Christmas

The perfect mince pie recipe

Makes approximately 12-16 pies, or 20 mini pies

The perfect mince pie recipe is a must at Christmas.

These crumbly, spicy treats capture the very essence of the festive season.

Due to their sugar content, even the most sweet-toothed among us probably struggles to eat too many in one sitting. It makes them the perfect food for sharing with friends and family and spreading a little Christmas cheer.

This is a tasty but super easy recipe. People love the taste of almonds (packed with vitamin E too), so use marzipan to top the pies rather than pastry. Plenty of chopped almonds in the mincemeat always goes down well too.

Feel free to include a little more or less of your own favourite ingredients when making up the mincemeat.

Don’t worry if you have any leftover mincemeat either. It’ll keep in a Kilner-style jar in a cool larder or fridge for months.

Enjoyed this mince pie recipe? Find more here

Ingredients

For the mincemeat

  • 200g currants
  • 200g sultanas
  • 200g raisins
  • 100g chopped mixed peel
  • 1 whole cooking apple, peeled, cored & chopped small
  • 100g whole almonds with skins, roughly chopped
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 60g shredded suet (can use vegetable version) or 30g suet and 30g butter
  • 200g dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp each of grated nutmeg, ground cinnamon and allspice
  • 1 lemon, grated rind & juice
  • 1 orange, grated rind & juice
  • 150ml brandy (or dark rum)

For the pastry and topping

  • 100g plain flour
  • 50g chilled unsalted butter, roughly cubed
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 beaten egg yolks
  • A little cold water to mix
  • 100g marzipan
  • A little icing sugar to dust

Method

  1. First make the mincemeat in advance. Simply add all the ingredients into a large pan and heat through gently until the suet has melted. Stir well, cover with a lid and leave overnight to let the flavours infuse.
  2. When you’re ready to make the pies, start by blitzing all the ingredients for the pastry except the egg yolks in a food processor. Then add the beaten egg yolks a little at a time until the dough comes together into a ball. Add a small amount of water a teaspoon at a time if required.
  3. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the gluten fibres to relax. (If you’re in a real hurry, you can give the dough a 15 minute blast in the freezer.)
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until about the thickness of a pound coin, then cut rounds to fill either a lightly greased normal-size or mini-size patty tin. Deepen the pie base by gently pressing down with an eggcup or small tumbler. Prick each pastry case well with a fork and bake for approximately 15 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before scooping a generous spoonful of mincemeat into each. Roll out your marzipan on a dusting of icing sugar to 3mm thick and use cookie cutters to make star or heart shapes.
  6. Lay icing sugar side uppermost onto the pies before placing the tray under a hot grill for 2 minutes. Watch them like a hawk to make sure they don’t burn – you just want the marzipan to soften a little and the icing sugar to have begun to caramelise. Serve warm.