Thursday, 22 December 2011

The verdict is still out...

As the title says 'The verdict is still out'...  now what is the verdict out on I hear you ask?!  The best Mince Pies!!!

Now a new found friend & mutual acquaintance of my bestie, Alex, had recommended them on my bestie Jason's FB status, to quote: "If you get a chance to drive to a Waitrose, Heston's mince pies are absolutely wonderful! In fact if I pass buy a Waitrose this week I will get you a box so you can sample them"

Now true to his word, Alex did pass by a Waitrose & picked up a packet that he dropped round to my bestie yesterday (Tuesday) for sampling!  To quote Alex again in a PM to me "Just been shopping at Waitrose and picked up a pack of Heston's mince pies for Jason - I will try to get them to him today so that you can try them tomorrow"

The 'Sharp Clan' went round to Ayres Mansion for a Pre-Christmas soiree today (Wednesday), it was a lovely little get together & the children played while the grown ups chatted & out came the Mince Pies for the taste challenge... We started with the highly recommended 'Heston Blumenthal - Puff Pastry Mince Pies with pine Sugar Dusting'

First came the discussion by myself, Jason & Claire, me joking about the sugar smelling like toilet cleaner... promptly followed by me being like a child with a present & having to open the sachet of Pine Sugar to see if it actually smelt like toilet cleaner - OMG, by Christ it blinking well did, I just couldn't believe how much it smelt like pine toilet duck!  I was getting worried at this point as I didn't fancy biting into a Mince Pie that tasted like toilet cleaner!

Next was the appearance of them, they looked like sausage rolls of all things... they weren't even round!!!  What on Earth were these things?!  I was getting more & more concerned about putting one of these so called 'Mince Pies' into my mouth.

Anyway, Jason cordially placed said Mince Pies into the oven to warm as per the box instructions & then sprinkled with the pine sugar... I was nervous I must admit, but never the less I did take a bite & well I had to take another & another: 1) to be certain & 2) so as to be polite (was taught never to leave food)

Now I have to say I wasn't all that impressed, yes they tasted ok (not a bit like toilet cleaner, even though the sugar smelt like it) but they really were in my opinion nothing to write home about.  I am asking all parties that tried these mince Pies, to comment on this blog with their reviews at the end as my opinion counts for toffee on it's own... Mmmmmmmmmmmmm toffee! Lol

My review: they tasted ok, didn't like the shape, didn't like the flaky puff pastry (too damn messy IMO) & well although it didn't taste like it the sugar smelt of toilet duck!

Not overly impressed with the HB Mince Pie, I demanded that the M&S Lattice Mince Pies came out just so I could compare them - what am I like?!  Now although these had a lattice top as opposed to a traditional sealed pastry lid, I was not as scared to try these as I had been with the HB Mince Pies... I did however choose to have the most aesthetically pleasing appearance to the eye as far as these mince pies went - issues! Lol

After trialling the M&S Lattice Mince Pies, I decided to get marks out of 10 from everyone for both types of Mince Pie... the scores were as follows:

Heston Blumenthal - Total = 37½/50

Alison 9/10
Claire 8/10
Duncan 10/10
Jason 6/10
Lynda 4½/10

M&S - Total = 36½/50

Alison 5/10
Claire 9/10
Duncan 5/10
Jason 8/10
Lynda 9½/10

So as you can see there is only 1 point between the two so the verdict is still out as to which is the better Mince Pie?!  I personally think home made can't be beaten & I do think I may just have to make some to ask everyone else what their verdict is on my Mince Pies!  So you decide, which is the most superior, ultimate, perfect Mince Pie???

Well apologies to all that have been waiting this blog, I must confess I started to type this around 11:30pm (Wednesday) but alas at around 12:30am I dozed off at the laptop on the sofa so when I awoke at 2am I had a fair bit of deleting random letters then had to set to it again - finished it though, so time for a quick cigarette before bed now I am awake again, Lol!


  1. The main problem I had with Heston's pies is that as soon as I opened the packet and saw them, all I could think about was sausage rolls. Delicious flaky pastry once bitten in to but all I could think about was lovely sausage filling, so mince was never going to cut it.

    Many thanks to Alex for providing them though, it was nice to try them. The others disagreed but it's nice that we're all different - life on earth would be dull indeed if we all liked the same thing.

    Jason xx

  2. Hmmm... I hadn't made the sausage roll connection as I rarely eat them, but now you mention it I thoroughly get it! One of my friends has been tasting all the mince pies that he can find (search for #mincepiebritain on twitter.)
    I supplied some Heston pies for him to try too, but I think that the regular Waitrose all butter mince pies came top of his list...