12 Bakes of Christmas 2017: Homemade Mince Pies Vs. Shop-Bought

0


Everyone loves a bit of baking – or eating baked goods – at Christmas, and the most festive bake of all is the mince pie. But with every single supermarket decked head to toe with them for only a pound or two, are homemade mince pies really worth slogging away in the kitchen for?

I decided to put this to the test. I bought Tesco’s cheapest and most expensive mince pies, as well as the ingredients to make my own. I roped in an unbiased, mince pie connoisseur (my mum) and we judged the three options based on how they looked, tasted, and fared in terms of price. So now I’m bringing you the mince pie lowdown, just in time for Christmas.

Credit: Megan Hart

Tesco’s Finest mince pies – £2 for 6.

The first ones we tried were the Tesco’s Finest mince pies, and I must admit that these were certainly the prettiest of the three. They were actually really tasty too; the mincemeat was rich yet sweet and, as someone with a sweet tooth, I really liked the extremely buttery, almost shortbread-like pastry. However, though she loved the mincemeat, my mum deemed the pastry too sweet, particularly as they are also topped with granulated sugar.

 

Credit: Megan Hart

Tesco’s standard mince pies – £1 for 6.

The standard mince pies didn’t go down quite as well. Though less than 17 pence per mince pie, we weren’t as impressed by the decoration and the taste wasn’t nearly as good. The mincemeat was quite bland and the pastry, though less sweet, tasted much more manufactured than the Tesco’s finest ones, and the texture wasn’t as crumbly. Clearly, it’s worth spending that extra pound…

 

 

My own mince pies – less than £0.85 for 6.

Credit: Megan Hart

If you don’t feel like breaking the bank, clearly the best bet is to make your own! Ok, so I’m aware that my own mince pies aren’t winning any prizes for presentation – I’m only an amateur after all – but these were definitely the yummiest mince pies of the three. Homemade always wins, and if you feel as though you’ve already spent enough time in the kitchen, or that your baking skills aren’t up to scratch, then there’s a very easy way to cheat. I bought the mincemeat for £1 and shortcrust pastry (don’t judge, even Mary Berry buys her pastry) for £1.25, making this the cheapest option as I got 16 mince pies out of it, with pastry to spare.

If you’re a bit of a whiz in the kitchen, unlike me, then the ultimate kitchen whiz, Delia, has a great recipe according to my grandma (I stick to the lazy method). If you’re more like me, however, then this is all you need to do:

  1. Flour up your surface and rolling pin, and then get rolling your pastry until it’s just a few millimetres thick.
  2. Grab yourself a cupcake tin, grease it, and choose which cutters you want.
    I did a mixture of circles, stars and hearts but you can use whichever ones you want.
  3. Cut out some circles to fit your cupcake tin and place them in, followed by a generous teaspoonful of mincemeat.
  4. Add your lids and lightly coat them with whisked egg to glaze them.
  5. Pop them in the oven, preheated at 180 degrees Celsius, for around 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden.
  6. Leave them to cool on a wire rack and then sprinkle with icing sugar (it hides a multitude of sins), and I also added some edible gold glitter.
Credit: Megan Hart

So overall, the homemade ones were best; not only are they cheaper, but they taste much better too. So there you go, the perfect excuse to get baking for Christmas!

More articles in 12 Bakes of Christmas
  1. 12 Bakes of Christmas 2017: Shortbread
  2. 12 Bakes of Christmas 2017: Florentines (Vegan)
  3. 12 Bakes of Christmas 2017: Spiced Gingerbread Bundt Cake with Orange Icing
  4. 12 Bakes of Christmas 2017: Stollen [Part 4 of 4]
  5. 12 Bakes of Christmas 2017: Stollen [Part 3 of 4]
  6. 12 Bakes of Christmas 2017: Stollen [Part 2 of 4]
  7. 12 Bakes of Christmas 2017: Dark Ginger Biscuits
  8. 12 Bakes of Christmas 2017: Stollen [Part 1 of 4]
  9. 12 Bakes of Christmas 2017: Homemade Mince Pies Vs. Shop-Bought
  10. 12 Bakes of Christmas 2017: Cinnamon Pecan Chewies
  11. 12 Bakes of Christmas 2017: Chocolate Orange Christmas Cake
  12. 12 Bakes of Christmas 2017: Lebkuchen
  13. 12 Bakes of Christmas: Easy Alcohol Fudge
  14. 12 Bakes of Christmas: Gingerbread House
  15. 12 Bakes of Christmas: Bauble Fancies
  16. 12 Bakes of Christmas: Premium Hot Chocolate
  17. 12 Bakes of Christmas: Easy Tree Decorations
  18. 12 Bakes of Christmas – Easy Iced Cupcakes
  19. 12 Bakes of Christmas: Candy and Popcorn Stars
  20. 12 Bakes of Christmas: No Bake Christmas Rocky Road
  21. 12 Bakes of Christmas: Cranberry Chocolate Brownies
  22. 12 Bakes of Christmas: Sausage Rolls
  23. 12 Bakes of Christmas – Cocoa Cookies
  24. 12 Bakes of Christmas: Cheese Twists
  25. 12 Bakes of Christmas – The Festive Loaf
  26. 12 Bakes of Christmas: Christmas Tree Sponge Pops
  27. 12 Bakes of Christmas – Vanilla Cookies
  28. 12 Bakes of Christmas: White Chocolate and Cranberry Fudge
  29. 12 Bakes of Christmas – Chai Spice Cupcakes
  30. 12 Bakes of Christmas – (Vegan) Chocolate Truffles
  31. 12 Bakes of Christmas – Dutch Spiced Apple Cake
  32. 12 Bakes of Christmas: Naughty Hot Chocolate with Baileys Marshmallows
  33. 12 Bakes of Christmas – Gingerbread
  34. 12 Bakes of Christmas – Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
  35. 12 Bakes of Christmas – Orange and Cinnamon Biscuits
  36. 12 Bakes of Christmas: Panettone
  37. 12 Bakes of Christmas: Salted Caramel Brownies.
avatar

Fourth year English Lit and French student. 2018/19 Lifestyle Editor.

Leave A Reply