Mince pies… the best and the rest

Travelling home for Christmas? Then you’remore than likely to be packing some mince pies – but which are the best to eat and will they survive the long journey home in car and plane? Important questions – and we’ve got the answers right here.

Along with a taste test, we’ve also got our exclusive APH mince pie travel test results. From being flung about in a car boot to being dropped and bashed in a suitcase, we’ve a simulated test to see which pies stay in one piece.


We’re testing mince pies, but what’s your favourite festive food? Tell us what your Christmas isn’t complete without and you could win a huge chocolate hamper. Simply scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your answer in the comments box. You’ve got until midnight on Sunday, December 28.

Terms and conditions

Terms & Conditions: By submitting your Christmas food answer into our competition you agree to all the terms and conditions of the prize draw below. 1. The prize promotion is open to all UK residents, except APH employees (and their families). 2. Final entries must be received by midnight on 28/12/2014 for entry into the prize draw. 3. One winner will be drawn at random from all entries at midday on 29/12/2014. 4. The prize is a Chocolate hamper. 5. No substitutions and no equivalent cash value are offered. 6. The prize cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional offers. 7. Winners are solely responsible for all expenses not specified in the prize description including those associated incidental expenses associated with claiming the prize. 8. Winner will be notified via email as soon as possible after the competition draw. 9. Winners name will be published and the winner may be required to participate in publicity. 10. Winner of the competition agrees that neither APH nor its employees or any sponsors shall have any liability in connection with the acceptance or use of any of the prizes awarded herein. 11. By entering this competition you are agreeing to receive marketing material from APH (you can unsubscribe at any time), APH will not pass on your information to any 3rd parties 12.This competition is run solely by APH and is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook or Twitter. 13. Delivery – prize sent on receipt of postal address.

Taste test…

Our panel of testers included everyone from mince pie fans to haters and a self-confessed food snob – leaving all angles covered. See what they thought of the six big-hitters available this Christmas.


Appearance: 12/20
Pastry: 12/20
Moistness: 16/20
Taste of Christmas: 10/20
Total: 50/80
“Great value and taste, according to the testers.”


Appearance: 12/20
Pastry: 10/20
Moistness: 15/20
Taste of Christmas: 10/20
Total: 47/80
“A great showing from the Sainsbury’s pies, which narrowly miss out on top spot.”

Mr KiplingMr-kipling

Appearance: 9/20
Pastry: 9/20
Moistness: 11/20
Taste of Christmas: 8/20
Total: 37/80
“Pastry is a little anaemic looking and a bit short on filling. Rather bland.”

Holly Lane – AldiAldi-Holly-Lane-deep-filled

Appearance: 8/20
Pastry: 6/20
Moistness: 8/20
Taste of Christmas: 8/20
Total: 30/80
“Impossible to get out of the foil without the pastry lid coming off in your hand.”

Heston Blumenthal – WaitroseHeston

Appearance: 11/20
Pastry: 13/20
Moistness: 13/20
Taste of Christmas: 13/20
Total: 50/80
“Most liked it – but questions over whether it really is a mince pie. Not for traditionalists.”


Appearance: 12/20
Pastry: 11/20
Moistness: 9/20
Taste of Christmas: 6/20
Total: 38/80
“Looks nice, but taste lets it down”

Bash test yummies

So, we know which ones taste the best, but which of our pies will travel well, too? From being bashed about in your car to encounters with angry baggage handlers, here’s how the pies fared.

The test: Firstly we placed the pies (in their packaging) in the boot of a car, before driving a 30-minute route of sharp corners and sleeping policemen. Next, we simulated severe suitcase turbulence by dropping the packets from eight foot in the air onto a hard solid floor – five times.

Hover over the baubles to see how the pies got on…

592 comments for “Mince pies… the best and the rest

  1. William Richardson
    December 29, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Quail ……….. small but tasty

  2. Sue Ellins
    December 29, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Pigs in blankets

  3. christine burton
    December 29, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    without prayer and thanking the lord for all his provision

  4. BEC F
    December 29, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Christmas Pudding

  5. Barbara Bunning
    December 29, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    I am a perfectionist and I need all the trimmings – so pigs in blankets, cranberry and bread sauce etc.. if any were missing I would feel I had destroyed kitchen.

  6. Soraya Rodrigues
    December 29, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Christmas cake

  7. Kate Kibble
    December 29, 2014 at 2:46 am

    STUFFING of any kind, pork and chesnut, mushroom and cranberry and herby and whatever..just..STUFFING

  8. EVA
    December 29, 2014 at 1:57 am

    roasted vegetables

  9. Colette Sheeran
    December 29, 2014 at 1:35 am

    Sherry Trifle

  10. Lorraine Tinsley
    December 29, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Sprouts!! I love them

  11. Sarah J
    December 28, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Mince pies :)

  12. katrina walsh
    December 28, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    pigs in blankets – there are just never enough of them tho !

  13. George Wright
    December 28, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Brussels sprouts! ;)

  14. Mrs Bowers
    December 28, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Cheese and grapes

  15. sarah pearce
    December 28, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    mince pies x

  16. Don
    December 28, 2014 at 10:11 pm


  17. Melissa Lee
    December 28, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I love a nice box of praline chocolates

  18. Hannah
    December 28, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Pigs in blankets

  19. fran140@******
    December 28, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Got to be christmas pudding x

  20. Gemma jordan
    December 28, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Black forest gateux

  21. Rosalind Blight
    December 28, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    pigs in blankets, why do we only have them at christmas

  22. Nic Dawson
    December 28, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Sprouts :)

  23. Em S
    December 28, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    I love goose fat roast potatoes, only have them at Christmas :)

  24. Rachel B
    December 28, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    It has to be a lovely piece of my mother’s Christmas Cake.

  25. Barbara Stephenson
    December 28, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Christmas Pudding with white sauce and Brandy butter is my favorite but I usually have to eat it on Boxing Day because I’m so full after eating my Christmas dinner of turkey and all the trimmings

  26. Kerry Charlesworth
    December 28, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Gluten Free Mince Pies!!!

  27. Sophie Foulds
    December 28, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Pigs in blankets!

  28. sian hallewell
    December 28, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    got to have a home made Christmas cake

  29. Caroline H
    December 28, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    For us it’s the homemade Christmas cake. It really wouldn’t feel like Christmas without it although it’s so big we’re still eating it in February!

  30. wendy jamieson-price
    December 28, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    my favorite festive food is stollen with a pot of tea at the end of a busy day entertaining friends and family

  31. Sarah Bates
    December 28, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    A ham from the butchers!

  32. jen jackson
    December 28, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    I love christmas cake with lancashire cheese!

  33. Julie Kenny
    December 28, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I love mince pies – so yummy x

  34. Vicky
    December 28, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Mince pies with brandy cream!

  35. mandy eakins
    December 28, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    cranberry sauce – it just lifts the christmas dinner to a different level – i love the stuff and go through a jar of it in 2 days … just on my own

    December 28, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    I love Christmas dinner and pannetonne

  37. Helie Jones
    December 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Chocolate! Hot or cold… boxes or tins! Yum!

  38. Sarah Mc
    December 28, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I love my mum’s oatmeal stuffing- mmm amazing!!!

  39. Stuart Brown
    December 28, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Mince pies and brandy cream

  40. Amanda Thomas
    December 28, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    My christmas wouldn’t be the same without lots and lots of different cheeses…
    This week I have consumed Stilton, Brie, Cheese & Chive, Apple Cider and the all time british favourite…Cheddar

  41. Helen Swales
    December 28, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I’ve a sweet tooth so my favourite festive food is brandy snap baskets filled with a dollop each of ice cream and double cream and topped with fresh fruit.

  42. Helen Smith
    December 28, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Got to be Christmas turkey roast dinner with all the trimmings: pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce & chestnut stuffing

  43. Sue Tyler
    December 28, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    For me it’s got to be my homemade Christmas Pudding.

  44. Tracey Poulter
    December 28, 2014 at 5:19 pm


  45. Joanna S
    December 28, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Chocolate Lebkuchen & Giant Gingerbread Hearts! Both a throwback to when I worked away in Germany & had them for the first time. They’ve since become a festive traditional treat I have every christmas now I’m back home in the UK, brought from more local Christmas markets though!’ :)

  46. claire haskins
    December 28, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    mince pie warmed up with double cream!

  47. Julie Feathers
    December 28, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Christmas pudding and brandy sauce

  48. Karen R
    December 28, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I just love mince pies :)

  49. amelia_avossa@******
    December 28, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    My mums butter, Pancetta Brussel sprouts! YUM

  50. John Pepworth
    December 28, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    It has to be turkey, mince pies and Christmas cake.

  51. Lesley Bain
    December 28, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Roast potatoes and Skirlie <3 xxx

  52. Becky John
    December 28, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Christmas pudding and brandy cream :-)

  53. Laura Hadland
    December 28, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    It’s got to be pigs in blankets.

  54. janet ashworth
    December 28, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Christmas Pudding with Brandy sauce, warm & yummy, x

  55. June Munday
    December 28, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    My Christmas is not complete without pigs in blankets to go with my roast turkey dinner. Just love those little piggies.

  56. Deborah Swain
    December 28, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    A-mple amounts of my legendary sherry trifle,
    P-ork pie, and, home made pickles,
    H-andfuls of Choc’s, watching festive films !!!

  57. John Coughlin
    December 28, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Brussels Sprouts are my favourite part of the Christmas meal

  58. georgemjohnson1@****
    December 28, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    pigs in blankets

  59. Alice Baines
    December 28, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I love Mr Kipling Mince pies

  60. Chris
    December 28, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Christmas Pudding with thick Baileys Cream of course!!!!!

  61. Christine Bray
    December 28, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    I love Christmas cake with cheese!

  62. Emma Craven
    December 28, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Love proper nuts in their shells – esp brazils and almonds – which you can’t seem to find the rest of the year

  63. kate andrews
    December 28, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    A big Honey glazed ham for dinner and leftover sandwiches – yum!

  64. cecelia Allen
    December 28, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Christmas isn’t complete without a tray full of vol au vents with lots of different fillings. and lots of cheese and pineapple

  65. juliedee4663@****
    December 28, 2014 at 3:40 pm


  66. lyn burgess
    December 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Mum’s home-made Christmas Pudding and whisky cream, delicious.

  67. Andi G
    December 28, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Costco Mince Pies make Top of my Christmas food list

  68. Impulse737@*****
    December 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    mince pies

  69. Samantha Sugden
    December 28, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    pigs in blankets

  70. Lynne
    December 28, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Once the decorations are up In the house Chrismas has arrived!

  71. yolanda davis
    December 28, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    I love the turkey roast dinner.

  72. stephen wilson-leach
    December 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm


  73. Barbara Handley
    December 28, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    My mother’s homemade mince pies could not be beaten. I always buy a few boxes now but they are generally disappointing.

    December 28, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Christmas pudding and brandy sauce

  75. Rachel Clark
    December 28, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Mince pies are my fave festive treat hands down! Thanks for sharing your best picks.

  76. Debbie Timms
    December 28, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Pigs in blankets, they are the yummiest snack ever! x

  77. Heather Jenkinson
    December 28, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    I like home made Christmas cake, made with plenty of fruit and lots of booze added to it! Delicious! :)

  78. Pamela Gossage
    December 28, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Pigs in blankets

  79. Jo C
    December 28, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Boxing Day lunch at Mum’s. Sliced ham and turkey, Mum’s lovely mash, and a few sides. Just yum! Such a tradition for us :)

  80. Melanie Gardiner
    December 28, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Homemade pork and chestnut stuffing and pigs in blankets are something to look forward to :)

  81. Lisa Parker
    December 28, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Turkey with cranberry sauce and stuffing sandwich x

  82. Bernie Tyrrell
    December 28, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    I love pigs in blankets the most, the kids love the Yule Log – both decorating and eating it!!

  83. Charlotte Arnott
    December 28, 2014 at 2:03 pm


  84. Charlotte Arnott
    December 28, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    A bit controversial: sprouts

  85. Alisa Moore
    December 28, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    My Christmas isn’t complete without Stollen

  86. Sue Harrison
    December 28, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Love the nibbles and variety of food. Chocolate has to be my favourite, but love all the nuts too.

  87. Karen Barrett
    December 28, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Christmas Pudding & Brandy Sauce

  88. Alison Barker
    December 28, 2014 at 1:32 pm


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