You know the Christmas countdown has begun when the supermarkets begin stocking their shelves with everyone's favorite festive treat - mince pies.
Everyone knows what they should look and taste like but finding the perfect one to your liking can be a difficult task.
We know Christmas is stressful enough so to take the strain off we blind tested a selection of pies from the supermarkets to find the perfect one for your needs and desires.
Find out which mince pies scored the highest and lowest.
Waitrose Heston spiced short crust mince pies with a lemon twist, £3 for four
Make way for the new kid in town, these zesty bad boys pack a punch with tangy citrus flavours and cinnamon spice for an extra kick. The fruity mince meat is encased in a short crust buttery pastry that melts in your mouth. You might only get four in a pack but they are of a generous size and come slightly larger than the usual shop bought mince pie. Our tasters were so impressed not a morsel was left over. A word to wise, give Santa the cold shoulder and save them for yourself.
Best for value
Aldi All butter Cognac laced mince pies, £1.29 for six
Aldi's golden baked pastries are infused with a mix of sugar, spices and cognac and are decorated with a festive snowflake motif on top. They have a crumbly texture and the added kick from the cognac adds a depth to the flavour of the vine fruits. Once bitten into they were gooey but you can still taste the crumbly butter casing. One of our tasters described them simply as "decadent".
Greggs sweet mince pies, 45p each or £1.50 for six or £2.50 for 12
Our tasters were very excited about getting their hands on these and described them as the closest thing to a homemade mince pie. The buttery pastry crumbles in the mouth and the juicy vine fruits are tangy and sweet without being too sugary. They are covered in a dusting of icing sugar for an extra seasonal touch. Eating one of these pies really feels festive and like a special treat.
M&S Christmas all butter mince pies, £1.80 for six
Marks and Sparkles may not be synonymous with reasonably priced groceries but these mince pies are cheaper than Tesco's and Sainsbury's offerings and will convert even the sternest of Scrooge enthiausts. Each pie is bursting with a sweet sticky feeling that'll have you licking your fingers afterwards. The pastry is rich and buttery without being overly sweet. The deep filled casing is packed with filling.
Lidl Snowy Lodge luxury mince pies, £1.25 for six
Our tasters described the budget supermarkets luxury offering as having the perfect ratio of pastry to mincemeat. The pastry was buttery and crumbly without overpowering the sweet mincemeat filling. True to the description they are generously filled with fruit laced with cognac for an added festive flavour. These are great to serve with cups of tea and coffee throughout the Christmas period. They are very sweet however which made them lose marks.
Co-Op luxury mince pies, £2 for six
These brandy filled mince pies have a delicate three leafed holly pattern on the pastry lid finished with a sprinkle of sugar. They are a generous size and would go perfectly with a mug of tea in front of the telly, However our tasters found the pastry a little on the dry side and there wasn't enough filling. If you're a big pastry fan and don't care much about mincemeat meet your festive guilty pleasure.
Tesco Finest all butter deep filled mince pies with Courvoisier, £2 for six
Tesco used almonds and walnuts in their mince pies this year but some tasters found the added crunch too drying. The pastry was buttery but a little too thick. Although these are deep filled the filling was sparse and the taste of pastry and sugar was all festive testers could taste. Alas, for Tesco this may not be their finest hour.
Sainsbury's Taste the Difference all butter mince pies, £2 for six
The pastry on Sainsbury's mince pies is buttery and crumbly but the taste overpowers the filling. The box describes them as being packed with aromatic peel and warming spices infused with a generous nip of brandy they sound promising but none of these flavours come through. If you prefer your pies packed with filling you'll be sorely disappointed with the supermarkets offering.
Asda Extra Special 6 all butter pastry mince pies, £1.50 for six
Spiced vine fruits are complemented by sweet port and brandy in Asda's Extra Special range of pies. They have a gooey filling but the pastry is a little on the dry side and some tasters thought it lacked a buttery texture. If you're looking for a bog standard box of mince pies these fit the bill but they lack the festive magical taste most people might look for in a mince pie.
Morrisons The Best all butter mini mince pies, £1.70 for nine
These adorable miniature mince pies would be ideal for those planning a festive party and are on the hunt fr finger food. They are sprinkled with a dusting of icing sugar and fit nicely in the palm of your hand. But sadly Morrison's The Best range mince pies lacked in taste. The pastry was too thick and dry and the filling was flavourless.
Sayers mince pies
Much like Greggs offering these mince pies have a homemade look and taste. They have a flat round shape and are dusted in white icing sugar. The pastry is buttery and thick and crumbles in the mouth however the pastry is a little tort and might be a little too sharp for some.