Thomas the Baker Heavenly Sweet Mince Pies Awarded 3 Star Great Taste Award
We are absolutely thrilled today to announce that our Heavenly Sweet Mince Pies have received the prestigious 3-star Great Taste Award – the first ever 3-star award given to a sweet mince pie in the 25 years the awards have been running!
We launched this new luxury version of our customer favourite sweet mince pies, which have their own 1-star Great Taste Award from previous years, in 2019 after two years of careful development in our bakery. The filling of our Heavenly Sweet Mince Pies is a winning combination of sweet mince with apricots and brandy and a couple of secret ingredients. The all butter pastry shell has the addition of finely ground almonds for added taste and texture and the pie is finished off with a tender Viennese Biscuit topping.
In the 8 week lead up to Christmas each year, we usually sell in excess of 200,000 mince pies – that’s 3000 extra man hours needed to meet high Christmas demand. There is a high level of hand finishing for our 3-star Heavenly Sweet Mince Pies!
For a bit more context, there were only 205 3-star Great Taste Awards given out of 12,777 products entered into the awards from over 100 countries so to say we’re delighted that ours have won this coveted prize would be an understatement! It means so much to us to receive such an accolade – we always knew they were excellent, but now everyone else does too!
So let’s hear what the judges, who include cookery greats such as cook, writer and champion of sustainable food, Melissa Hemsley, celebrated Spanish chef, José Pizarro, and baker and author, Martha Collison, had to say about our Heavenly Sweet Mince Pies:
“A stunning mince pie, gloriously crisp, with short pastry that melts in the mouth. The fruit is juicy and packed with flavour, the booze and spice spot on and we love the Viennese topping. The perfect top to this mince pie, it is a little softer and more shortbready than the pastry and complements the filling perfectly. Bright fruit too. It is not often that a mince pie ticks all the boxes. Every component is balanced with the next. Fabulous.”
“These mince pies are a delight to look at with the Viennese topping and handmade look to the outer pastry. The cakey quality of the topping is lovely and complements the stunning short pastry case. We love the buttery richness of the pastry against the spicy mincemeat. The mincemeat is fabulous with juicy fruit, warming spice, a great level of acidity and just the right level of booze. This is the perfect example of what a mince pie should be like.”
“What a joy. A mince pie that does everything you want! The pastry is deliciously crunchy and buttery. The first taste is of the warming French brandy, and the fruit that follows is full of flavour, so you get the tartness of the apple, the juicy sweetness of the vine fruit, the citrus and texture of the mixed peel, and the slightly crunchy apricots. This really earns its three stars.”
“Beautiful looking mince pie with a wonderful fruity aroma. The pastry is short, buttery and totally delicious and the mincemeat fruity, light tasty and so interesting with all the different fruits playing their part, with the peel adding both texture and flavour and the brandy lifting it wonderfully. This is a mince pie of true delight that has been made with great skill.”
“Attractive, neat and enticing. The pastry melts in the mouth, the fruit is full of fresh tang and the topping just buttery heaven. A well balanced, sophisticated and delicious mince pie.”
“These sensationally pretty little mince pies are fabulous in every way – a lovely Viennese topping (applied with such great care) that contrasts beautifully with the short pastry below, a filling that leaves most mincemeats back in the dark ages with its fresh originality and a deftness of touch with the spicing and alcohol that brings thoughts of Christmas to the fore with none of the foreboding! Bravo. Lovely apple in particular.”
But the Heavenly Sweet Mince Pies weren’t the only product to impress the judges this year! Our delicious Bakewell Muffins have also been given a 1-star Great Taste Award with comments including:
“Pert looking bun with a lovely sticky glaze and cheeky bright red jam popping out from the middle. Good generous scatter of evenly baked golden brown almond flakes on top, and a very inviting warm golden colour.”
There’s just one thing left to do: now you be the judge!
The Heavenly Sweet Mince Pies will be available to buy from this week at any of our 30 Thomas the Baker stores across Yorkshire in packs of 6 for £4.50.
You can also buy the Heavenly Sweet Mince Pies online here with a minimum order of 60 pies. They are suitable for home freezing of up to 3 months, and are delicious reheated in a warm oven – and make your home smell super festive too!