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How To Make Traditional Mince Pies

Updated on October 27, 2014
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Christine, a wife, mother and homemaker for over 30 years, has an NVQ3 in Childcare & Education & loves cooking, music, health & nutrition.

Mince Pies
Mince Pies

When First Advent arrives, it signifies the time to bake my first batch of mince pies.

Families have been making and eating them in the UK at this festive season for many years. Many a Father Christmas has found a mince pie with a glass of sherry at the bottom of the chimney on Christmas Eve and they are sure to be handed out at Christmas parties, fayres and markets across the country!

I have been baking my own mince pies for many years

I even managed to keep them going whilst living in Germany, where we couldn't buy them in the shops as we could in the UK. I learned to bake them with my mother first and then carried on with my own children.

I love the crisp, buttery pastry and the rich flavours of sweet fruit and spices in the filling.

Of course the pastry improves with practice. At the beginning, it was best kept nice and thin as it wasn't exactly light and crispy as it is today. Over the years I have learned to add just the right amount of water so that I handle it as little as possible, but at the beginning it was a scene of sweaty hands covered in flour (too much of which kept getting added to the sticky dough in order to roll it out, but leaving it too hard!)

Adding the mincemeat was often left for the children to do, but using the right amount also comes with practice: too much and it leaks out of the pastry, creating a sticky mess in the tin and too little leaves everyone asking whether you ran out of mincemeat.

The final touch of a glaze will give that attractive look to your mince pies,

But don't fiddle around too long. They will need to get into that hot oven as soon as possible!

I made my mince pies last weekend just as my family were arriving home. The aroma of them baking in the oven is always so welcoming and makes you feel that Christmas is on it's way.

Now where is the mulled wine?

Cook Time: 15mins

Prep Time: 20-30mins

Total Time: 40mins

Serves: 18-20

Ingredients

  • 400 g plain flour
  • 200 soft butter
  • 1 jar (about 1lb) mincemeat
  • Milk/egg wash to glaze

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to Gas 7 (220C)
  2. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub into the flour. When mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, add enough cold water to make a soft, but not sticky dough that holds together.
  3. Cut the dough into two pieces, one half a little larger than the other. Roll out the larger piece and cut out 18-20 bases with a round, fluted cutter to fit bun tins. Check after the first one that it looks the right thickness, before continuing with the others.
  4. Repeat with the smaller half for the tops, reserving the cut-out rounds until after the next step.
  5. Fill each one with a spoonful of mincemeat.
  6. Dip your finger into cold water and gently run it around the top of each pastry base, before adding the tops and pressing them down gently to seal.
  7. Make a slit in the top of each to allow steam to escape.
  8. Brush the tops with either a little milk or some beaten egg, or a mixture of both.
  9. Place immediately on the top shelf of a hot oven and bake for 15 minutes until just beginning to turn golden.
  10. When cooked, take care of any leaked mincemeat (which can burn) and carefully release any that have done so before they stick to the tin. Leave the rest in the tin to cool or enjoy your mince pies warm from the oven!

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    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 2 years ago

      Hello Christine! Your pies look brilliant. I could be happy eating the picture. I am trying them in a tiny batch or five maybe either tomorrow or next Saturday probably. My crusts never get light and crispy but I'll do my best not to handle them like an impression of airport security and will try to keep my hands cold when I do have to touch them. I promise I won't blame you if mine are like hockey pucks. My pastry specialty that. Will come back and let you know how mine turn out either way. Am looking forward to reading your other recipes and hubs too.

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 3 years ago

      These sound quite easy to make, I like that! I will give this recipe a go and see what happens in my Canadian oven.......here`s hoping they come out as nice as yours!

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

      I love mince pies. This is a very good recipe, you're right about the wonderful aroma they make when they're cooking in the oven. Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 3 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      My Grandmother used to make Mince pies for Christmas and I really miss them!

    • somergreat48 profile image

      somergreat48 3 years ago

      I have always wanted to make these! Thank you for the recipe!

    • profile image

      MaryRoseFitz 3 years ago

      I have always bought Christmas mince pies, but it sounds like they are particularly easy to make. Thanks for the information

    • jen17 lm profile image

      jen17 lm 3 years ago

      Mince Pies are one of my favorites - thanks for the recipe!

    • profile image

      seahorse60 3 years ago

      It's not Christmas without mince pies!

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 3 years ago

      One of my all-time favourite seasonal treats!

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I could really getting into snacking on these right now ...yum!

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love mincemeat tarts and enjoy making them too.

    • Craftymarie profile image

      Marie 3 years ago

      You can't beat mince pies at this time of year. These look so good.