Friday, 23 December 2016


So you have made your homemade mincemeat  and it's been brewing away for a while so now, in the last few days before Christmas it's time to make those mince pies. Obviously if you haven't made your own mince meat you can use a ready made variety but for me, making your own pastry, filling it with your own mince meat and baking them so that your kitchen is filled with those incredible festive smells is what Christmas is all about! My recipe below will make 8 mince pies but you can scale the recipe up if you want to make a bigger batch.

Homemade Mince Pies

100g Hard Butter (Cut Into Small Cubes)
 170g Plain Flour
30g Ground Almonds
50g Golden Caster Sugar
Zest Of 1 Lemon
Half Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 or 2 Egg Yolks
6 Tbsp Mincemeat
1 Tbsp Milk
1 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar

  1. Begin with the pastry, place the butter and flour into a bowl and with cold dry hands rub them together until all the butter is mixed in and it resembles breadcrumbs. Take the time to make sure all the butter is mixed in so your pastry is nice and short when baked.
  2. Mix in the almonds, sugar and lemon zest and mix until well combined. Add in the vanilla extract and 1 of the egg yolks. Start to work the pastry together with your hand. If the dough is not coming together then add a second egg yolk.
  3. Once the pastry has come together, roll into a tight ball and wrap in cling film. Leave in the fridge to firm up for at least 30 minutes but if you leave it for any longer keep an eye on it so that it doesn't go too firm and hard to roll out.
  4. Whilst the pastry is in the fridge, grease the holes of a muffin/cupcake/tart tray (whatever shape your size you want you pies to be!) and turn your oven up to 200 degrees (180 fan)
  5. After 30 minutes in the fridge, remove the pastry and cut the ball into 2 equal sized pieces. Take one of the halves and roll out into a large piece big enough to cut out 8 base circles to fit your greased tray holes. The pastry should be rolled out to around 1/2cm thickness.
  6. Cut out the six holes and mold them into the tray holes, pushing the pastry up the sides of the holes if they are quite deep. Dollop in a tbsp of mincemeat into each hole and then brush the top of the mincemeat with a little of the milk.
  7. Next take the second half of your pastry and divide it into 8 pieces. Take each piece and roll it into a thin sausage shape and then cut it in half to make your crosses for the top of each pie. Cross the pastry pieces over each of pies and brush the tops again with the rest of the milk. 
  8. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top of each of the pies and then place the pies into the oven to bake for around 15-20 minutes.
Your pies are done when they are golden brown and the mincemeat is bubbling slightly and if you remove one of the pies carefully from the baking tray you should be able to get a hollow sound when tapping the base of the pie. If not just throw them back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so until baked. Leave the pies to cool slightly before removing them all to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy on their own with a cup of tea at lunch time or serve them with a dollop of brandy butter or single cream as a little dessert after dinner. Call this recipe a little Christmas gift from me to you. Merry Christmas everyone!

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