Traditional Mince Pies

Shortcrust Pastry

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: easy
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Let’s not even begin to imagine a Christmas without traditional mince pies, and by that, I mean homemade with excellent crumbly shortcrust pastry filled with rich sticky mincemeat. We have been eating these gorgeous Christmas treats since the 16th century, and long may we continue.


For the Pastry

  • 400 g plain flour
  • 230 g butter (or an equal mix of butter and lard, cubed)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg (beaten with cold water, as needed to bind the pastry)
  • For the Pie
  • 1  jar of mincemeat ( or you can try making your own homemade mincemeat)
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar

Notes on Making the Pastry

Christmas is a busy time, so I recommend making your pastry by food processor as it makes short work of the pastry. If you have the time, then fine, make the pastry by hand, which is always a lovely thing to do but remember to work quickly and lightly and to keep all your ingredients cool. 

Hand-Made Shortcrust Pastry:

  1. Sift in the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and salt. Rub the mixture lightly between your fingers, lifting as you rub to add a little air for a light pastry.  All done when the mix resembles sand.
  2. Add a couple of tablespoons of very cold water to the egg and beat it together. Add the egg mixture little by little, mixing with a knife between additions with a cold knife. Do not over mix the dough comes together fairly quickly. Stop adding egg once the pastry binds together. 
  3. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 15 minutes in the fridge.

Machine-Made Shortcrust Pastry: 

  1. Place the flour, butter and salt into the bowl of the processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. In a small bowl, add a couple of tablespoons of very cold water to the egg and beat it together.  
  2. With the motor running, add the egg mixture a little at a time, stopping the moment the pastry binds together.
  3. Tip the pastry onto the work surface and lightly bring it together and wrap it in clingfilm and rest for 15 minutes in the fridge. 

Assemble the traditional mince pies:

Preheat the oven to 200°C

  1. Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin or bun tin.
  2. Sprinkle your worktop lightly with a little flour, roll out 2/3 of the pastry to 3mm thick, then cut circles to fit your tin and line with the pastry.  
  3. Roll out the remaining pastry to the same thickness and cut smaller circles for lids, or cut out stars or other fancy shapes as you wish.
  4. Pop a generous teaspoon into each pie and pop on a lid; there is no need to wet the pastry as the mincemeat is sticky and will hold the lid in place. If you have covered the tart entirely with pastry, snip a small cross into the centre of each lid to release any steam. 
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 mins (15 mins if making canapé-sized ones), or until golden brown. Leave to cool for five minutes, then lift from the tin and cool on a baking rack. Store in an airtight tin. 

If you enjoyed this recipe you will find more baking recipes here.

Would love to hear what you think ....

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