Saturday 25 January 2014

Fortnum and Mason Three Kings Mince Pies

Fortnum and Mason "Three Kings" Mince Pies Review

"We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar, field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star..."

“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2v11, The Bible)

Some famous words there from the Christmas Carol "We Three Kings" and the Bible remind us of the three gifts that were presented to baby Jesus in the Bible's account of the Christmas story. I'm sure many of us will remember the three gifts presented - Gold for a king, Frankincense for a Priest and Myrrh for someone who would ultimately die on a cross - but what if these gifts were given a bit of a pie twist? After all, wouldn't you be intrigued to try a gold topped pie, a Frankincense Oil infused pie and a Myrrh Oil infused pie?!

Fortnum and Mason "Three Kings" Mince Pie Review

Fortnum and Mason "Three Kings" Mince Pies

So in keeping with the Christmas tradition, we at Pierate have given the "Three Kings" mince pies - inspired by the nativity and produced by Fortnum and Mason in central London - a pie rating:

These Fortnum and Mason "Three Kings" Mince Pies feature in our '12 Pies of Christmas’ video!

Gold topped pie

These pies were quite potent when it came to flavouring, with quite a bit of nut in the mincemeat filling. That said, there wasn't a great deal of filling in them. They were about 75% pastry and 25% filling, which for us Pierateers is not at all satisfactory as a filling:pastry ratio. With the pastry being quite crumbly and dry, this further took away from the score this pie would achieve, as the filling that was in there was not very fruity and not very tasty.

While the novelty factor of the gold topping was great - they would certainly create a real talking point at your Christmas pie party - the rest of the pie failed to live up to the golden billing. I'd not want to eat one of these again.

Fortnum and Mason "Three Kings" Mince Pies: Gold
Score: 1.46/7
[Colour 3, Capacity 1, Consistency 1, Condition 2.75, Chewiness 2, Cheapness 0.25, Content 0.25, Total: 1.46/7]

Fortnum and Mason "Three Kings" Mince Pies

Frankincense Oil infused pie

The frankincense oil infused pies certainly gave you a minty kick that was hard to miss. It did feel slightly like I was eating some minty toothpaste in a pie but I didn't dislike this unusual factor. Sure, I wouldn't want to eat a large pie of this flavour, but for a mini pie bite, and the fact I was eating a frankincense infused pie, I couldn't really complain. The filling certainly tasted nicer in this pie than the gold one.

However once again the pie was about 75% pastry and only 25% filling, which was probably a good thing in this pie because the filling flavour was so strong that I really needed that extra pastry to cope with the intense filling flavour. While I wouldn't regularly go for it, I might eat this pie again if given the option.

Fortnum and Mason "Three Kings" Mince Pies: Frankincense
Score: 1.57/7
[Colour 2, Capacity 1, Consistency 1, Condition 2.75, Chewiness 2, Cheapness 0.75, Content 1.5, Total: 1.57/7]

Myrrh Oil infused pie

Again the Myrrh pie suffered from poor filling:pastry ratio syndrome! There was a lot of quite dry pastry surrounding quite a thin layer of filling. It was again very spice heavy and the strong flavour meant I wouldn't want to eat much of it. Similar to the Frankincense pie - edible but not really enjoyable.

Fortnum and Mason "Three Kings" Mince Pies: Myrrh
Score: 1.57/7
[Colour 2, Capacity 1, Consistency 1, Condition 2.75, Chewiness 2, Cheapness 0.75, Content 1.5, Total: 1.57/7]

In summary, all these pies suffered from being heavily pastry focused and therefore having a very poor filling:pastry ratio. In some of them, this did at least help balance out the intense filling flavours you got from the pie but at £1 a pop, for a pie you could easily consume in one little bite, these really were far from good value for money. I'm not saying I'm surprised - they were from Fortnum and Mason after all! - but if I were to buy them again, it would certainly be for the "Three Kings" novelty factor rather than the edibility factor, and for me that is not a good enough reason to give these pies anywhere near a good score!

This means these pies unfortunately really aren't fit for a king – so I think the Three Kings were very wise in choosing their gifts for baby Jesus. A great, novel idea by Fortnum and Mason, but not well executed and I would say these really are only for decorating the Christmas table.


See where this pie ended up in the Pierate Pie Rankings or find other pies of a similar flavour.

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