Mince pies have been a festive favourite for hundreds of years. This year I’ve noticed that bakers and shops are putting their own spin on the traditional mince pie with mince pie brownies and mince pie crumbles (both pictured above) proving popular among my friends. Paul’s bakery has gone one step further and have created a Christmas croissant hybrid! Anyway, I digress. You can’t beat a traditional mince pie.
I like mine made with sweet, crumbly golden pastry filled with homemade mince meat which is much easier to make than you think. It took me a year or two to find a pastry recipe that I felt was ‘Kim-proof’ and this one has never failed me. Once you’ve made your first batch of mince pies, you won’t want to buy the shop bought variety again.
Traditional mince pies
Yield 12 pies
- 1 jar of mincemeat
- 350g plain flour
- 50g icing sugar
- 225g unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and get your muffin tin ready
- Rub together the butter, flour and icing sugar – this will take a while, but as you warm the butter up with your fingers, the pastry will come together.
- Don't be tempted to add water, you really don't need to (you just need to believe!)
- Keep kneading the dough with your hand until you can shape the dough into a ball.
- Cover and chill in the fridge for 30 mins - if you're short of time, you can skip this part.
- Shape the pastry into a ball and divide into two.
- Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll the first ball of pastry out until it is about 3-5mm thick.
- This pastry is very buttery and crumbles easily. If you roll your dough too thin, it will be hard to get out of the tin once cooked.
- Use a large cookie cutter to cut out rounds for the bases, lightly press these into the muffin case and fill with mincemeat - be careful not to overfill the cases.
- You may need to re-work the pastry a few times to get 12 cases.
- Once you have 12 cases, you can now work on the tops. I like to use a small-medium sized cookie cutter to make smaller pastry rounds to place on-top of the pie.
- Use your fingers to press together the base and tops, because the pastry is so delicate, this helps to keep the structure of the pie together after baking.
- Prick the top with a fork.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 12-15 mins until golden.
- Leave to cool in the tin before you remove the pies.