This mince pies recipe is one of our best, oven-warmed and oozing with thick glossy mincemeat in the centre.
Traditionally mince pies use shortcrust pastry. Of course you can cheat and buy the ready-rolled variety. But making your own means you get a shorter, more delicate and crumbly pastry, that perfectly complements the fruity filling. Eat them hot from the oven, topped with thick cream or sweet, yellow brandy butter, while the spicy baking aroma still lingers in the kitchen. Or make a couple of batches to keep in the freezer to see you through the whole festive season.
Watch how to make Mince pies
- For the mincemeat:
- 50g (1¾ oz) each of sultanas, raisins and currants
- 1 Bramley apple, cored and coarsely grated
- 50g (1¾ oz) dark muscovado sugar
- 50g (1¾ oz) luxury mixed candied peel, finely chopped
- 25g (1oz) glacé cherries, roughly chopped
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- ½ tbsp mixed spice
- 25g (1oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
- 60ml (2½ fl oz) brandy
- For the mince pies:
- 75g (2¾ oz) icing sugar
- 75g (2¾ oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 medium egg yolks
- 200g (7oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- Pinch of salt
- 2tbsp milk
- Icing or caster sugar, for dusting
At least one day ahead, mix together all the mincemeat ingredients, cover and set aside.
To make the pastry, mix the icing sugar, butter and egg yolks in a food processor until smooth. Mix in 2tbsp cold water, then blend in the flour and salt and knead into a ball on a floured surface. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 15 mins.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Roll the pastry out on to a floured surface. Cut out 12 discs, using a 7cm fluted cutter, and line a 12-hole tin. Combine pastry trimmings back into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill.
Stir the mincemeat, then fill each case with 1tsp mincemeat. Roll out the remaining pastry and use a star-shaped cookie cutter to make tops for the pies. Place one on each pie, brush with milk, dust with sugar and bake for 20 mins. Transfer on to wire racks and, once cool, store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Top tips for making mince pies
Making them in advance? Freeze on a baking tray then transfer to a sealed container when completely frozen. They can be kept in the freezer for up to three months. Reheat from frozen at 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 for 15 mins.
Cold hands and cold surfaces make the most delicate and delicious pastry for mince pies. Although you’re almost certainly making this recipe in cold winter months, try to keep the room you’re cooking in relatively cold, and if you have naturally warm hands, run them under cold water before handling the pastry.
If you prefer your mince pies deep filled, you can use a 6-hole muffin tray instead of a regular 12 hole mince pie tray. Rather than stars, top deeper filled ones with a full circle of pastry, firmly attached with an egg wash. Cut a little V in the top with a pair of scissors so the heat can escape.
How you spike your mince pies is entirely up to you - swap the brandy for rum, whisky, amaretto or even sloe gin.