How to make the ultimate mince pies

Take your mince pies to the next level this Christmas with Good Food's top festive baking tips, from keeping your pastry cold to adding a splash of booze.

Deep-filled mince pies

It just wouldn't be Christmas without a festive mince pie or three – so we asked our Good Food experts and our social media followers to share their delicious tips. Read on for our favourite suggestions for mince pie perfection.

Top mince pie tips from Good Food

1. Keep your hands cold

Food writer Sarah Cook: 'Light, crumbly, delicate pastry is the order of the day. Whether you make your own or buy, it is important to keep it very cold while you work – cold hands and marble rolling pin all help.'

Practice your pastry skills with our unbelievably easy mince pies.

2. Don't overwork the pastry

Sarah Cook: 'Try not to overwork the pastry. For example, if you're re-rolling trimmings, bring them together with as little work as possible. The more you work/roll/knead your pastry, the tougher it will get as the gluten develops.'

Try this tip with Paul Hollywood's classic mince pies.

Mince pie on a plate

 

3. Get ahead

Food editor Cassie Best: 'A good trick is to whip up a big batch of mince pies, which can be cooked from frozen. All you do is shape them in their tins, freeze until set, then pop them out into a storage box or freezer bag and return to the freezer. Repeat the process until all the dough is used up. When you want to cook them just place (however many you need) back into their trays straight from the freezer and cook as per the recipe, adding an additional five minutes to the cooking time.'

These jewelled mince pies are freezable – and they're a beautiful addition to any festive spread.
 

4. Add some rum

Food writer Adam Russell: 'Add a shot of nice gold rum to the mincemeat mixture – something like Appleton or Mount Gay, the older the better. It brings a nice Christmassy warmth to the pies.'

We've used brandy in our traditional mincemeat recipe which you could serve with an irresistible brandy & vanilla butter, too.
 

5. Make them modern

Skills & shows editor Barney Desmazery: 'I like to mess with the traditional mince pie, using puff pastry to make delicious mince meat palmiers, filo pastry for mince pie samosas and even mince pie Eccles cakes.'

Feeling adventurous? Try our mince pie baklava, mince pie brownies or starry mincemeat slices.

Mince pie baklava


6. Add some zest

Food writer Caroline Hire: 'Add a little grated orange zest and a sprinkle of cinnamon to the pastry – delicious!'

Add a fruity twist with our orange pastry mince pies or orange, cranberry & almond mince pies.


7. Try them with chocolate

Cassie Best: 'Chocolate-orange mince pies are my ultimate indulgence. Add 100g chopped dark chocolate to a jar of shop-bought mincemeat, the grated zest of one orange and a splash of Grand Marnier – so naughty, but nice!'

Chocolate enthusiasts will love our chocolate chip mince pies.

What to serve with mince pies

When it comes to serving mince pies, everyone has a different opinion on what should go with them. Pick your favourite from the following suggestions:

Homemade custard
No-churn ice cream
Rich nutmeg ice cream
Brandy & vanilla butter
Whisky cream
Brandy syrup cream

Vegan mince pies

What our Facebook followers say:

Sarah Richards Tapscott: 'Homemade mincemeat (has half a pint of brandy in it), hic!'

Frances Vickers: 'I top mine with a piped star of Viennese whirl mixture, then dust with icing sugar once baked. Mmm...'

Elaine Caulfield: 'Cream cheese mixed with a little fresh orange juice and zest on top of the mincemeat! Yum!'

Mandy Cuthill: 'I always put a circle of marzipan in the bottom of my pastry, then my mincemeat, then my lid and dust with golden caster sugar and bake. Delish!'

Melanie Jenkins: 'Use a muffin tin to make them really big – uses a lot of pastry and mincemeat, but worth it for a special treat.'

Now read

5 ways with mince pies
Video: Easiest ever mince pies
Our top-rated mince pie recipes

Try our favourite mince pie recipes. We'd love to know how you make yours – leave your tips below...

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