Small, round and filled with sweet mincemeat, there’s nothing that says Christmas quite like a succulent mince pie.
The festive staple treat dates back as far as the Middle Ages but the recipe has changed considerably throughout the centuries.
Back in the medieval times, mince pies were filled with some sort of meat, such as lamb, instead of the dried fruits and spices in today’s offerings.
They were also larger in size and made in an oval shape to represent the baby Jesus's manger.
Nowadays they are small, round and can be served hot or cold with a dollop of cream or brandy butter.
With not long to go until the big day, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to test a huge variety of brands from the popular London bakery Konditor and Cook to supermarkets like Aldi, Asda and Sainsbury’s.
See below for our annual roundup of the best mince pies.
Konditor and Cook Mince Pies
With plenty of flavour and a good ratio of filling to pastry, Konditor and Cook’s mince pies were a total hit with our testers. They are wonderfully dinky and have been cooked perfectly, with a lovely golden finish that adds to the ‘just like your grandma makes’ homemade feel. There’s also a good amount of spice that is complemented by a hint of orange oil – absolutely divine.
£16 | Konditor and Cook | Buy it now
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference All Butter Mince Pies
If you like your mince pies generously filled, go for these Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference options. Featuring a festive star design, the pastry tastes decent but the crumbly texture means you can make bit of a mess biting into one. The mincemeat packs a hefty punch when it comes to sweetness and contains the right amount of brandy. A good balance of flavours.
£2 | Sainsbury’s | Buy it now
Sainsbury’s Deliciously FreeFrom Mince Pies
For anyone who suffers from wheat, gluten and milk allergies, this Deliciously FreeFrom batch are large in size and packed with mincemeat that isn’t too sweet and doesn’t have any distinctive flavour. Great with a midday cuppa.
£1.65 | Sainsbury’s | Buy it now
Betty’s Specialty Mince Pies
Impress your guests with these delicious frangipane and ricciarelli topped mince pies, a perfect twist on the festive classic. The iconic Yorkshire tea room has packed these luxurious treats with a raisiny sherry-soaked filling, which balances well with the beautifully cooked pastry. The finishing touches are a light dusting of icing sugar and finely chopped almonds. Nicely balanced and addictively tasty.
£12.50 | Bettys | Buy it now
Asda Extra Special All-Butter Luxury Mince Pies
These ones are bargain-priced and contain plenty of filling, which isn’t too sweet and boasts subtle hints of brandy and ruby port. Finished with a sweet dusting of icing, the buttery shortcrust case is slightly pale and crumbles easily – so we had to be careful lifting them out of the case. Bonus points for the Christmassy snowflake design.
£1.39 | Asda | Buy it now
Aldi Flavoured Mince Pies
Another nice twist on the original mince pie, these flavoured options from Aldi smell good and are filled with either a salted caramel or black forest dessert filling. Both flavours were slightly bland, but would pair nicely with some brandy butter or vanilla ice cream. Available in-store only.
£1.99 | Aldi | Visit site
PAUL Mini Mince Pie Collection
Traditionalists, look away now. It doesn’t get more modern than this collection of different flavoured mini mince pies from the famous French bakery. The nicely cooked pastry melds well with the filling – but our tasters weren’t too keen on the flavours here. Each box includes PAUL’s apple crumble, chocolate and pecan mince pies.
£10.95 | PAUL | Buy it now
Waitrose All Butter Mince Pies
These utterly festive mince pies are packed full of flavour and taste best heated up. You get a good crunch from the slightly biscuity pastry case but it doesn’t crumble easily, unlike some others on this list. The mincemeat is juicy and not overpoweringly sweet, making this a really well balanced and enjoyable treat.
£2.50 | Waitrose | Buy it now
The beautifully cooked Mince Pies from Konditor and Cook are a hands down winner, offering the perfect amount of sweetness and just the right size for enjoying at festive gatherings or in the office at tea o’clock. The indulgent Speciality Mince Pies from Bettys are also a must-try, especially for those looking to break the mould this Christmas.