Classic Mince Pies

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You can’t beat a batch of classic mince pies at Christmas! These ones feature homemade mincemeat, buttery pastry & a crisp demerara sugar top.

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classic mince pies

For me, mince pies are one of the best things about Christmas & this recipe is one of the best I’ve ever eaten (if I do say so myself!). These classic mince pies are made with an orange & vanilla sweet pastry & filled with homemade, brown butter mincemeat. There’s also a sprinkling of demerara sugar on top of each pie, for added crunch!

They’re crisp, flaky, sweet and super easy to make…

What Are Mince Pies?

Mince pies originate from England & are traditionally eaten at Christmas. Years ago they would have been made with meat but nowadays they are filled with a mixture of dried fruit, citrus, spices, sugar & suet.

If you fancy making your own mincemeat, there’s a great recipe on the blog for brown butter mincemeat which uses a combination of suet & brown butter for a subtle nutty flavour!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe!

  • They’re super easy to make & you can use either shop bought or homemade mincemeat!
  • Homemade mince pies are so much better than shop bought ones.
  • A batch of mince pies makes a great Christmas gift.
  • The sweet pastry is super crisp once baked & the demerara sugar on top caramelises nicely in the oven.
classic mince pie

What You’ll Need

Mincemeat

If you fancy making your own mincemeat, I’d recommend using my brown butter mincemeat recipe! If you go for a shop bought one, go for a high quality one for the best flavour. To make the pies vegetarian, make sure to use a mincemeat that contains vegetable suet.

Sweet Pastry

We’re making this batch of mince pies with a homemade, sweet pastry. This is super easy to make & contains plain flour, icing sugar, a pinch of salt, unsalted butter, egg yolks, vanilla paste & the zest of an orange. This recipe makes enough pastry for 12 mince pies!

Melted Butter

We’re brushing a muffin tray with melted butter before lining it with pastry. This makes the pastry crisper as it cooks & stops it from sticking.

Egg Wash

Using an egg wash gives the pastry a shiny, golden brown finish once baked. It also helps stick the pastry lids to the pies. We’re making our egg wash with one egg yolks & a teaspoon of cold water.

Demerara Sugar

Adding a sprinkle of demerara sugar to the top of each mince pie gives them a crispy, caramelised finish!

How To Make Classic Mince Pies

The full, printable recipe card can be found at the bottom of this post!

Step 1 – Making The Pastry

The first step is to make the pastry. I find that making this by hand is best because it gives us greater control on the size of the butter & means the pastry won’t be overworked.

To make the pastry, sieve plain flour, icing sugar & table salt into a mixing bowl then add the zest of an orange. Add in diced, chilled butter then rub in with your hands until it resembles breadcrumbs. There should still be some larger pieces of butter visible.

Next, add in egg yolks & vanilla paste then use your hands to work the pastry into a rough dough. Tip it out onto a clean worksurface then knead gently until the pastry comes together. Flatten into a disc, wrap in clingfilm then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Step 2 – Rolling Out The Pastry

Take your pastry out of the fridge & let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, make an egg wash with an egg yolk & a tsp of cold water then set aside. Next, brush the holes of a 12 hole muffin tray with melted butter.

Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 3 mm then cut out 12 circles using a 9½ cm cutter & another 12 with a 7½ cm cutter. Knead together the pastry trimmings & re roll if necessary.

filled mince pies

Step 3 – Assembling The Mince Pies

Gently press the larger circles of pastry into the muffin tray, making sure that the pastry reaches the top of each hole. Next, spoon an even amount of mincemeat into each pie (the pastry should be around ⅔ full) then brush a light coating of egg wash around the top of the pastry.

Place a pastry lid on top of each pie then press to seal. Brush each lid with egg wash then chill the mince pies in the fridge for 30 minutes.

egg washed mince pies

Step 4 – Baking

Preheat an oven to 180°c/160°c fan (356°f/320°f) whilst the mince pies are chilling in the fridge.

Take the mince pies out of the fridge & brush with another light coating of egg wash. Next cut a cross into the middle of each lid with a knife (this lets any steam out whilst the pies are cooking) then sprinkle demerara sugar over each pie.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until the mince pies are crisp & golden brown. Let the pies cool in the tin for a few minutes then use a small palette knife to transfer them to a wire cooling rack. Leave to cool then serve!

cooked mince pies

Mince Pie Tips & Tricks

  • Chill the pastry for at least 2 hours before rolling out & for 30 minutes once assembled.
  • When rolling the pastry out, lightly dust your work surface with flour to stop it from sticking. Don’t use too much though because it will dry the pastry out.
  • Let the pastry warm up slightly at room temperature before rolling out. This makes the pastry easier to work with & will prevent it from cracking when you press it into the muffin tray.
  • If you’re not using homemade mincemeat, go for a good quality shop bought one. Your mince pies will thank you for it!

Cooking Classic Mince Pies In An Aga

With all of my recipes, I include cooking instructions for conventional ovens, fan ovens & also Agas.

To cook the mince pies in an Aga, cook for 25-30 minutes in the baking oven on the second from bottom set of runners.

Equipment Used

Please note that these are affiliate links & I may make a small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. For more information, click here.

More Baking Recipes To Try!

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Classic Mince Pies

You can't beat a batch of classic mince pies at Christmas! These ones feature homemade mincemeat, buttery pastry & a crisp demerara sugar top.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Baking, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: English
Servings: 12 Mince Pies
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Rolling Pin
  • Pastry Brush
  • 12 Hole Muffin Tray
  • Palette Knife
  • Round Pastry Cutters 9.5cm & 7.5cm

Ingredients

Sweet Pastry

  • 300 g Plain Flour
  • 90 g Icing Sugar
  • ½ tsp Table Salt
  • 1 Orange, Zested
  • 175 g Unsalted Butter Chilled
  • 35 g Egg Yolks
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Paste

Filling

  • 400 g Mincemeat See Notes

Assembly

  • 20 g Unsalted Butter Melted
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 3 tsp Demerara Sugar

Instructions

Sweet Pastry

  • Sift the flour, icing sugar & salt into a large mixing bowl then add in the orange zest.
  • Cut the butter into small pieces, add into the flour, then rub in with your fingers until the mix resembles breadcrumbs with some large pieces of butter still visible.
  • Add the egg yolks & vanilla paste into the flour then mix with your hands until the pastry starts to come together. Tip out onto a clean worksurface & gently knead until you have a smooth dough (be careful not to overwork).
  • Flatten the pastry into a disc, wrap in clingfilm & refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Assembly

  • Take the pastry out of the fridge & leave to warm up slightly at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, make an egg wash by whisking together the egg yolk & 1 tsp of cold water.
  • Brush a 12 hole muffin tray with the melted butter & set aside.
  • Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 3 mm then cut out 12 circles using a 9½ cm cutter & another 12 with the 7½ cutter.
    Knead together the pastry trimmings & re roll if necessary.
    The larger pastry circles are for the bases & the smaller ones are the lids.
  • Gently press the larger circles of pastry into the muffin tray, making sure that the pastry reaches the top of each hole.
  • Spoon an equal amount of filling into each mince pie then brush a light layer of egg wash around the pastry's top edge.
  • Place a pastry lid onto the top of each pie then press down to seal. Lightly brush the lids with egg wash then place the tray in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat an oven to 180°c/160°c fan (356°f/320°f).
  • Take the mince pies out of the fridge & brush on another light layer of egg wash.
  • Using a knife, cut a small cross in the middle of each lid then sprinkle over the demerara sugar.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is crisp & golden brown.
  • Leave the mince pies to cool slightly in the tray then lift them out with a small palette knife & transfer to a wire cooling rack, to cool completely.

Notes

1. Cooking In An Aga – Bake the mince pies for 25-30 minutes in the baking oven on the second from bottom set of runners. 
2. Mincemeat – For this recipe, you can use shop bought mincemeat or make your own. My homemade mincemeat recipe can be found here.
3. Storage – Once cool, store the mince pies in an airtight container. They are best eaten within 3 days of being made.
4. Pastry – The pastry can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days before being rolled out. Alternatively, store in the freezer then defrost in the fridge before using.

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