TRIED AND TESTED: The Top Five Mince Pies in Blackburn

Unless you haven’t noticed, probably because of Brexit, it’s Christmas Day on Tuesday; a day traditionally filled with food, alcohol, tragic television and family arguments.

Here at Blackburn Life, we understand how busy this time of year is, so, we thought it our duty to lend a festive hand and find the best mince pies Blackburn has to offer.

We gathered 15 mince pies from retail establishments across the town and took valuable time out of our day to painstakingly taste and rate each pie.

Of those 15 mince pies, we have chosen the champions of champions, the cream of the crop, the masters of mince pies; the mince pies that will change your Christmas experience forever.

The following top five have been rated based on: taste, price, appearance, hold-abilty (whether the pie would crumble down your jumper or hold firm) texture, easy of eating and pastry to pie ratio.

Our judges are just three regular people, just like you, and just like me (because I was one of them). Please, use our experiences as a guide book, not a rule book, to your mince pie shopping. We are here to help you though Christmas.

5. Mr Kipling’s, varies but about £1 per box of six 

In at number five, we have Mr Kipling, a common mince pie which can be purchased from all good retailers for as little as a pound for six.

Our judges were impressed with this pie’s hold-abilty. Relatively mess-free, so great for eating while wearing a scarf. However, this pie was judged to be small and not particularly deep. Judges commented that this pie would have rated higher if the filling packed more fruit and wasn’t as sweet.

Of course, if you are partial to a sweet mince pie, please rate this in you own top five as at least a three.

Mr Kipling’s also lacked on decoration with a distinct lack of sugar dusting. If your having a buffet spread this Christmas, this pie may not be the one to show off.

Overall, this pie made a respectable score, but if this was the Olympics, it wouldn’t make it to the podium and people would quickly forget it’s name, but that’s show-biz.

Final score out of 70 : 

Taste: 5 / 10

Price: 9 / 10

Appearance: 6 / 10

Hold-ability: 8 / 10

Texture: 7 / 10

Easy of eating: 7 / 10

Pastry to pie ratio: 6 / 10

Overall score: 48 / 70 

4. Marks and Spencer’s in store brand, £1.60 per box of six

If there is one thing to be sure of this Christmas, it’s that a Marks and Spencer’s box will impress family, friends, and bin men taking the recycling.

Luckily for M&S, it’s not just the box of their mince pies which impressed our judges.  Their mince pies scored highly across the board, except in the all important category: taste.

Now, we’re all for a show off, but if what’s inside doesn’t match the outside, you’re only going to make it to fourth place.

Our judges thought this mince pie was tart, very sweet and quite overwhelming. Again, we are only acting as a benchmark, if you enjoy excess sugar, this is the pie for you.

This pie did particularly well in appearance, obviously, and in texture, ease of eating and pie to pastry ratio. All very important factors.

Overall, M&S have created a glamorous pie which is easy to eat, with just the right amount of filling and pastry coating.

Final score out of 70 : 

Taste: 4 / 10

Price: 7 / 10

Appearance: 8 / 10

Hold-ability: 7 / 10

Texture: 8 / 10

Easy of eating: 8 / 10

Pastry to pie ratio: 7 / 10

Overall score: 49 / 70 

3. Morrisons – £1.20 for six

We are into the top three, well done if you have kept reading this far.

Morrisons makes a surprise entry at number three. Our judges thought this pie had a particularly lovely pastry but quite a lot of gap between the mince and the top of the pastry.

BUT, here we see our first score of 9 for hold-abilty. This pie will not fall apart on you. This is the pie you can eat in the car. This is the pie you can give to a small child without needing to shake the crumbs off them. This pie can hold itself together.

However, the pie to pastry ratio really let this pie down. Too much pastry, not enough mince pie.

If this pie was a World Cup contender, it would be Belgium. A very good team, looks great, holds together well, but can only manage 3rd place.

A good try Morrisons, but not quite the best.

Final score out of 70 : 

Taste: 5 / 10

Price: 8 / 10

Appearance: 8 / 10

Hold-ability: 9 / 10

Texture: 8 / 10

Easy of eating: 8 / 10

Pastry to pie ratio: 4 / 10

Overall score: 50 / 70 

2. Oddies – 57p for one

This mince pie blew our judges away. They wanted it it be first. They said they had never eaten a pie so delightful, so delicious.

Oddies filled this pie nicely, with a tasty filling: not too sweet but packed with fruit. The pastry was thin and delicate, a melt in the mouth type. A pie you would expect to be served at Buckingham Palace or George’s Clooney’s house.

However, this pie was let down by its size and appearance. It is small, and quite expensive in terms of pence to pie balance. It lacked decoration. This is not a pie to serve with cream and a tipple on Christmas day, but a pie to have with a coffee on the go. Probably in one bite.

We cannot stress how tasty this pie is. If it was bigger, and was more ascetically pleasing / Instagram-able, this pie would have taken first place.

Final score out of 70 : 

Taste: 8 / 10

Price: 7 / 10

Appearance: 5 / 10

Hold-ability: 9 / 10

Texture: 8 / 10

Easy of eating: 9 / 10

Pastry to pie ratio: 8 / 10

Overall score: 54 / 70

1. Marks and Spencer’s Cafe – £1.95 for one

This pie. THIS pie is the pie for your Christmas. Expensive? Yes. Change your life tasty? Also yes. I think the choice is simple.

M&S Cafe have served a cracker of a mince pie here. The Tom Hanks of mince pies. The Meryl Streep of mince pies. The very best.

*Read the following sentence in a M&S advert voice – you know the one*

With a thin, crisp pastry, deep mince filling, packed with sumptuous fruit. This isn’t any mince pie. It’s an M&S mince pie. 

A chewy filling, with a moreish after taste.  10 out of 10 for pie to pastry ratio, not too much, not to little.

Honestly. Just stunning.

Final score out of 70 : 

Taste: 8 / 10

Price: 5 / 10

Appearance: 9 / 10

Hold-ability: 7 / 10

Texture: 9 / 10

Easy of eating: 8 / 10

Pastry to pie ratio: 10 / 10

Overall score: 56 / 70

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