recipe

Mince Pies: the easy recipe for the classic British Christmas treat

Total time: 1H20 + Resting time
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 12 people
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Mince pies are a classic British treat that are a must-have at every Christmas celebration. These beautiful, tasty little pies are made from a mixture of sweetened dried fruit, apples, candied citrus peels, brandy, and spices spooned into a shortcrust pastry and baked to perfection.

Although called mince pies, there's no meat in them. The name comes from the fact that back in the Middle Ages when the pies first appeared, there were made with meat, fruit, and spices. By the Victorian Era, mince pies stopped containing meat in favor of more fruits.

Christmas mince pies have a beautifully sweet, spiced, fruity flavor that makes them hard to resist. They're easy to make and are a wonderful addition to any Christmas holiday party.

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How to Make Mince Pies

Christmas mince pies are a wonderful, festive dessert that's incredibly easy to make. Here's how to make homemade British mince pies. Start by soaking your currants and raisins in the brandy. This will help them absorb the brandy's flavor and rehydrate the fruit. At least two hours is a must, but the longer the better. Soak them overnight if you can.

Making the Pastry

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The next day, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a bowl or your food processor until the texture resembles breadcrumbs. Gradually pour in enough ice water to form a dough. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in cling film, then place it in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes.

Making the Filling 

While your dough rests in the fridge, put the apples, candied citrus peel, orange juice, orange zest, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar into the bowl with the brandy-soaked fruit. Grate in the cold butter. Mix to combine.

Assembling and Baking the Mince Pies

Grease up a muffin tin with butter (cooking spray is fine, too). Flour a work surface. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, then cut out the dough using a 4-inch round cookie cutter. Put the rounds into your muffin tin, making sure the edges go all the way to the top of the tin. Fill each with 4 to 5 tablespoons of filling. Don't overfill them!

Re-roll the dough and grab your favorite festive cookie cutters. Punch out the festive shapes and set them on top of the filling. Brush the pies with egg wash. Bake your mince pies at 375F for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let them cool and serve them slightly warm or at room temperature.

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Tips for Making Christmas Mince Pies

You can use a mini muffin tin to make mini mince pies.

It's easiest to make the pastry dough in a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, you can make it by hand. Simply cut the butter into the flour and salt using a pastry cutter. Keep chopping it in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

If desired, you can dust powdered sugar over the tops of your mince pies.

Any type of candied citrus peel works.

Instead of oranges, use clementines or satsumas for a richer, sweeter orange flavor.

How to Store British Mince Pies

Keep mince pies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Ingredients
for the filling
currants
5 ounces
Raisins
5 ounces
Brandy
5 ounces
green apple, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cups
candied peel
2 ounces
orange, juiced
1
orange, zested
1/2
lemon, zested
1
Ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp
grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp
Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 cup
Cold butter
4 tbsp
for the dough
All-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups
Granulated sugar
1 tsp
salt
1/4 tsp
unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
6 tbsp
Cold Water
1/2 cup
for the topping
egg, beaten
1
powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions

Combine the currants, raisins, and brandy in a bowl. Let it soak for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Put the flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a bowl or food processor. Combine until the texture resembles breadcrumbs. Gradually pour in enough ice water to form a dough.

Shape the dough into a ball.

Wrap it in cling film, then place it in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the apples, candied citrus peel, orange juice, orange zest, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg to the brandy-soaked fruit.

Add brown sugar.

Grate in the cold butter. Mix to combine. Preheat your oven to 375F. Grease a muffin tin with butter.

Lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness.

Cut out the dough using a 4-inch round cookie cutter.

Arrange the rounds in the muffin tin.

Fill each with 4 to 5 tablespoons of filling.

Roll the dough back up and re-roll it out. Using your desired festive cookie cutter, punch out shapes and arrange them on top of the filling.

Brush the pies with egg wash.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Remove the mince pies from the muffin tin and let them cool on a wire rack.

Dust the pies with powdered sugar, if using.

Serve and enjoy British mince pies!

Notes

Use a standard-sized muffin tin to make your mince pies.

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