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Royal recipe: Festive mince pies

mince pies
Sweet pastry ingredients

300g (2¼ cups) plain flour
90g (2/3 cup) icing sugar
210g (7/8 cup) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
30ml (1/8 cup) chilled water
1 free-range medium egg yolk


Mincemeat ingredients

Zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
Zest and juice of 1 unwaxed orange
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon port
1 tablespoon rum
1 tablespoon sherry
120g (1 cup) suet
160g (¾ cup) golden sultanas
100g (½ cup) raisins
100g (½ cup) mixed peel
100g (½ cup) currants
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
160g (6oz) russet apples, peeled and grated


Egg wash for sticking lids to bases
Granulated sugar for the top of the mince pies before baking
Icing sugar for dusting



12 hole non-stick shallow baking tray / mince pie tin 32 × 24 cm/12.5 × 9.5",
Fluted or plain cutters (additional shaped cutters are optional)


To make the sweet pastry
  1. Place the flour, icing sugar and butter into a mixing bowl and begin to
  2. Gently rub the butter into the other dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolk and chilled water together. Once the butter has all been incorporated this liquid can be carefully added and mixed in, until the ingredients come together in a neat ball.
  4. Wrap the pastry in cling film and allow to relax in the fridge for at least an hour.


To make the mincemeat
  1. Place all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir. Then add all the liquids and grated apple and allow to soak for at least one week in a 1kg kilner jar sat in the fridge or pantry.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (375ºF, gas mark 5).
  3. Roll the sweet pastry into a sheet approximately 2-3 mm thick, place on a tray, and allow to rest in the fridge. Once rested, cut tops and bottoms for your mince pies using fluted or plain cutters (selecting sizes to fit your tin).
  4. Place the pie bases into the tin and prick them with a small knife or fork to prevent the pastry from rising during baking.
  5. Spoon a teaspoon of the home-made mincemeat into the base and egg wash the edge of the pastry to enable the lids to stick. Place the mince pies in the fridge to rest for another 30 minutes, then add a pastry top to each, egg washing it and pricking a small hole in the top to allow the steam to escape. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  6. Place the baking tray on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake the pies for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry turns golden and the mincemeat starts to boil slightly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before taking the pies out of their tin.
  7. Sprinkle the mince pies with icing sugar and serve immediately. To add a festive feel, the mince pie tops could be shaped with a star cutter or perhaps a holly-shaped cutter.