Unbelievably easy mince pies

Unbelievably easy mince pies

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(293 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins - 40 mins Cook: 20 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Makes 18 pies

You can throw the dough around and the mince pies still come out crisp and biscuity in this kid-friendly Christmas recipe

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Can be frozen uncooked
Nutrition info

Nutrition per pie

kcalories
222
protein
2g
carbs
30g
fat
11g
saturates
7g
fibre
1g
sugar
12g
salt
0.26g

Ingredients

  • 225g cold butter, diced
  • 350g plain flour
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 280g mincemeat
  • 1 small egg
  • icing sugar, to dust

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Method

  1. To make the pastry, rub 225g cold, diced butter into 350g plain flour, then mix in 100g golden caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Combine the pastry into a ball – don’t add liquid – and knead it briefly. The dough will be fairly firm, like shortbread dough. You can use the dough immediately, or chill for later.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Line 18 holes of two 12-hole patty tins, by pressing small walnut-sized balls of pastry into each hole. Spoon 280g mincemeat into the pies.
  3. Take slightly smaller balls of pastry than before and pat them out between your hands to make round lids, big enough to cover the pies. Top the pies with their lids, pressing the edges gently together to seal – you don’t need to seal them with milk or egg as they will stick on their own. (The pies may now be frozen for up to 1 month).
  4. Beat 1 small egg and brush the tops of the pies. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. To serve, lightly dust with icing sugar. They will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, December 2002

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Comments

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EmmalovesDarcy's picture

Tried this recipe for the first time last year and it was amazing!! I use the recipe throughout the year for many things, such as my jam/curd tarts and it's always a favourite. I actually roll the pastry as I find this works better. I had problems initially with the pastry sticking to the bun tin but I bought a better quality tin and rolled the pastry, rather simply pressing it in and they come out of the tin fine now! Will always use this recipe in the future!

katius's picture

This is a fantastic recipe, have made it many times and every time they have come out delicious! Trick with the pastry is to just keep working it, and it will come together nicely. This can take a while sometimes, but worth it.

Sandybright's picture

I have made these many times, the pastry is gorgeous. I do add an egg to the mix to help it draw together, and leave the cooked pies in the tin for five minutes before removing them to a cooling tray. This recipe is my go-to mix whenever I need some sweet pastry.

Sandybright's picture

I have made this pastry now many times and it is always a success. I do add an egg to the mix and leave to cool in tin for 5 minutes before removing. This is such a great pastry mix that it's my number one go-to mix whenever I need some sweet pastry.

mrs full's picture

I have made these mice pies endless times always having to make more! They are fantastic best pastry ever even it's a little harder to work with I cheat and use my magimix!

mrsmedici's picture

The pastry is just perfect for mince pies, crumbly and short. I love it. I wanted to roll the pastry though so I could make star tops so contrary to how pastry should be made I had my butter at a very soft room temperature, this helped the pasty to bind together. I also added one egg yolk and I was able to roll the pastry out. It is still a little crumbly and you have to go a little more carefully than reg pastry but its not difficult. I then popped them in the fridge to firm up again. It is important to leave them in the tin just for five mins before popping them out, then they hold themselves much better when you gently but easily pop them out. They were perfect!! I dont understand why people say they stick in the tin, they come out so easily. And trust me, I am a very experienced cook.

pipsipops's picture

There is nothing easy about this recipe!! The pastry was an absolute nightmare. I followed the recipe exactly but I just couldn't work with the pastry at all- it just kept crumbling everywhere. On reflection I should have added a bit of water despite the recipe saying not to but I thought if you follow the recipe you can't go wrong (big mistake!) In the end I had enough and made Mary Berry's mince pies cakes which were super easy and super tasty!

Hippy chick's picture

These are THE BEST mince pies and the ones that I will be making from now on. You need to be a little patient when making the pastry and trust that it will come together. I used spreadable butter because it was the only thing I had and I think this helped combine all the ingredients. Although easy I don't think I would attempt to make these with my 3 year old.

Katyroo81's picture

Have used this recipe for the last two Christmasses, and I get great compliments for the pastry. If you're having trouble with it, first of all, trying to roll out this pastry will never work. Follow the actual recipe and don't deviate! Don't think you know better, because this really does work. I've not had a batch go wrong yet, and I'm really not the best cook.

rthornton's picture

I'm absolutely gutted - just spent Christmas Eve afternoon making these in anticipation of serving them to family on Christmas Day and virtually every pie is stuck in the tin, a crumbly mess and complete write-off. What a total waste of time and money - I don't expect to have to read all the comments to ensure a recipe works - why doesn't the recipe state that the tins should be greased? Really, really disappointing...

Lilly-lilac's picture

I substituted utterly butterly instead of butter and followed the recipe exactly. I added butterly to flour in my kitchen aid mixer. Once roughly mixed I added the sugar. Again I roughly mixed until the dough started to form. I moulded pastry into a ball by hand and carefully rolled out onto a floured work surface. I did not chill the pastry and I did not over handle the pastry. In turned out fantastically. If the pastry is crumbly or dry add a bit more butter or butter substitute. Do not over handle the pastry is my top tip.

lhea-ibiza's picture

This is probably the easiest recipe ever for pastry....just as long as you accept YOU DONT USE A ROLLING PIN - forget that concept. Add a bit of milk/egg/water if you want and then just make patties in your hands....use the heat of your hands - pat them out, pop them in the tin. The end. The only thing I did struggle with was the cooking time/temp. I think a hotter oven is needed than noted here for the fan assisted temp.

mikeiow's picture

mmm.....I agree with many comments that suggest it is NOT unbelievably easy......an interesting way to make them, but about half mine failed to come out of the tin in a presentable shape (ie, they crumbled)
Searching for a recipe that perhaps doesn't claim to be unbelievably easy but might work more reliably....

Katyroo81's picture

It is ridiculously easy. Did you follow the recipe as it says? Also, try greasing the tin before you use it, and make sure you leave it a good 5 minutes before you try to get them out again after cooking. Use a knife at the edge to gently prise it out.

carmurp's picture

I have made these mince pies two years running. This recipe works quickly & easily *but* add an egg yolk to the ingredients & blitz in a food processor. Use pastry cutters for the base & lid, use egg wash & pierce tops before cooking. Oil spray in trays makes removal easy. Delicious!

lollyalexandra's picture

The pastry was definitely much too crumbly to work with. I tried just breaking a small amount off as suggested but when I tried to press it into the tin it just fell apart. I put the dough back in the bowl and added some water. I then rolled it out and used cutters instead. I found this worked fine and the pastry is still lovely and short and crunchy.
Apart from that, the recipe worked fine and I would use again but always with the addition of water. The pies popped easily out of the tin without the need for greasing.

landgirl's picture

Love the pastry, no more difficult to handle than any other sweet pastry, and more forgiving than most. Will certainly use this recipe again.

David V's picture

Thought I'd try these since we had a jar of mincemeat on the shelf. I was a bit worried about the pastry with no liquid but my pastry was fine - a bit crumbly for sure and not easy to roll for the tops ; it really does needs a bit of water or an egg (half maybe) to bind it together. I had left mine in the fridge for a day while I hunted down the right size mold and put the the now rock-hard pastry in the microwave on defrost for 40secs to get it warm and workable. It was a good idea to push the walnut size balls in the mold instead of rolling - I used a Mastrad silcone mold (9 tarts - quite deep) and there was no trouble un-molding. Just wait for them to really cool down. However pushing the pastry into the mold means the bottom is not even and the corners have thicker pastry so after tasting the first 9 pies with a full top, I put more mincemeat in each pie and topped it with a star - no egg wipe. Just sugar on the top. That was a better taste balance and also looked much nicer and more inviting. My wife (yes men cook too) can't wait to get home tonight to try them... if there are any left... We made 18 from the recipe with a bit left over.

Ally Woodings's picture

I agree with lots of the previous comments.... This pastry was "unbelievably not easy", it really was as if the person writing the recipe had never made them. I made 2 batches of pastry as wanted several mince pies. I chilled the first batch for 2 days - it was in a solid ball but still just crumbled apart when it came to rolling it out. The second batch was just crumbly and would not stick together. My husband had to come to the rescue and tell me to use some water to bind it. The mince pies did then turn out really nicely but could not recommend the recipe as it is a joke.

Angstweevil's picture

This is the second year that I've made these. Last year, I followed some of the advice in the comments and added some liquid, tried rolling out and cutting the lids etc.

This year, I followed the recipe to the letter, and you know what? It all worked perfectly. I suspect, the key is that unlike normal pastry, you shouldn't worry about keeping the mixture and you hands cold. The warmth of your hands is key in softening the fat and keeping the mixture together and not too crumbly.

Did them in a non-stick tray and they popped out perfectly easily once they had cooled down.

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