Mince Pie Mania

Mince pies

And so the 2014 Mince Pie Challenge draws to a close for another year.

The results are in, the participants are suitably full and they are still enjoying the sugar rush!

The rules of engagement were slightly altered this year. Gone were the standard high street brands in their festive boxes. The 2 for 1 offers and the unfeasibly long sell by dates. In came the handmade, home baked, slightly mismatched offerings.

It was all about the taste! And we were on the hunt…

We were looking for the ‘partners’ to provide the pies, the deli’s, the artisan bakers, indeed Mums if we could rope them in. Sadly they weren’t so forthcoming this year with baking of their own to do.

So the line up was as follows:

Simon Warren and Patisserie Mark Bennett – with 2 entries this year. The traditional and the cream cheese deep filled.

Simon Dover, Marks & Spencer – again 2 entries. The 3 type mini selection and the home baked.

Steve Barnes and the Leith School of Food and Wine – a straightforward pie with mincemeat a plenty.

Paul Wright and the St James Bakery – entered the classic pie – just as your Mum would have baked.

Simon Dover and Pret A Manger – (seeing a pattern for flooding the competition yet?!) with what we not so loving called the ‘Deep and Dirties’.

Vicki White and Setleyridge Farm Shop – she travelled deep into the New Forest for her dusted offerings.

Anna Ecuyer and Waitrose Deli – all good intentions of home baking went astray and she called in the help of the deli ladies for her Frangipane pies.

There were umms, ahhs, and lots of comments about custard and Amaretto cream but the scores were given and the 2014 winner was crowned…..

Drum roll…..

Mr Paul Wright and the St James Bakery – for a superb classic. The perfect short pastry, just the right amount of filling and a mince pie we all wanted to eat more of.

His prize?

To buy another ‘round’ surely?!