You can almost taste those mince pies looking at the
picture below! Click on it for a larger version and you'll
understand that they are so very, very tasty.
Mince pies originally contained minced meat as their name implies. They date
back to the mid 1500s as a traditional Christmas snack. The Victorians weren't
so keen on the meat content so they changed the recipe to use a sweet filling
now know as mincemeat.
It is possible to make your own mincemeat but it's really not worth it
considering the price and quality of shop bought mincemeat. Price though is
important, so buy a good quality version if you want the best results.
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: Bun tin (6 or 12)
A rolling pin. Two pastry cutters, one slightly larger than the holes in the bun baking
tin (to cut the base of the mince pie) and one slightly smaller for the
A brush to coat the pastry edges with milk - not
Ingredients for Mince Pies
Video showing how to make shortcrust pasty
COOK'S NOTES FOR MINCE PIES
In our recipe we have used Cooking margarine and cooking fat / lard. It is quite possible to simply use Cooking margarine or a mix of butter and fat / lard. We have found our mixture produces the best pastry. Whatever is used the proportions of fat to flour should be maintained - twice the weight of flour to that of the fat.
There are loads of different sizes of bun tins, all suitable for
different cakes and small pies. The ideal size for a mince pie is about 1½cm
/ ¾in deep by about 6½cm / 2¾in wide at the top. The exact size is not
crucial but some bun tines are definitely too large for mince pies.
You will need two pastry cutters, one larger cutter for the base and
another slightly smaller one for the top. The exact size will depend on the
size of your bun tin.
Measure out the cooking margarine and fat, cut into small pieces and leave to
one side for 10 minutes until they have warmed up a bit from the fridge. It is
possible to use margarine and fat straight from the fridge but it makes mixing
it with the flour much more difficult.
Grease the bun tin well to stop the mince pies sticking when cooked.
margarine and cooking fat to a large bowl (cut into lumps) and sieve in
the the flour. Do this from as high as possible to incorporate air into
the flour as it falls.
Incorporating air into the mixture will give you
a lighter and better shortcrust pastry.
Gently rub the flour, and
margarine / lard together with your hands lifting them and letting the mix
drop back into the bowl. This will help more air into the mixture.
The mixture should end up as small crumbs although some larger bits may
be present. Don't overdo this stage, it should only take two or three
Add 3 tablespoons of water
to the mix and combine the mixture together for a minute or so with a knife or
fork. Then use
your hands to gently blend the mix together even further. If it won't hold
together add another half tablespoon of water.
The mix is of the
correct consistency when it is in a ball and can collect all the odd bits
around the bowl into one single ball.
Wrap the mix in cling film and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to
'rest'. After it has rested for 30 minutes it is ready to be rolled out.
Dust the work surface and rolling pin with flour and roll out the pastry
with a rolling pin. Turn round the pastry after every two rolls or so of
the rolling pin to stop it sticking to the work surface. The pastry should be
about 2mm deep give or take a little but not much thinner.
Turn the oven on, setting it to 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6 (or 180°C /
350°F / Gas 4 for fan-assisted ovens).
Using the larger of the two pastry
cutters, cut out the base for 10 mince pies. Don't do it for all 10 at the
moment in case there is not enough pastry.
Grease the bun tin well with margarine, oil or lard to stop the mince pies
sticking. Line the holes of the bun tin with the pastry cut out above.
Add a heaped teaspoon of the Mincemeat to each mince pie base.
Don't add more because it will rise up and dribble out during cooking
spoiling the appearance of the mince pies.
Brush the edge of each of the mince pie bases with a light coating of
If you don't have a brush just dip your fingers in the milk and
run them round the edges.
The purpose of this is to help the the base and top of the pie stick
Cut out the tops of the mince pies with the smaller pastry cutter and place them
on the top of the filled mince pies. Firm down the edges lightly to ensure top
and bottom are firmly connected.
Brush the top of the pies with milk to help
give them a golden colour when cooked.
Cut a small hole in the top of each mince pie with a knife. This will help stop the filling from forcing itself out through the edges. It also helps to stop the shortcrust from becoming wet.
Repeat the above process for the
remaining 9 mince pies.
Cook the mince pies in the pre-heated oven. They should take 20 to 25
minutes to cook but check them after 15 minutes. They are cooked when the
pastry is a light golden brown. Do not open the oven for the first 15 minutes.
Take the cooked mince pies from the oven and dust them with a little icing sugar.
They are delicious hot or cold and will keep for three or four days.
Why try and be clever and use what no doubt is simple
jargon? What do you mean by: 'cut' the mixture together for a minute or
so. If you use simple English and all will be clear.
25 September 2010
I have never made mince pies before and thought I would
give these a go and came out perfect first time made the mince pies on
Saturday 23 Oct 2010. Thanks for step by step instructions will be
making these mince pies for Christmas!
23 November 2010
From: Christine Conreen
A tip I learned, put your pastry on cling film then roll
out, the surface it's much easier to clean afterwards. I will be trying
these mince pies thanks.
30 November 2010
From: Jane Tennick
Worked well; I used freshly squeezed orange juice
instead of the water to bind the pastry and it tasted great! Pastry made
15 pies, rolled thin. Still found the mince meat gunged out tho - maybe
half a teaspoon is enough, or a very meagre spoonful
14 December 2010
Just made some mince pies and they're nearly all gone,
looks like I will have to make more they were delicious.
19 December 2010
From: Helen Small
Really easy instructions to follow. I liked the
pictures, they helped. Thank you, gorgeous mince pies. I'll be making
19 December 2010
Amazing! Never made pastry before and just turned out 8
perfect mince pies! Will roll a bit thinner next time to try for a few
more. Thanks for the recipe.
20 December 2010
My grandad swears by this mince pie recipe and has been
using it for years! It's very important to let the pastry rest!
29 December 2010
I always add some brandy to my mincemeat a day or so
before using, they taste so much better and the mince remains very
moist. Lovely site with some great recipes, thank you.
9 December 2011
Great recipe but please could you add the fan oven temperature? I assume it would be about 180 but it does help to have it confirmed :-) Thanks!
Answer: Thanks, the recipe has been updated.
21 December 2011
To pip regarding fan oven temp... its the same temperature, a fan oven just makes pre-heating quicker.
22 December 2011
I like Delia but the oven timings and temperatures for her mince pies never work for me and they end up rock hard or soggy when I try to tinker with them. I followed this recipe yesterday and the mince pies were gorgeous. Really simple recipe too.
23 December 2011
My (24) pies are in the oven now. I thought I would type this up whilst I wait for them to do their thang! I would suggest checking on them around 20 mins. They may be done by this point if you have a well-regulated oven. Checking after this MAY be too late! I think you missed Pip's gist. 180 sounds good Pip. Experiment at this temp (poss a wee tad higher?) on fan assisted. Again, always take a check before it is too late! The recipe above is fine...just go easy on the stork and cooken (yuk!). Also, you might want to correct the sentence under the 10th photo...'their' should read there AND I think you should change it back to mince pies...poor mice!! Merry Mince pie Making!
Answer: Thanks for those comments Ben, they are
much appreciated. We have
corrected as per your comments and also added the fan temperature as Pip
23 December 2011
The fan oven setting is almost always 20C below the "normal" oven setting, so 180C. I know because mine came out perfectly - thank you for easy recipe!
15 November 2012
The mince pie recipe is good but after a day the pastry goes soft, any ideas how to solve this, I keep them in a bisciut tin
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