If there was ever an acceptable time of year to devour multiple fruit mince tarts in one sitting, it would be Christmas.
While these adorable, pastry-clad little morsels are an acquired taste, sure – loved by many, loathed by some – but we simply can't get enough of them here at Dish.
Creating your own is not for the faint of heart, so in a bid to save you the heartache and help lighten the load this silly season, put down the rolling pin and take heed of our favourite bakeries doing Christmas mince pies better than most.
Here are seven must-visit bakeries to keep you feeling festive this silly season:
1. Wild Wheat, Mt Eden
Tasting notes: If you're a fan of spiced fruit, consider your prayers well and truly answered. These gorgeously rich tarts boast a fruity, figgy consistency and a perfect pastry-to-filling ratio. The spices reign supreme, while the fresh, grated apple folded throughout offers a fresh finish.
2. Sabato, Mt Eden
Tasting notes: Butter-lovers, we suggest you stock up. These beautiful little tarts boast an almost shortbread-like consistency, deliciously spiced fruit and soft, buttery texture. Sabato's moreish mince tarts are just as adorable as they delicious. Serve on a cake stand, surrounded with fresh strawberries and cherries to wow the crowd for the big day.
3. Little & Friday, Newmarket, Takapuna
Tasting notes: There's a good reason pie-lovers have been making the great pilgrimage to Little & Friday every Christmas for years now – their pies really are that good. These scrumptious little crowd-pleasers make the perfect edible gift, with their fresh, biscuity pastry and traditional fruit mince.
4. Farro Fresh, Grey Lynn, Epsom, Mt Wellington
Tasting notes: It doesn't take much convincing to get us shopping up a storm in Farro Fresh, with their delicious variations on the classic fruit mince tart yet another drawcard. Farro boast one of the most extensive ranges of seasonal tarts available, appeasing to everyone from the chocoholic to those following a gluten-free diet. Our pick? The Handcrafted by Loaf Cherry Chocolate Tarts boast a finger-licking, brownie-like consistency and are a great size for a mid-morning sweet treat. What's more, for every pack of mince tarts sold, $1 will be donated to Sweet Louise, a charity supporting New Zealanders living with incurable breast cancer.
5. 4&20, Remuera
Tasting notes: Our food editor Claire was particularly impressed with 4&20's fruity tarts and well-balanced mince consistency, encased in wafer-thin, flaky golden pastry. Spiced and sweetened to perfection, this Remuera-based bakery has become a fast-favourite among locals for their beautifully-crafted tarts and artisanal baked treats.
6. Bread & Butter, Grey Lynn
Tasting notes: While the purists may disagree, these unique tarts are among the best we've tried – laced with dark chocolate and "high quality booze". Flavoursome, fruity and encased in just the right amount of pastry, Bread & Butter will have you coming back for seconds.
7. Magnolia Kitchen, Silverdale
Tasting notes: We love that Bets and the team at Magnolia Kitchen are doing things a little differently, creating a uniquely scrumptious twist on the Christmas classic. Topped with rich, creamy chocolate and crunchy, coated fruit and nuts, one bite of these beautiful tarts will have you humming a festive tune right until the big day.
Have we missed your favourite Auckland bakery? Let us know in the comments below.