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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21st Dec, 2016
This is an addendum to a tip I posted earlier. (Thought I would post under 'comment' as folk might not always go to tips as there are so many!) I have made this recipe three times and consequently had an "Ah ha!" moment which has totally changed my pastry making. I made one batch of the pastry with my hands which worked perfectly and one with a pastry cutter which came out way too dry and crumbly. So in future I will always 'finish off' the rubbing in with my hands even if I start off with a pastry cutter. In my experience it is too much water which makes pastry tough rather than handling. The warmth of your hands starts to bring the pastry together and because there is no water added you don't need to worry about over working. And contrary to all we know about pastry making it even seems to work better in a warm kitchen (I noticed one comment from the tropics). I cannot be bothered to craft 2 dozen pies individually but found that by taking a third of the dough at a time I could roll it out easily between a pastry mat and a piece of cling film. The resulting dough has to be handled carefully, cut, slide a knife under to lift and ease in to a pie tin with gentle pressure from the edges -don't poke in the middle. And you can re-roll with impunity, doesn't get tough. Also do butter the tin. A bit of a faff but well worth it, divine. Have finally knocked mother-in-law from her mince pie making pedestal!
21st Dec, 2016
I made these for the first time today. I should have read some comments first because these really are NOT easy to make. I could have rolled out normal pastry and made pies faster. To help get them from the tins, 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 look a bit of a mess to me and are too greasy to eat warm. Overall they are too sweet for us. I won't make them again.
21st Dec, 2016
Made these this morning. I grated the butter when cold but could not get it to bind so added an egg. Greased the pans well as I noted previous mention of sticking and that worked well. Did run out of pastry to top all the tarts. Cooked in the time and definitely look home-made. Very tasty but might not make that way again.
20th Dec, 2016
Have been making these for the past 4 years and they always go down incredibly well! It is a shortbready mixture and quite crumbly so definitely needs a good quality flour and the egg to make it easier to work with. I roll it out very slowly and use fluted pastry cutters for the base and lid, crimping together once filled. I do grease the tins lightly first. I dust with golden caster sugar before leaving them for their last 5 mins in the oven and then let them cool in the tins before popping out with a teaspoon later. They always look and taste better than shop bought!
20th Dec, 2016
Having read all the comments on this recipe I approached this task with much trepidation. I followed the recipe to the gram, processed the dough in a food processor and then hand kneaded. I thought the dough was a fantastic consistency... rather like plasticine ( does that still exist) and I suspect much of my success was due to temperature. Its about 30 to 32 here today in Kuala Lumpur. Pressing the dough into the moulds was a breeze and with a bit of practice went well. As someone else said the dough is bomb-proof. Normally making pastry in the tropics is a nightmare. I made the pies in two identical greased teflon muffin trays. The first tray popped out easily. The second tray... 100% failure. Next batch I plan to use paper liners.
19th Dec, 2016
Makes the most gorgeous crumbly pastry. I find it much quicker to roll it out though rather than pushing into the tin. A bit of butter did the trick to stop the pies sticking.
19th Dec, 2016
I've made mince pies using this recipe for a few years running, and I have found it to be a very forgiving and easy recipe. I've got them down to a fine art now so here are my tips: I use silicone muffin tins for deep filled mince pies, add a very little cold water to the mix to help it bind and make it more pliable (I can even roll it out in order to use decorative cutters on it) and I leave them to cool in the tins for at least 10 minutes before trying to take them out. If you take them out too early they *will* fall apart! I've never had a dud batch since doing the above. I sometimes add a little vanilla to the pastry, or substitute some ground almonds for some of the flour, just as a change. Hope this helps!
18th Dec, 2016
Waste of good ingredients. Wrong type of pastry for pies. Absolutely delicious, mind you. Quick and easy to make too. The problem is the stability of the pastry once the pies have cooked. Due to the shortness of the pastry the pies are very delicate, extremely difficult to get out of the tin in one piece and subsequently fall apart as you eat them. Won't be making this recipe again.
24th Dec, 2016
I'm sorry they didn't work for you but I have to say I'm pleased someone else is having the same problem with the pastry as I am!! I kept re-reading the recipe to see which liquid I had obviously left out of it but I had followed it to a tee and it's still like crumble mixture.
18th Dec, 2016
I tried this after hearing about the recipe on Radio 2. Sadly, I won't be making it again. The pastry was hard to work and very crumbly when pressing into the tins. The pies were virtually impossible to remove from their 'nests' and only a few emerged in one piece. The pastry tasted way too sweet although it was very crumbly. The only saving grace was that my shop-bought mincemeat which I'd added port, orange zest and crystallised ginger tasted ace!


goodfoodteam's picture
8th Dec, 2014
Hi hangleav thanks for your question, you're absolutely right, pop a small ball of pastry into each of the holes in the tins and then gently press the pastry with your fingers to line the base and sides. Then add the mincemeat followed by a pastry lid. Hope this helps. 
5th Dec, 2014
Just made these ...added a bit of water. Popped pies in fridge while waiting for oven temp. to come up....after cooking ,left in tin to cool a bit and they came out beautifully. Look very homemade ...taste delicious.yum...making another batch to freeze. Q. Do I defrost to cook ? Or can they go straight into the oven ?
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Dec, 2014
Hi rosettabanana best thing to do is to freeze them in the tin before baking. Once they are fully frozen you can carefully release them from the tin and transfer them to a freezer bag or box. When you want to cook them just put the frozen mince pies back in the tin to cook from frozen, add an extra 5 mins to the cooking time. If you have already baked the mince pies and then frozen them you'll need to fully defrost them first before warming them through. 
17th Nov, 2014
Hi, I'm confused about the timing of freezing the pies. So they are frozen before they are baked? Does that mean you have to freeze the whole pie tin as well?
goodfoodteam's picture
5th Dec, 2014
Hi there, thanks for your question. Yes you can freeze them in the tin. If you need to use it in the meantime, once they are fully frozen you can carefully release them from the tin and transfer them to a bag or box. Put back in the tin to cook.
14th Dec, 2013
If I chose to freeze these, would I bake them from frozen or defrost first?? Thank you in advance :)
2nd Dec, 2013
I'm making this but the pastry is too dry and doesn't seem to be mixing anymore. Anything I can do?
goodfoodteam's picture
18th Dec, 2013
Hi Jack, If you find the pastry is a little dry while making it you can add a little extra cold water, although don’t add too much or it will make the resulting pastry less crumbly.Best wishes. 
26th Nov, 2013
Why has it taken me so long to get around to trying this recipe? This pastry is absolutely amazing. I used the Prune and Armagnac mincemeat recipe from GF November 2006, but replaced the suet with butter. Fabulous combination. Would give it 5 stars if the site would allow me to.


17th Aug, 2015
These will keep for far longer than 4 days. 2 weeks in a tin and these are still fine.
21st Dec, 2014
Won a bake off competition with this recipe. I always use mince pie foils as my baking tin has seen better days and always roll out pastry between two sheets of clingfilm. works every time.
23rd Nov, 2014
i prefer rolling the dough so also add some egg yolk.If rolling the dough and it cracks when you put in cake tin what i like to do is use muffin cases.No more greasing tins or mince pies sticking to tin.Also they look pretty good from the indentation of the cases.I also make them the night before i need them chill over night and cook them when needed the next day will need a few more minutes in oven .This is a great recipe which you can tweak to suit your needs.I also sprinkle mine with caster sugar rather than icing sugar.Off to make some now happy baking and a Happy Christmas
22nd Dec, 2013
I made these as a Christmas treat for my colleagues and they went down a storm. I've not really made pastry before and this was very simple. I added 100g of ground almonds at the same time as the sugar. I was unsure how appetising they would look given that the pastry wasn't rolled, but they looked and tasted superb. I didn't have a problem taking them out of the bun tray, but given others have had problems I wondered whether it depends on the type of tray you use? I would definitely recommend, especially for those cooking with children. Happy baking!