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Playing The Perfect Mince Pies to Make on Christmas


For the Mincemeat:
  • 1 1/2 cups sultanas (golden raisins)
  • 1 1/3 cups packed currants
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  • 3/4 cups chopped dried prunes
  • 1 3/4 cups soft brown sugar
  • 2 apples, around 2 cups, grated
  • 1 stick plus 7 tablespoons butter, chilled and grated
  • 3 oranges, zested and juiced
  • Rounded 1/3 cup chopped almonds
  • Rounded 1/3 cup chopped pecan nuts
  • 3 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • A good splash of brandy
For the sweet short crust pastry:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick chilled unsalted butter, cubed
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon powder sugar
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
For the egg wash:
  • 2 eggs, beaten
For dusting:
  • Powdered sugar


Serves: 12


Preheat oven to 275°F.

Mix all the mincemeat ingredients together in a large bowl then transfer the mincemeat to a casserole dish. Transfer to the oven and cook for 2 hours. Once cooked, leave to cool then transfer to sterile jars. You’ll need 9 ounces for the pie.

For the pastry: place the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and whiz. Add half the beaten egg and continue to blend. You might add a little more egg, but not too much as the mixture should be just moist enough to come together.

Using your hands, transfer the pastry from the food processor out onto a work surface and flatten out the ball of dough until it is about an inch thick. Wrap in cling film or place in a plastic bag and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill.

Once the pastry has chilled, preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush a shallow 24-hole cupcake baking tin with melted butter and set aside.

On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry to 1/4-inch thick and, using a large (around 5 1/2 inches), round, cookie cutter, cut out 12 circles for the bases. Then use a smaller star cutter to cut out 12 circles/stars for the lids.

Line the holes of the buttered cupcake baking tin with the pastry bases. Fill each base with a teaspoon of mincemeat and top with a pastry star. Brush the tops of the mince pies with the beaten egg.

Place in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden on top and browned around the edges. Let cool slightly, the dust with sugar.