Asda's secret to 'perfect' mince pie

Supermarket chefs have solved a culinary conundrum which has baffled Christmas cooks for generations … how to remove the ‘air gap’ from a mince pie.

The pie’s lid usually rises in the oven, creating a space between the fruity mixture and pastry, which can cause the pie to sink when it’s bitten in to and more importantly, leave customers feeling deflated.

But now Asda’s Innovation Chef Mark Richmond and his team have come up with a solution – and taste-tested more than 750 pies in the process – to close the gap in time for Christmas.

And this hypnotic video shows the improved mince pies rolling off the production line at the Asda mince pie HQ in Barnsley, South Yorks., at the rate of 720 every MINUTE.

Mark, 42, from Ripon, North Yorks., said: “I’ve wanted to reduce the common mince pie air gap for years and this year we finally have.

“We’ve filled the pie with as much mincemeat as possible and used some clever technology to press the lid onto the pie which removes all the air – just like I would when making pies by hand with my granny when I was young.

“It was simply a case of reverting back to my grandma’s kitchen and how she used to close that gap.”

The mesmerising video follows the process from start to finish as buttered pastry is piped down from a secret room onto the production line.

Asda’s secret recipe of pre-mixed ingredients including fruit and spices are then pumped into each base before being sealed with pastry lids.

Quality control teams patrol either side of the line to ensure no glitches occur before the pies are ushered into a huge oven for nine and a half minutes.

Mark said: “The line creates 720 mince pies a minute so we’ve got to get it right. I think even Willy Wonka would be happy with this process.

“A mince pie is a real Christmas tradition and it was very satisfying to draw on my grandmother’s system to produce a pie that is filled without a gap.

“The video is oddly hypnotic to watch.”

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About Asda Stores Ltd.
Founded in the 1960s in Yorkshire, Asda is one of Britain’s leading retailers and helps customers save money and live better in stores, online and through their mobile devices.

Each week more than 18 million customers visit its 626 stores - including 32 Supercentres, 336 Superstores, 205 Supermarkets, 33 Asda Living stores, and 20 standalone petrol stations - and websites, and are served by 162,000 colleagues. www.asda.com and www.george.com deliver to 99% of the UK’s homes and to its 650 click and collect sites.

Its main office is in Leeds, Yorkshire and its George clothing division is in Lutterworth, Leicestershire. Asda joined Walmart, the world’s number one retailer, in 1999.