Tag Archives: Mince Pies

Homemade Mince Pies

If you’ve been following me for a couple of weeks, you’ll already have my homemade mincemeat recipe, as well as a nice and easy sweet shortcrust pastry recipe. Now it’s time to put them together to make warm, comforting homemade mince pies. Trust me, if you’re expecting friends and family to drop in over the festive period, you’ll feel very smug when you present a plate of these to them with their coffee or mulled wine! They’re also lovely to take with you as a hostess gift if you’re dropping in somewhere for a visit. 

And if you don’t like mincemeat (and if you haven’t been converted by my recipe yet) you could always use chopped apple and cinnamon or jam instead.

 how to make mince pies  

You will need:

1 batch sweet shortcrust pastry (or a packet of ready-made)

Around 24 tbsp of mincemeat (again, a jar of shop-bought would work) 

A little butter to grease the tin

A sprinkle of icing sugar for each one 

A shallow 12-hole tray 

Cling film

A rolling pin 

A round biscuit/scone cutter plus a small star cutter (you can make a round pastry lid instead as you make a couple of holes in it to let the steam out, or another festive shape such as a Christmas tree, or send them out into the world topless and calm them tarts!) the round cutter is pretty essential, but if you’re clever, a glass and a knife would do the trick, just aim for circles big enough to line the bottom and sides of each hole. christmas recipes  
1. Use a pastry brush to thinly butter each muffin tin hole, to make sure the pies can be removed later. 

 cling film pastry rolling 
2. Take the pastry out of the fridge and cut in half. Place one half on a large piece of cling film and flatten out as much as you can with your hands. Put another piece of cling film on top and roll out to about 3mm thin for nice crisp pies (and it makes the pastry go further!). This can be time consuming and it requires a bit of muscle, but stick with it. And, trust me, the cling film method is light years easier than trying this with flour and a board!

 cutting out mince pies 

 3. Remove the top layer of cling film and cut out as many circles as you can. Try not to twist the cutter, as this will change the shape of your little rounds. Keep as close as you can when you do the next one, and that way you’ll make the most of your pastry sheet without having to re-roll too often.  Remember you have the other half to roll-out as well. 

 thin shortcrust pastry 
They may lift out when you take away the cutter, but if not, just carefully peel each piece from the cling film. 

 how to make tarts 
4. One pastry circle per space, thank you. Lay the pastry over each hole and gently push in from the edge. It should fall nicely into place. 

  
 
6. Cut out the lids. If necessary, gather and re-roll, or roll out the other half if you haven’t used it yet. 

  

7. Carefully spoon in the filling. About 1 and a half to 2 tablespoons of filling into each pie. 

 homemade mincemeat 

  
8. Put the lids on. 

 how to make pastry 
9. Put in the fridge for at least half an hour to allow the pastry to firm up. It sounds daft, but it really makes a difference. 

10. Pre-heat the oven to 170C fan and bake for around 20 minutes or until the pastry is starting to brown. 

11. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing from the tin. The pastry should contract a little making this easier, but you can always help them out a little with a paring knife. 

 christmas party food 
12. Once cool, dust with icing sugar. christmas home baking  

Homemade Mincemeat 

I thought I hated mince pies. Really and truly couldn’t stand them. They were just a bit too soft, a bit too stodgy, a bit too bland and then there were the crunchy bits. Urgh. 

Before I swore off them for good, however, I thought I ought to have a stab at making my own mincemeat. And it is night and day. Night and ruddy day. This recipe has no nuts (so no suspicious crunchy bits), heaps of juicy fruits (you do yours) and lashings of booze. It sounds like a jolly good Christmas to me! 

  
You may wish to include: 

500g seedless raisins 

500g sultanas 

200g dried cranberries 

1 tub French glac√© cherries  

3/4 bag dried apricots 

2 oranges 

2 tbsp soft brown sugar 

3 tsp mixed spice

3 tsp cinnamon 

75ml apple juice 

50ml dark rum

50 ml brandy (or as much as you dare!)

Don’t stick too rigidly to the fruit weights; just use whichever size of bag they come in, or whatever’s lying around in your cupboard. And you can add your favourite dried fruits, miss things out and replace others – this is just how I like it!
 

1. Finely chop the cherries drop them into a large bowl. This is a sticky job which requires much patience! I really think they make the difference though in creating a really luscious filling for your pies. 
  
  2. Add in the raisins and cranberries…. 

3. Finely chop and throw in the apricots…
  

4. And then the sultanas. 
  
   5. Finely grate in the zest of the two oranges using a microplane, or the finest teeth on your grater.   

 6. Add in the sugar and spices then mix well. Add the juice from the oranges, half the apple juice and the booze, then give everything a really good stir. 

 
7.  Cover with cling film and leave everything to soak up for a day. Mix again the next day, adding more apple juice (and brandy) once the first lot has been largely soaked up. Repeat for the next 2 days and then allow to sit for another couple of days, stirring daily. In terms of total liquid, there should be a few inches in the bottom to give you a nice gooey caramel around your fruit when you make your pies. 

Pie recipe to follow after the weekend!

This will change Christmas forever!