Unbelievably easy mince pies

Unbelievably easy mince pies

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(373 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, questions and tips

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18th Nov, 2017
Best mince pies that I have ever made. Takes a bit of time to press the pastry into the moulds but well worth the effort. Used a round bottom mince pie tin which probably helped with this. No problem removing them from the tin.
20th Feb, 2017
This look delicious thanks for share recipes
16th Jan, 2017
Finally found the time to make these after hearing them discussed by Chris Evans on radio 2 before Christmas. I have never made mince pies before, nor any other type of pie for that matter, so I did follow the method to the letter. They were quite time consuming, you need to rub and rub the pastry until your hands are cramping and then rub them some more again! Eventually it does become a consistency that easily forms into balls and can be squashed into a normal cupcake tray. I didn't grease the tray, somebody's tip of twisting them carefully after 5-10mins of cooling down afterwards worked really well. They are fragile though. I made the lids by patting in the palm of my hand. They easily bonded with the pie base. The pastry is like a shortbread consistency and is crumbly. People who say they are too sweet should perhaps look at their mincemeat mixture. Given the lack of rolling pin and cutters they aren't the nicest looking mince pies, but I blame myself for that rather than the recipe! They do taste lovely.
9th Jan, 2017
Not easy to make at all. The time it takes to push the crumbly pastry into each tin is the same as rolling out normal pastry would be . If you had young children it would keep them amused I guess and maybe in their hot little hands the pastry would come together better. The recipe is more like shortbread. They tasted nice but looked a bugger. Will stick with normal pastry and method in future.
26th Dec, 2016
I gave these a go but it was clear that my "dough" was never going to come together enough to use...it just kept crumbling back into a pile of breadcrumbs. In the end I gave up and chucked in an egg and some grated clementine rind, chilled the dough, rolled it and used a pastry cutter...so everything I wasn't supposed to do according to this recipe. The dough was very short and a bit too pliable but I ended up with the best mince pies I've ever made!
Chris Fox
25th Dec, 2016
Perfect! The first batch was much too sweet! Next batch I didn't use any sugar; I got the feeling that the sugar was there to stick the whole lot together seeing it was not so easy to make as the first. But the result was excellent!
23rd Dec, 2016
Not unbelievably easy. I used a food processor to whizz together the butter and flour, and the 'dough' was more like breadcrumbs. It took a long time for it to turn in to anything tat resembled dough, which was easy to work with. The whole process took me such a long time because you have to painstakingly press out each disc. They were very rich and short once done, but I will go back to old school method of rolling for time sake.
31st Dec, 2016
These are not to be done in a food processor. The warmth from your hand melts the butter and forms the dough. Follow the instructions and it works great.
23rd Dec, 2016
Progress report: Using the paper liners meant the pies came out of the trays perfectly and the paper stripped off the pies easily. Two added benefits of using the liners was that it was easy to spin the 'pie' around inside the mould while forming the shape of the pie case. It was easy to move each finished pie out of the way so I was using the mould hole nearest me all the time. The liners also left a not unpleasant pattern on the pies
22nd Dec, 2016
I have just made these and found them to be really easy!! I used a mixer to make the pastry as it was stated that you couldn't overwork it. Will be making a whole load more once I've got another baking tray, 12 just ain't going to cut it!!


24th Dec, 2016
I've made these twice now and they're a nightmare to make! The pastry doesn't even resemble pastry, more like crumble topping. It feels like it needs to be wetter. On the plus side, first time I made them my husband said, "these are the best things you've ever made." :-) But I think to call them unbelievably easy is wrong!
22nd Dec, 2016
How can I get my mince pies out of the patty tins without them breaking up even though I grease the them first?
goodfoodteam's picture
24th Dec, 2016
Sorry to hear you've had problems getting the mince pies out. The pastry wants to be fairly thick - a good £1 coin thickness without any gaps so that the filling doesn't leak out and stick. Extra greasing will help too (although the butter content in the pastry should be sufficient) and definitely a non-stick mince pie tin. Leave to cool for 5 mins, then take them out. You can use a thin knife or palette knife to help you ease them of the tin. Hope that helps if you decide to make them again.
17th Dec, 2016
How on earth are you supposed to get them out of the tin ? Made them twice now and stuck both times.
goodfoodteam's picture
20th Dec, 2016
Sorry to hear that. The butter in the pastry should prevent sticking so we're wondering if some of the filling leaked out? If not, then we'd suggest greasing the tin a little to help things along.
7th Dec, 2016
Would these work with 1/2 butter & 1/2 lard?
goodfoodteam's picture
9th Dec, 2016
We haven't tested this recipe with lard but we don't see why not!
22nd Dec, 2015
Salted or unsalted butter?
21st Dec, 2015
Is it salted or unsalted butter?
7th Dec, 2014
I don't understand this bit: 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. If I put a small walnut-sized ball of pastry in to the tin and then spoon the mincemeat over it, I won't get a pie. Does it mean just line the bottom and side of each hole with pastry?


31st Dec, 2016
Reading all the comments on here there is clearly an issue with some people not following the method or recipe. I have been using this recipe for over 5 years now each year I make 12 pies and I use a muffin tin to make extra deep pies. You do not need an egg or milk or water to bind the pastry. It is very important to use your hands when making these pies as the warmth from your hand binds the dough together. I also had to laugh at some comments on "its way to sweet" guys this is short sweet pastry it is supposed to be sweet. Make some other pies if you dont like this recipe! wow The pressing out of the dough is a bit time consuming but its worth the effort. Also you should not grease the tin as there is a ton of butter in the pastry and the pies will lift easily. Just give each pie a slight rotate after removing the tin from the oven. Once they have cooled they just fall out of the tin. If they are sticking then you have done something wrong or the mincemeat has leaked and stuck. They are by far the best pies I have ever tasted and made, they are easy to make but require a bit of effort to make. Dont use food processors!
21st Dec, 2016
To help get the pies from the tins, slowly spin them in the tins while they are hot. The pastry is soft but they will spin. Leave to cool then they come out easily. They are quite greasy so avoid pre greasing the tins.
19th Dec, 2016
Add just a drop of amaretto to the pastry mixture to help it bond a little. Use silicon tray as you can then push the pies out easily and can choose the depth of pie you want.
14th Dec, 2016
Made these for the first time today. A bit fiddly pressing into the tins but they looked fine and tasted fantastic when they came out of oven. If using an Aga, cook on grid shelf at the bottom of roasting oven for 10minutes only.
6th Dec, 2016
Fabulous pastry. Melts in the mouth, ecstatic husband! Agree it is too sweet for me so I reduced the sugar by half. I did not have the patience to individually craft each pie so rolled out about a third at a time between a silicone pastry mat and cling film, then used a cutter. Each piece could be lifted carefully by sliding a knife underneath. It worked fine and any tears were easily patched. Don't be nervous about handling the pastry. (It is water that makes it tough, not overworking).
3rd Feb, 2016
Reduced the sugar by 50% and added the zest of a large orange to the flour. My wife found the pastry too sweet previously. Liked the subtle addition the zest made.
23rd Dec, 2015
I have never made mince pies but this was so easy and I was apprehensive about just pushing the dough into as it was crumbly. But it does fix together and they are delicious.. I will never buy mince pies again.. This recipe is saved for life and I use a cake release spray on all my baking which made them release so easy
casshie's picture
15th Dec, 2015
I add grated orange zest and mixed spice to the flour when mixing it in with the butter then squeeze some orange juice into it to bring it together. It doesn't make it rollable but a bit more pliable. And tastes fantastic!
12th Dec, 2015
PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THIS RECIPE!!! This is not (repeat NOT) a pastry that you roll out. If you try to do that, you will fail. It is a crumble pastry, not unlike the stuff you put onto apple crumble, and you just have to squash it into the cases. It will look horrible until cooked but just trust it, follow the recipe, and leave the pies in the tins for 10 mins to cool and harden before trying to remove from the tins. Oh and grease the tins first. For the lids, I work it a bit between my palms to create the flat lids but if they go on in several pieces, it doesn't matter. This is the most delicious mince pie recipe you will ever use and it IS easy, but only if you don't try to go all posh with it.....
30th Nov, 2015
I've been using this recipe for the last three years, they are lovely but I've always found the pastry a bit difficult to work with... Until this year! Here are my tips: 1. I substitute 50g of the flour for 50g ground almonds. Tastes divine! 2. I do step one - combine butter, flour (and ground almonds in my case) in a food processor. It gives me bread crumb texture in seconds and I don't end up with pastry in my fingernails! As it starts to stick together I tip into a bowl and knead in the sugar. It seems to combine better/a bit less crumbly. And much quicker! 3. I found pressing pastry into shape took ages. Now I roll it between 2 sheets of cling film and cut out tops and bottoms with cutters. Quicker and much easier! 4. Some people have said they are difficult to get out of the tin. I've never had this problem. I've never pre-greased the tin. I can only imagine it's because I have some newish nonstick tins. Do leave them to firm up for about 10 minutes though otherwise they break do break up. I agree with some comments that the pastry is a bit sweet. I am yet to try less sugar. Pretty much perfect as they are and now I'm using the techniques above I'll be able to make even more!