How to make the perfect mince pies

I know it’s not quite December, but one of the delights of hosting multiple Christmas dinners at our house is that the manfriend starts ‘practicing’ recipes just to be sure they’re okay. Does he need the practice? No he doesn’t. Does he do it anyway? Yes he does.

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Today he made six mince pies, just to be sure his pastry was good. It was! Now before I give you this recipe I should explain that this is a recipe for pastry only. For some reason, I am the only one that eats mince pies in our house so I said it was nonsensical to make a whole batch of mince meat just for me when Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference is equally delicious. So here we go…

Ingredients for six mince pies (pastry only):

  • 4oz of plain flour
  • 2oz of unsalted butter
  • very small pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees centigrade.

Put the flour and salt in a mixing bowl, then cut the butter into 1cm cubes and add to the mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your thumb and fingers until the consistency is of coarse breadcrumbs but with some larger lumps of butter still intact. (This makes the pastry more flaky.)

Bring together the flour by adding a dash of cold water and mixing thoroughly. You may need to do this repeatedly until it starts to clump together. Then bring the dough together into a ball using your hands, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 mins.

Next, sprinkle some flour onto the counter top and roll out the pastry until it is approx 1/8 of an inch thick.

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Using pastry cutters, cut out 6 large circles (for the base) and 6 smaller circles (for the lids).

Grease six holes/cups of a muffin tray with butter, then carefully press each of the large circles into each cup – ensuring they are evenly placed with the same side height all the way around.

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Place one heaped spoonful of mince meat into the centre of the pastry then place the lid on top, pressing the touching edges of pastry gently together.

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Brush the lids with a little milk and cut a slit into the top of each pie. Cook for 20-25 mins or until golden brown. Serve with a cup of tea on a cold winters evening, preferably with your first Christmas film of the season on the TV.

mince pies

mince pie