Mince pie season has kicked off for me, starting with a six pack from KaiOrganic in nearby Hove.
These are billed as “filled with naturally fruity mincemeat laced with cognac”. This is incorrect. It should say “absolutely packed” not just simply “filled”. The filling is not only generous, but very tasty. Quite rich, as you would expect for a mince pie. Working outwards we encounter the pastry, which is sweet and soft, rating around 2 or 3 on the Crumb Drop Scale. A light dusting of icing sugar gives the impression of a home made quality product.
The packaging is a reassuringly flimsily cardboard box with a large cellophane window, sealed with a silver label along one edge. Inside the pies are further sealed in two rows, each of three pies each. In our tests 2/3rds of the pies suffered significant damaged in transit. So take care.
Our rating: Buy! Plus, being organic, and having a short shelf-life, you have a great excuse to munch your way through the lot.
Ingredients: Mincemeat (raisins, sultanas, currants, sunflower oil, sugar, apple juice, oranges (juice and zest), lemons (juice and zest), dried apples, mixed spice, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, flakes almonds, cognac, cinnamon), Self raising flow (wheat flower, raising agent* (calcium phosphates, sodium carbonate), sugar, margarine (sunflower oil, palm oil, coconut oil, carrot, juice, emulsifier: lecithin*, lemon juice, natural flavouring*), Unsalted butter, water*, icing sugar (sugar, corn flower). All organic except when indicated by *.
Allergens: Gluten, nuts, sesame.
Suitable for: vegetarians.
Suitable for home freezing.
Availability: available throughout Sussex.
The Crumb Drop Scale:
- 5 – Pieces of pastry explode off the pie or pastry at high speed, making “ping” noises as they hits crockery. Someone comments: “you could’ve had an eye out with that”.
- 4 – You look down at your shirt, or lap, in horror at the amount of crumbs.
- 3 – Light flaking: may be difficult to contain in a strong breeze.
- 2 – Very little crumb drop. Slight risk of small flakes adhering to the lip.
- 1 – A solid pastry producing no crumbs at all. Consider returning the pie to the store.