I don’t really like many traditional Christmas foods. While I don’t mind roast turkey the day it is cooked, a week later it is as unappealing as any remaining house-guests. I’d prefer a chocolate mud cake to a Christmas cake, and the only way I can eat Christmas pudding is if it is drowned in custard. The only Christmas food I get really excited about is the mince pie. Served hot or cold, it is delicious with custard, ice cream, or just by itself.
There is an old tradition that says eating 12 mince pies during the 12 days of Christmas gives you a year of good luck. Here are five to try to get you well on the way to a lucky 2017.
For convenience, the staple mince pie in my house comes from Crust Bakery at the Fyshwick Markets. It has a thick pastry, dusted with icing sugar and a mild, pleasant flavoured filling. It is a solid mince pie. Find out more at: facebook.com/Crust-Bakery-Cafe
If you’re not keen on sultanas, Idelic Cafe in Kingston makes their mince pies without them. Instead these pies are filled with cranberries, figs, apples, raisins and dates. And they are delicious. The filling is moist and almost has a citrus flavour. The pastry is crunchy and coated in sugar, which I was less keen on, but these pies are worth trying for their filling. Find out more at: idelic.com.au
Eating a sultana-free mince pie got me thinking about trying a gluten-free pie. So I headed to Deeks Cafe in Pearce. The pastry is made of quinoa and soy flour, and is soft and lacks flavour. But disappointingly the filling also lacks flavour. It isn’t unpleasant, it just doesn’t tempt me to eat any more, which is probably a good thing at Christmas. Find out more at: deeks.com.au
All the mince pies I bought from bakeries were either $3 or $3.50 each. At a supermarket you can buy six (or more) pies for this price. Do you get what you pay for? I tried Coles’ Fruit Mince Pies to find out. I could smell the rum in this pie before I got it in my mouth. It tasted more like a Christmas pudding than a mince pie, so I didn’t like it. And the pastry is thin and crumbly. I am happy to continue to pay a premium for my mince pies.
On a recommendation from a friend, the final mince pie on this list comes from Brunos in Mawson. With a satisfyingly crunchy pastry, and a delicious, moist filling which, similar to the mince pie from Idyllic has a crisp citrus flavour; this is a perfect mince pie. Find out more at: facebook.com/BrunosTruffels
Let me know, where are Canberra’s best mince pies?