Christmas is just around the corner, with just under 4 weeks to go until the big day. As I’m sure you’re all aware, the supermarket shelves have been stocked to the brim with delicious Christmas treats, including the Christmas staple: mince pies! We thought it would be a good idea to taste test some of the vegan options available this year, to help you choose the best ones to enjoy with your glass of mulled wine this festive season. There are worst jobs to be had! Here are five different brands we tried:
M&S PLANT KITCHEN
How many: 6
These are by far the best value for money. You get a pack of 6 for only £1.20! We thought the lattice top looked really pretty and eye-catching, especially if they’re going to be a centrepiece at a Christmas party. The flavours are also a bit more ‘grown-up’, they’re not as sweet as the others and there are lots of Christmas spices that come through well, however, they were a bit stingy on the filling.
How many: 4
These were our favourite. The pastry was great, it held together really well, had a nice crumble but also had a lovely crunch to it. The filling was also delicious, full of flavour with a nice citrusy kick to it. We 100% recommend these! They’re also gluten-free, which is another big bonus for anyone avoiding both dairy and gluten. They’re not the prettiest of the bunch and don’t have the same homemade quality that some of the others do, but once dusted with some icing sugar they look suitably Christmassy.
OGGS LUXURY HANDMADE MINCE PIES
How many: 4
We love this brand! They’re relatively new on the scene, coming out earlier this year with a range of vegan cakes in Sainsbury’s. The cakes are lovely but very sweet, so we were expecting these mince pies to be the same. The title says they’re handmade, and they deliver on that. And we mean that in the best way! The pastry is spot on, not too sweet and with a great texture. The filling has a distinctly appley flavour which is nice, but we feel it needs some more citrus flavours in it. These are the most expensive options but still only £2.50 which isn’t too expensive.
WAITROSE GLUTEN-FREE MINCE PIES
How many: 2 large
The Waitrose offering was pretty good! The pastry was quite sweet which I personally like, but Charlie prefers the pastry to be a bit more savoury. It was nice and crumbly but didn’t fall apart, and it didn’t taste any different to the non-gluten-free options we tried. For £2.50 you only get 2 mince pies, but they are quite a lot bigger than the other options, however, we would’ve just prefered 4 smaller ones instead of 2 big ones. Overall these were really tasty though, the flavours were well balanced and nothing was too overpowering. It’s not something we’d buy for a Christmas party or gathering, but it would be great for a cosy night in watching a Christmas movie with a glass of mulled wine.
HOLLAND & BARRETT MINCE PIES
How many: 4
These were our least favourite. The pastry is very crumbly and unfortunately just falls apart when you pick it up. The filling is also a bit lacklustre, you can’t taste many spices and it could be a lot more flavourful. We did think the flavour of the pastry was good though, not too sweet and the whole pie had a nice homemade look to it. We would’ve been super pleased a few years ago if these were the only vegan mince pies available on the market. However, there’s so much more choice now, so if they want to compete with the other brands they need to step up their game. What is nice about the Holland & Barrett mince pies is that they also sell them as individuals, which is great if you want to have one with a coffee on the go.
Amazingly, there are so many vegan mince pies available to buy this Christmas, and the ones we tried aren’t even half the options that are out there! Whilst lots of them were delicious and we’re definitely going to buying more of them over the coming weeks in the lead up to Christmas! However, it would be great if shops thought more outside the box and came up with some mince pies that weren’t so standard. Maybe ones made with puff pastry or with chocolate for 2020, we can only hope!
What are you’re favourite vegan mince pies? We’d love to know! Let us know in the comments below or on one of our social media channels.