Unbelievably easy mince pies

Unbelievably easy mince pies

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(305 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins - 40 mins Cook: 20 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Makes 18 pies

No rolling required! Press the raw, crumbly pastry directly into your tin for a short, biscuity finish. Our easiest mince pie recipe and great fun to make with kids

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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highwaycrossingfrog's picture
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These absolutely do work. From some of the comments, some people have had difficulty with the pastry - it is quite hard to work with, so I have docked a star for calling them unbelievably easy! It comes out after prep as a crumb rather than a solid pastry dough. Don't bother squeezing it all into a ball as you will just need to break it up to make the pies. It took a while to figure out the best way to work it, but I found working it into a small ball by hand, rolling it round quite a bit to bind it by warming the butter, then pressing it onto a board and lifting it off with a palette knife (optional to use a cutter to make it look neater) worked best. When putting the tops on, care was needed to press them into the sides of the base without also pressing them onto the tray as this makes them harder to get out. The end result is a wonderfully cracked and crumbly, buttery pastry that is worth the effort. I also added finely chopped apple and satsuma to the mincemeat, which added lots of flavour but needs to be well drained to avoid a soggy bottom. I would definitely make these again, and am giving them out as Christmas gifts to my neighbours.

heather a's picture
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I have just finished making my 10th dozen of small star or holly topped mince pies. It is the best mince pie pastry recipe I have used in 35 years of making Christmas mince pies...there's no going back. I have both rolled out and cut out rounds and just pressed the dough into the tins - both have worked we'll .I'm loving this recipe as we make mince pies in the summer down here in New Zealand and it is often a battle with pastry in the warm humid temperatures of a summertime Christmas but this recipe is fabulous - thanks

granted51's picture

These are unbelievable - made them for friends and one said they were the best mince pies she had ever tasted - be encouraged to give them a go you won't be disappointed.

ange01's picture

I followed the recipe and the dough was extremely difficult to handle therefore the pies look a mess! They're still in the tins but I get the feeling that they are going fall apart when I attempt to take them out of the tins. I will go back to my usual recipe for pastry for better results. As someone has suggested 'unbelievably easy' should be removed from the title.

Gypsyqueen.'s picture

oh my word just made these this morning a trial run for christmas day ....never tasted anything like it and im not a mince pie fan absolutely scrumptious and don't bother about the mess while making em, I kept thinking this is gonna be a disaster ..they look hand made n all golden and crumbly

musiqbiz's picture
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I followed this recipe, & the ingredients just didn't form a dough in the way the recipe above described.. especially without adding some water. I did everything to measure, but the flour /pastry mix was almost impossible to roll into ball shapes, walnut shapes or anything else it was too crumbly. Then trying to do a lid the way it suggested just wasnt workable, & too crumbly to brush the egg on.. after taking them out the oven it tasted more like a mince biscuit than a pie. Disappointing, but win some lose some.. I'll use a diff recipe next time...

Cl80's picture
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Just made first ever batch of mince pies and they are AMAZING! I used paper cases to stop the pies sticking to the tin so they were no trouble to take out. I only made 12 but obviously was a bit generous with the pastry. They are so crumbly and delicious.

darlybabe's picture

Decided to try this recipe - seemed a bit of a challenge after reading the previous comments! I kept to Orlando Murrin's recipe and the pastry came together perfectly. A bit fiddly pushing the pastry into the tin, but soon got the hang of it and the lids were easier. You do not need to add anything else to combine the pastry. Will stick to using this recipe - the mince pies were delicious.

lavernbrown's picture
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I've made mince pies in the past, but have never found a recipe that produces a short pastry such as this.. I have fallen in love with this recipe and will definitely be using it again.

Bombayjules's picture

I consider myself to be an absolute no-hoper when it comes to baking. However, I have just turned out 14 perfect, semi-crumbly mince pies after following this recipe fastidiously. Instead of rolling the pastry crumb into one big ball - I just clumped together a walnut sized piece each time and pressed it into the pie tin with my thumb as I went along. Then I pressed the pastry for the lids in my palms then placed them on the work-surface and pressed down even flatter with my palm - then used a small palette knife to scrape it off and place on top of the pie. After 10 minutes of cooling they came out of the tin with no probs using a small palette knife. The pastry is so short but not overly crumbly and the mince has oozed out and caramelised on the sides a bit - delicious! Can't wait for my husband to come home from work to try them :-)

flister100's picture

Really great recipe. First time they were to crumbly but the second time I worked the pastry for a bit longer (stuck to the recipe) and it came together really nicely. I think the first time I had underworked it. I also bought a new tin and made two batches - one in the old tin and one in the new tin. The ones in the new tin came out a treat - left them to cool for 5 mins or so and then easily removed in one piece. The ones in the old tin stuck so i think its probably a tin issue. Absolutely delicious pastry - really short pastry which melts in the mouth. I got a lot of compliments.

Gailm68's picture

Made these for the second time this evening. Added a tiny bit of water and the dough was easier to work with. They are delicious! I use silicone cases to make them in, this makes them easy to remove from the muffin tin and they don't stick.

tag_30's picture

Amazing result. Stuck to the recipe and left them in the tin for ten mins after to cool down. Beautiful crumbly pastry. Will always use this recipe from now on

Soosiewoos's picture
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I have just made these this afternoon following the recipe exactly and they are gorgeous, melt in the mouth good, will definitely use this recipe again it is so easy and you haven't got the mess of rolling etc.

candygirl 2015's picture
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Having successfully made mince pies all my life, I thought I would try this new method. Oh dear, what a disaster!! The pasty was far too 'short' and so crumbly it was impossible to get the pies out of the tin in one piece. I ended up scooping the whole sorry mess into a big bowl, and serving it as a crumble, with ice cream! It tasted lovely, as the ingredients were all organic, BUT it was not what I had planned. Back to my old tried and tested recipes!!

millierosecole's picture

This has been my mince pie recipe for 3 or 4 years now. The end results are worth it!

I've never used egg or milk /water, it just takes some kneeding and patience. Also some good quality non stick tins (greased) help a lot!! I always roll the pastry too.
After they've been cooked leave them in the tin to cool, (10 + mins) if you try to get them out too soon they'll crumble. The pastry needs to "knit" together after if has come out of the oven.

Persevere with the recipe, because it's really worth it in the end!

bLaZeR666_uk's picture
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Very short pastry and very tasty and oh so simple, if you cant make this then I would give up on cooking!

You DO not need egg milk or water! just follow the instructions (DO NOT roll, use your hands) From making the pastry to eating took me less than a hour. Keep working the pastry and it will come together.

I used muffin baking tray as the pastry is very thick so I wanted more filling. let the pies cool down and slowly rotate them in the tray then they come out without sticking.

imkefromgermany's picture

Made these last week and had great difficulties despite keeping to the recipe: the dough was too crumbly and found it difficult to take them out. Perhaps it's better to add an egg like the others suggested. Will use another recipe next time.

gillyg33's picture

Found the dough really difficult to bring together, finally did it in small batches and spent ages putting these pies together. Despite greasing the tin all the pies I have crumbled on taking them out and whilst the pastry tastes amazing it's no good if it's just a heap of crumbs. Clearly some have had good results with this but I think the 'unbelievably easy' bit needs taking out of the title.. took me longer than any other pastry recipe I've tried to date.

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!

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