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Geoff's Mince Pie Reckoner

BrandSourcePackagingPrice (each)Comments
Aunt Betty's Connoisseur Mini Mince TartsColes Supermarket9 (Mini)$0.55Nice aroma, good filling and fine pastry, with nice presentation of star-shaped lid. Could do with a sprinkling of icing sugar to give them a bit of zip.
BalfoursSupermarkets (Woolworths)6$0.75Pros: Quite tasty and probably the best product at this price-point. Cons: Pastry a bit inclined to fall apart if handled without the lightest of touches and unimaginative presentation with no sugar topping.
Baker's DelightBaker's Delight6 or 1$1.30Pros: Very good, great filling, good pastry, good bit of sugar on top (or icing sugar). Cons: There's no tang or explosion of flavour and the pastry is perhaps a tad heavy. $7.80 for a pack of 6 is getting on the high side considering there are very good products for almost a third less.
Brumby'sBrumby's6$1.27Nice presentation, with exposed fruit and a star-shaped pastry lid, liberally sprinkled with icing sugar. Pastry excellent. However the filling has too much jelly and not enough fruit, so there's no texture and the fruit is overpowered.
Coles House BrandColes Supermarket6$0.73Okay, but nothing to write home about. The main problem is the pastry is far too crumbly so you can barely get them out of the packaging before they self-destruct, and the act of eating them becomes an exercise in getting through it as quickly as possible to minimise the mess and then hurriedly cleaning up. Eating a mince pie should be an opportunity for repose, an oasis of enjoyment in a busy day. Crumb-related stress should not be part of it.
Coles Finest (“St Remy Authentic”)Coles Supermarket4$1.25 (2009)Contains a bit of brandy, and topped with a pecan nut, for some reason. Described as “exquisitely rich” on the box, which they're not. Apart from the presence of a redundant nut, this is a pleasant mince pie, albeit not worth the price asked. Could do with losing the nut and being sprinkled with icing sugar.
Dulwich BakeryDulwich Bakery6$1.00 (2007)
$1.17 ( 2008)
Marvellous. Pastry and filling perfect. Lovely presentation with half having a star-shaped hole and half having a star-shaped lid.
Fowlers VacolaSupermarkets (Coles)6$0.75Dry and tasteless with just the hint of metallic after-taste that one looks for in a mince pie. Pastry solid and useful for sealing cracks caused by drying of reactive soils in times of drought. Scrape off the sugar and eat that.
Heidelberg CakesHeidelberg Cakes, Stepney6$2.50 (2008)A delicious mince pie, featuring everything that one expects; presentation, taste, texture, and after-taste. A nice if pedestrian star-shape in the lid, spinkled with sugar. I wonder if icing sugar might have been better? Also, I can't quite decide if the pastry is a tad too moist or just perfect. However, at $2.50 each, these are very expensive mince pies and most likely not suitable for large gatherings. They are packaged in a gift-box with a ribbon which matches the high standards one expects of Heidelberg, but it probably jacks the price up a bit. Everybody should try these, but for normal Christmas-season entertaining the Dulwich Bakery variety still tops the list.
Mr KiplingSupermarkets (Coles)6$0.83Fine mince pies, probably let down a bit by the pastry. They have to travel from Blighty so maybe they get a bit limp on the way. Delicious but unspectacular filling. Nice christmas tree shape on the top. Could possibly do with a bit more sugar sprinkled.
2009 Update: Now in a deep-filled configuration, although what the point of this is, I can't say, since half of the thing is fresh air. Pastry too crumbly, so you can't enjoy them as you're too busy keeping it from exploding down your front.
Quality DessertsSupermarkets6?Not bad, reasonably moist and pleasant, but filling has no zip.
UnibicSupermarkets??Not bad, but not memorable, and in fact begs the question as to the point of consuming them. Made in India, so they're made to last through a sea voyage and to sit on supermarket shelves for a while.
Woolworths ‘Select’Woolworths6$0.83Pastry a bit crumbly, so eating requires caution. Pastry otherwise a bit heavy. Filling okay but not spectacular.

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