We taste tested a Christmas stocking’s worth of fruit mince pies


Important business.

Forget about plum pudding. Step aside, panettone. There’s no sweet more quintessentially Christmas and universally loved than the humble mince pie. A great pie will reignite your holiday spirit like nothing else, while a terrible one will leave you feeling like you’ve swallowed fruit-flavoured cardboard. But how do you sort the naughty from the nice? We’ve done the hard yards and sampled a full Christmas stocking’s worth of pies so you don’t have to.

Coles Traditional Fruit Mince Pies
Let’s be frank. Coles isn’t going to win any awards for its mince pies. This is the everyman’s mince pie. The tried and tested classic that’s readily available to call upon for any Christmas occasion. Save the boutique mince pies for Christmas day and bust these out for the yearly catch-up with that friend you won’t see again until this time next December. Bonus points: generous filling that’s bursting with sultanas (Coles know a thing or two about value). Points deducted: a disheartening absence of icing sugar.
RATING 3.5 Ugly Christmas sweaters out of 5

Woolworths Fruit Mince Pies
Woolworths, you’ve done it again. A no-fuss mince tart that’ll appease the masses and bring your family together through one crowd-pleasing pie. If that’s not what Christmas is all about, then I don’t know what is. The pastry is firm, and not too crumbly. In fact, it almost tastes a bit like a cross between gingerbread and apple pie. The pie’s top is adorned with a nice criss-cross pattern that’s festive, but not too fancy. The filling is generous, sweet, and keeps experimentation to a minimum. After all, some things are best kept simple.
RATING 4 long-winded chats with your cousin who just bought a timeshare on the Gold Coast out of 5

Grandma Wild’s Luxury Mince Pies
Anything made by a grandma is bound to be good, right? Wrong. Grandma Wild’s mince pies are dry as bones. The pastry turns to a Clag-like texture in your mouth. All of the sultanas and dates have been squished into some sort of nondescript, amorphous fruit paste. Serve these up to ruin Christmas, or to your younger cousins who don’t know any better.
RATING 1.5 re-runs of Love Actually out of 5

Puddings on the Ritz’s Classic Mince Tarts
“For connoisseurs of fine food,” reads the label on these high-end bad boys. A bold statement indeed. There’s a general rule of thumb when shopping for mince pies: the fewer that are sold in a packet, the fancier the pie is bound to be. Case in point, there’s only two in this box. The shortcrust pastry crumbles apart when trying to pry it out of the foil. It’s a rough start. But the flavour? Bellissimo. I can hear baby angels cry with joy. An elf just fell off his chair. Someone get Saint Nick on the phone because he needs to try this.
RATING 4.5 Christmas hams out of 5

Phillippa’s Mince Pies
All hail Phillippa, queen of the mince pie. The shortbread is light, sweet and crispy; the filling tangy and aromatic. There’s a lot more going on in this pie than first meets the eye – but it’s subtle, and not overbearing (read: you can smash a few without feeling sick). Hints of orange rind and a heady mix of spices make this a certified Christmas winner. Capping it off, the handmade stars that adorn the top of the tart are bloody cute. All hail Phillippa. Long may she reign.
RATING 4.5 awkward family lunch convos with your casually racist aunt out of 5

This article was originally published in Fashion Journal 175. You can read it here.

Lazy Loading