Mince Pies – An Easy Recipe to follow

Mince Pies are really simple to make and yet so delicious. Christmas would not be the same without mince pies!  The recipe I’m sharing uses mincemeat straight from the jar and traditional short crust pastry that melts in the mouth.  I also include variations that will make your mince pies special.

Mince Pies

Originally mince pies were filled with meat, such as lamb, and were made in an oval shape to represent the manger that Jesus slept in.  In old English cookery books the crust of a pie is generally called ‘the coffin’ (Wikipedia)   During the Stuart and Georgian times mince pies were a status symbol for rich people. This recipe is for traditional mince pies that we remember as children.

Ingredients

  • 500g Self Raising Flour
  • (A little extra flour is required for preparation)
  • 250g Margarine
  • Ice Cold Water
  • 1 Egg
  • 411g Mincemeat
  • 25g Caster Sugar

Method

1  In a bowl, add the flour & margarine and mix until the mixture is crumbly in texture. Add sufficient water to mix into a paste, making sure the mixture is not too wet or sticky.

2  Roll out the pastry to approximately 0.5cm thick; making sure that the surface is well floured.

3  Cut out 24 circles using an 8cm cutter.

Pastry for Mince Pies

4  Using a bun tin, line each section with one of your cut out circles.

5  In a mug, whisk the egg. Using a pastry brush, use the whisked egg to paint the inside of each of the circles.

6  Pre heat oven to 180C.

7  Put a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat into each of the pastry circles.

Making Mince Pies

8  Place a circle of pastry on top of the mincemeat and press down gently on the edges so that it acts as a lid.

Sealing Mince Pies

9  Make an incision into the top of each lid to allow steam to escape whilst cooking. Paint the lids with the whisked egg and sprinkle with caster sugar.

Coating Mince Pies with Egg

10  Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 20 minutes before eating.

Mince Pies

Variations on Mince Pies

Pastry
Instead of using short crust pastry, try using puff pastry.  I prefer mince pies made with puff pastry.

If you are not making your own puff pastry, purchase a 500g block of ready-made puff pastry to fulfil the above recipe.

Mincemeat
There are plenty of recipes to make your own mincemeat, but for ease there are ways to ‘upmarket’ shop bought mincemeat. For example,

  1. Add chopped dried cranberries, amaretto and the grated zest of an orange.
  2. Add chopped hazelnuts and brandy.
  3. Add chopped almonds, finely diced cooking apple, lemon zest and rum.
  4. Add chopped dried apricots, chopped dried cranberries, orange zest & sherry.
  5. Add chopped fresh cranberries, finely diced cooking apple, orange zest & Brandy.
  6. Add the flesh and zest of satsumas, finely diced cooking apple, chopped pistachio nuts & Cointreau.

Have fun and try different fillings for your mince pies.  Add ingredients that you like and experiment, and let me know how you get on.  For more Christmas recipes click here.

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