Unbelievably easy mince pies

Unbelievably easy mince pies

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(332 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins - 40 mins Cook: 20 mins


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

  • Can be frozen uncooked

Nutrition: per pie

  • kcal222
  • fat11g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs30g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre1g
  • protein2g
  • salt0.26g
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  • 225g cold butter, diced



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 350g plain flour



    Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…

  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 280g mincemeat
  • 1 small egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • icing sugar, to dust


  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.

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Comments (585)

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...

candygirl 2015's picture

I had the same result as you, a big crumbly mess, even though I DID grease my tins! Go back to your old tried and tested recipes as I will.

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.


X12dje's picture

Absolutely brilliant the pastry was delicious and very crispy although I did have to use a little water to get the dough together. Love them!

sweettooth2013's picture

Just tried making these with my 3 year old and was an absolute nightmare. The dough was so crumbly i added 25g extra butter to combine it. God knows how they'll turn out :/

c-jenkins1234's picture

Awful, the pastry is a nightmare and even if you do finally manage to get it into the tin, when you try to get them out again after cooking, the pastry just crumbles and you end up with a crumbly mess.

Katyroo81's picture

The pastry works fine. I think it's your skills at fault, lol. :)

trbide's picture

I made these last night and I had the same anxiety about the pastry that everyone has had. It's very solid and crumbly and almost impossible to roll out at first. I chilled it overnight and then warmed it up in my hands and it rolled out easier.

Pressing the mixture into the case, instead of cutting a circle and placing it in, worked really well and still looked neat. I wouldn't use all the sugar though - the pastry almost tasted like a biscuit which was too sweet with the mincemeat.

sarkone's picture

Most commenters here recommend adding egg or water to bind, and I concur. I tried without, and the pastry was so crumbly, I could do nothing with it. Posters who stuck with it have talked about being patient, moulding small amounts, etc, all of which make it considerably less 'incredibly easy' than the recipe I've been using for years (exactly the same but with water added). Good pastry isn't that hard to make, but this recipe, for some reason, makes something relatively easy far harder than it needs to be for little benefit. You still get a wonderful, melt-in-the-mouth texture if you add some liquid. The only reason I tried this was because I was curious to see if it would work without liquid. It does, but there's no point. Save yourself the hassle and add an egg or water.

deancookusa's picture

This is the PERFECT mince pie dough, along with a few modifications. I am an ex-pat living in the USA and tried a few recipes before this! The dough is shortbready and crumbly, like I have had at home- I don't like it when the dough is flaky like a savoury pie.

I wanted uniform looking pies, so to make the dough able to roll out and use a cutter on, I-

-add an egg yolk to original list of ingredients
-use food processor to blitz these ingredients together until *just* combined
-transfer to bowl and add iced water in tablespoon increments until I can press the dough into a ball
-chill, chill, chill before using, wrapped in clingfilm
-roll out on a silpat or similar silicone mat using a non-wooden rolling pin (could try parchment paper or even cling film)

And skip the egg wash- they don't need them.

Oldfox's picture

Made these today for the first time with 5 toddlers! Came out great I agree if you work with small amount and warm up in hands as you mould it becomes more pliable, basically go against your pastry instincts with everything about this pastry! I added some lemon and orange zest and some orange juice to the dough and slightly less sugar (80g) got thumbs up from kids and grown ups. In fact ordered to make more for Santa!


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