The Last Mince Pie

Christmas comes but once a year and but once a year do we get to eat mince pies.  The best Christmas mince pie recipe in the world comes from my Gran.  The best implementation of the recipe is, in my opinion, my sister-in-laws.  I’ll justify that in this post using the criteria listed below.  This test is conducted completely from memory on two of the three pies.  I estimate I have eaten at least 400 of Gran’s and Mom’s pies over the years and the distinctive sensory memories are strong.  However, I have most recently eaten Sarah’s pies and maybe those have inluenced my judgement.  In the end though, if you ever get to eat one of the pies made with this recipe you’ll forever want one come the Christmas season.

IMG_4265First Last BiteBliss!So Long! Till Next Year

So, what variables/criteria are considered when assessing a mince pie?  Scored 1 = good, 2 = very good, 3 = best

  1. pastry texture on the tongue
  2. pastry texture on first bite (whole mouth experience)
  3. pastry thickness
  4. pastry taste (both raw dough and the cooked product)
  5. quantity of fruit mince
  6. fruit mince taste
  7. overall taste
  8. overall presentation
  9. a good cup of tea

Gran’s pies:

  1. 3 – great recipe, great pastry – nice smooth buttery texture
  2. 1 – sometimes a bit burnt but the castor sugar on top adds a nice sweet crunch
  3. 2 – a very good thickness sometimes erring on the thick side
  4. 3 – just the best
  5. 2 – a nicely filled cavity even if the pie is sometimes quite shallow (down to the tray design)
  6. 3 – mmmm
  7. 1 – an abiding memory of some burnt bits and overcooked fruit but still better than store bought by a long way.  Even at Easter time.
  8. 2 – out of the tin onto a plate dusted with castor sugar in the mouth
  9. 3 – see this post

Mom’s pies:

  1. 3 – nice and buttery and shortbready
  2. 2 – firm then crumbly on bite
  3. 2 – evenness defined
  4. 3 – best in the world
  5. 2 – sometimes the shout “that’s too much” would ring out…
  6. 3 – best in class due to liberal doses of alcohol through the year
  7. 2 – very good just let down by the odd undercooked one
  8. 3 – great attention to detail, the same every time
  9. 3 – see this post

Sarah’s pies:

  1. 3 – made with real butter – the best
  2. 3 – perfectly timed, cooked to perfection
  3. 3 – the first dozen won’t be mentioned but the next could be bettered
  4. 3 – it IS the best recipe in the world!
  5. 3 – a good liberal hand filling the space inside with fruity goodness
  6. 2 – slightly let down by the poor mince offered in the supermarkets here
  7. 3 – A1!
  8. 3 – Gold Star!
  9. 3 – see this post

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