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Mince Pies Recipe

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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INGREDIENTS FOR THE PASTRY

55g / 2oz cooking margarine (e.g. Stork)
55g / 2oz refined cooking fat / lard (e.g. Cookeen)
220g / 8oz plain flour

INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING

200g / 7oz mincemeat.
Small amount of milk or a lightly whisked egg.
Small amount of icing sugar

PREPARATION TIME

: 30 minutes (plus 30 minutes in the fridge)

COOKING TIME

: 25 minutes

DIFFICULTY LEVEL

: Medium

FREEZE

? No

SERVINGS

: 10 pies

COOKING EQUIPMENT

: 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 top.
A brush to coat the pastry edges with milk - not absolutely necessary.
Ingredients for Mince Pies
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.

Recipe by .

PREPARATION

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.

RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS

STEP 1

Add the 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.

 Cooking margarine and fat in a bowl

STEP 2

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 minutes.

 Crumbled mixture for shortcrust pastry

STEP 3

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.

 Shortcrust pastry rolled into a ball

STEP 4

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).

 

STEP 5

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.

 Rolled out and cut pastry

STEP 6

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.

 Mincemeat in Mince Pies

STEP 7

Brush the edge of each of the mince pie bases with a light coating of milk.

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 together.

 

STEP 8

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.

 Pastry topping

STEP 9

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.

 Uncooked with a cut in the pastry

STEP 10

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.

 Cooked mince pies
12 RATINGS GIVEN - AVERAGE 4.5 star rating
5 star rating
25 September 2010
From: Stephen
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.
Not Given
25 September 2010
From: Marie
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!
Not Given
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.
5 star rating
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
Not Given
14 December 2010
From: Deena
Just made some mince pies and they're nearly all gone, looks like I will have to make more they were delicious.
5 star rating
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 loads more!!
5 star rating
19 December 2010
From: Jo
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.
3 star rating
20 December 2010
From: Lauren
My grandad swears by this mince pie recipe and has been using it for years! It's very important to let the pastry rest!
4 star rating
29 December 2010
From: Janis
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.
5 star rating
9 December 2011
From: Pip
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.
5 star rating
21 December 2011
From: Bob
To pip regarding fan oven temp... its the same temperature, a fan oven just makes pre-heating quicker.
5 star rating
22 December 2011
From: Kate
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.
4 star rating
23 December 2011
From: Ben
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 requested.
4 star rating
23 December 2011
From: Fiona
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!
4 star rating
15 November 2012
From: Rose
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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