A mince pie is a small fruit-based mincemeat sweet pie traditionally served during the Christmas season. The tradition of spiced mince pies goes back centuries but the name ‘mincemeat’ refers to the filling, which up until the Victorian era would have contained actual meat along with the spices and fruit.
The only remnants of the meat in today’s mince pies is the inclusion of suet in the filling, but vegetarians can use vegetarian suet rather than beef suet.
Folklore tells us that mince pies are Father Christmas’ favourite snack and that a couple should be left next to the fireplace along with a glass of sherry – and, of course, a carrot for Rudolf!!
CHRISTMAS MINCE PIES
With a deliciously light pastry
One bite of our home-made mince pie recipe
and you’ll never want to buy them in again
- 2 cups flour (225g) flour
- pinch of salt
- 150g butter, cubed
- 2 tbsp (30ml) ice cold water
- ½ jar (225g) fruit mince meat
- 1 apple, peeled and grated
- 1 tbsp (15ml) brandy (optional)
- icing sugar to dust
- 3 tbsp (45ml) milk, for glazing
- Lightly butter a mince-pie tray and set aside. (Can also use mini muffin trays)
- Place flour and salt into a bowl and rub in butter using your fingers until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add water and mix until dough just comes together.
- Cover dough in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.
- Place fruit mince, grated apple and brandy (if using) in a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Remove pastry from fridge and place on a lightly floured surface.
- Roll pastry out thinly (about 1cm in thickness) and using a round pastry cutter, cut out 12 circles, large enough to fill the base of the greased mince-pie trays.
- Place the rounds gently into each hole and fill with a teaspoon of fruit mince mix.
- Cut out another 12 rounds (slightly smaller) and use to cover the fruit mince.
- Press edges together to seal and make a small incision in centre of each pie to allow steam to escape when baking.
- Brush pastry tops lightly with a little milk and bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden in colour.
- Remove from oven, dust with icing sugar and allow to cool on a wire rack.