Heston pine pies

Now Heston invents pine-smelling mince pies

Last year there was chaos at Waitrose checkouts when his Christmas puddings containing a whole candied orange sold out in weeks. Now Heston Blumenthal, the celebrity chef, has come up with another upmarket Christmas gimmick aiming to replicate the pudding’s success: a mince pie that smells of Christmas trees.

The chef, who is famous for mixing science with cooking, has invented a puff pastry mince pie that releases the scent of pine when it is heated up and sprinkled with a special sugar. 

Each box of mince pies, which went on sale in supermarket Waitrose yesterday, contains a sachet of sugar that has been infused in pine oil. Once the sugar comes into contact with a hot pie, the aroma is released.

Heston BlumenthalFans of Blumenthal, whose previous inventions include snail porridge and bacon and egg ice cream, will not be surprised at his latest culinary flight of fancy.

However unsuspecting people on their weekly shop will have to read the packaging carefully to avoid being shocked at the contents. As well as smelling of Christmas trees, the pies contain apple puree, lemon curd and rose water in additional to the usual mincemeat.

In a further move away from the traditional mince pie, Heston uses all-butter puff pastry instead of shortcrust to create a lighter texture.

Alison McLoughlin, an executive at Waitrose, said: “This is a complete re-invention of the humble mince pie.”

Not everyone’s impressed. Sighed a Waitrose customer: “Oh dear, the folly of allowing men into the kitchen.”