

We were expecting a sweet and spiced filling, but instead we were left with a slightly bitter taste in our mouths.

Because of this, we ranked them 5.5 on value for money.

Morrisons

  • Fourth place: 24/40

Morrisons mince pies made us feel super festive when we took them out of the packet.

The pies had a beautiful snowflake design, which made us want to curl up with a glass of mulled wine and tuck in.

However, the crust had broken apart on some of the pies, and there wasn't a lot of sugar on them either.

Unfortunately, part of the snowflake design had fallen off the edge on some of them too.

When we took a bite, we were instantly overpowered by the flavour of mincemeat inside.

It was too strongly spiced for our liking, but the pastry tested the best out of all of the pies we tasted.

Morrisons scored sixes across the board on taste, appearance, price and value for money, giving it a score of 24 out of 40.

Aldi

  • Fifth place: 23.5/40

We were expecting a delicate design of three tiny stars on top of Aldi's mince pies – instead, we got blobs on chipped pastry.

The supermarket's pies looked nothing like the packet suggested they would and we think the kids could have done a better job of decorating them.

Nearly all the sugar dusting had disappeared from the pies too, and we scored them just 3 out of 10 for appearance.

It was a good job the taste test was blind, as the pies scored a respectable 6.5.

They also scored highly on price, being the second cheapest pies of the bunch.

But we just couldn't get past the terrible design, and because Christmas is a time to treat yourself, we would rather spend a little more on some extra special ones that look the part too.

So we marked Aldi's pies a 6 out of 10 for value for money.

M&S

  • Joint sixth place: 21.5/40

M&S' mince pies got us all excited – the eye-catching gold and red packaging really drew us in, and when we took a closer look at the pies, we loved the design.

Each pie had a detailed Holly leaf design on it, kept perfectly in tact.

A star has been punched into the middle of each pie, offering a peak of the filling inside – and there was a lot of it in there from the looks of things.

But the pies didn't blow us away in the blind taste test, scoring 6 out of 10.

While the filling was gooey and oozed temptingly out of the pie when we took a bite, there was almost too much of it and not enough pastry for our liking.

The flavour of the pie was more subtle than others like Tesco's, which packed a punch in a good way.

Because they were the most expensive mince pies we tasted, we didn't think they quite hit the mark on value for money which is why we ranked them a 5 out of 10.

Waitrose

Joint sixth: 21.5/40

Although they looked nice and buttery, Waitrose's mince pies could have done being left in the oven a bit longer to get that nice golden brown finish.

They looked a little on the pale side, but we loved the beautiful snowflake design on top.

We didn't spot a lot of sugar on the pies, and the box they came in looked a little dull as well.

They would need to have blown our socks off to make up for the price tag of £1.80 – the second priciest pies on our list.

And while we enjoyed them in the blind taste test, they didn't quite hit the mark.

There wasn't enough pastry, but we enjoyed the tasty filling.

While it was a nice enough mince pie, we thought you could get better value for money elsewhere, so we scored Waitrose a 5 out of 10 on this.

Mr Kipling

  • Joint seventh: 21/40

Mr Kipling mince pies always seemed like a bit of a posh treat when we were younger because they are a little pricier than other brands.

We also remembered them looking a lot more enticing too – but when we took the mince pies out of the packet we were disappointed at the sloppy design.

The star design looks a bit haphazard and the overall look of the pie didn't make us want to dive straight in, so we scored it 4 out of 10 for appearance.

But the treats scored highly in our blind taste test – we got a kick of Christmas spices when we took a bite, and the pastry was nice and firm, holding the filling in nicely.

But at £1.25, Mr Kipling pies were among the most expensive you could buy on our list – and for that price, we would have expected the overall finish of the treats to be much better.

Because of that, the mince pies scored a middling 6 out of 10 for value for money.

Asda

  • Joint seventh: 21/40

Asda's mince pies had a cute Christmas star design on them, which we thought kids in particular would love.

There was a good coating of sugar on top, but when we opened the pies up to inspect the filling, there wasn't a lot of it compared to the others.

Things went downhill from there.

In the blind taste test, the filling was so bland we had to take two bites – we thought we were just eating pastry.

We could hardly taste any of those festive spices that make mince pies such a Christmas classic.

The pastry was a little soggy as well, and we missed that crunchy crust that makes a mince pie so delicious – it scored just 3.5 out of 10.

Because of this, we also knocked the value for money score down to a 3.5 out of 10.

We also tried Pizza Hut's Christmas menu and we couldn't see a Brussels sprout or turkey in sight.

Check out what happened when we tested Costa's festive menu.

We tried everything on the menu at McDonald's too, including the two new burgers and camembert bites.

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