How to make mince pies

Christmas wouldn't be the same without mince pies, and homemade ones are the best. With fresh whipped cream or ice cream on top. Making your own is best because they taste better, you know what goes into them, and there's something special about baking in the holiday season. The process of making mince pies starts with the mincemeat filling. Once the mincemeat filling is made, it will stay fresh for six months as long as it is in a sterile clean airtight container. 

How to make mince pies (video)

Mincemeat filling

  • Brandy (50ml)
  • Lemon juice (1tbsp)
  • Lemon zest (half)
  • Dark brown sugar (125g)
  • Dried fruits (Raisins or currants or sultanas) (300g)
  • Shredded suet (150g)
  • Chopped mixed peel (20g)
  • Bramley cooking apple peeled and grated (half)

Method

Put the raisins, brandy, currants and lemon juice in a bowl and soak for up to one hour, then drain the brandy and set it aside. Mix all ingredients, and once combined, pour the brandy back over it. Pour the mixture into a sterilised jar container and press down to compress the mixture.

Store the mincemeat filling for two weeks; then, it is ready to be used, and you can start making the pastry. Sweet shortcrust pastry is perfect for making mince pies, and if you don't have icing sugar, you can swap it out for a different sugar; however, the texture will be more crunchy and less smooth. 

For the sweet shortcrust pastry

  • Plain flour (150g)
  • Unsalted butter (75g)
  • Icing sugar (50g)
  • Egg yolk (1)
  • Water (1 tbsp)

Method

To make the sweet shortcrust pastry combine the plain flour and butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then add the icing sugar, salt and egg yolk. If the pastry feels too dry to form a dough, you must add one tablespoon of water. Shape the dough into a ball, then flatten it out into a disc.

Wrap it in clingfilm, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. After it has been chilled, you can cut out the pastry for each mince pie, fill them with the mincemeat and cook each mince pie for 20 minutes on gas mark 4.

Recipes

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