These sourdough mince pies are a great way to use up discarded starter. The pastry’s super flaky, the mincemeat’s nutty & the icing’s boozy. This is a next level batch of festive pies!

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sourdough mince pies with brandy icing

If you’re like me & feed your sourdough starter regularly & have plenty of discard to use, this recipe is for you! Here, we’re making use of tangy sourdough starter to give our shortcrust pastry extra flavour, tenderness & flakiness. Using this alongside some homemade mince meat & sweet brandy icing makes for some next level mince pies!

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!

Using Sourdough Discard In Pastry

Making shortcrust pastry with sourdough discard might sound unusual but trust me, it works!

Using discard from a 100% hydration starter is a great way to avoid food waste, plus it makes our pastry super flaky, tender & flavourful. Pair this with some sweet mincemeat & a boozy brandy icing & you’re onto a real winner!

To adjust a regular shortcrust pastry recipe to use sourdough discard, we need to keep in mind the flour & content of the sourdough. Using 100% hydration sourdough starter makes this easy as this is made up of 50% water & 50% flour. In this recipe, we’re adding 80g of starter in so 40g would be flour, 40g would be water. Therefore we reduce the amount of plain flour by 40g & don’t add any extra water.

sourdough mince pies with brandy icing

What You’ll Need To Make Sourdough Mince Pies

  • 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.
  • Sourdough Discard
    To make the sourdough pastry, we need discard from a 100% hydration starter. This should be cold & ideally will be no older than 3 days old.
  • Plain Flour
    Using plain flour makes for a tender shortcrust pastry. Make sure to sift it before adding the butter.
  • Icing Sugar
    We’re not making our pastry too sweet as we want the sourdough flavour to come through. 50 grams of sugar is more than enough!
  • Butter
    Make sure to use cold, unsalted butter for this recipe. This gives us better control at how much salt goes into the pastry.
  • Egg Yolk
    Adding a single egg yolk to our pastry adds richness & helps bind things together.
  • Fondant Icing Sugar
    Fondant icing sugar contains glucose so gives a better finish. If you don’t have any, you could use icing sugar instead.
  • Brandy
    A small amount of brandy is added to the icing for flavour. If you’d prefer you could use a different alcohol instead. Amaretto or rum would be some other good options.
sourdough discard
Sourdough discard…

How To Make Sourdough Mince Pies

The full, printable recipe card for these mince pies 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. 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 & the sourdough discard 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 overnight.

Step 2 – Rolling Out The Pastry

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

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

sourdough mince pies

Step 3 – Assembling The Mince Pies

Gently press the 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).

Chill the mince pies in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

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.

When the oven is up to temperature, take the mince pies out of the fridge then bake for 20-25 minutes. Once cooked, the pastry will be crisp & golden brown.

Leave the mince pies in the tin for a couple of minutes, to cool down then gently press the mincemeat down with a spoon, so that the top is flat. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely, before icing.

Brandy Icing

This brandy icing couldn’t be easier to make! Simply combine fondant icing sugar with vanilla paste, brandy & enough cold water to make a smooth, thick icing. We then pour this on top of the cooled mince pies so that the icing is level with the top of the pastry.

Cooking Mince Pies In An Aga

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

To cook these sourdough mince pies in an Aga, cook for 20-25 minutes in the baking oven on the second from bottom set of runners.

Christmas mince pies
Four mince pie variations. All recipes are available on the blog…

Equipment Used

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More Christmas Recipes To Try!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for sourdough mince pies, it would mean a lot if you could leave a review & rating!

Sourdough Mince Pies With Brandy Icing

These sourdough mince pies are a great way to use up discarded starter. The pastry's super flaky, the mincemeat's nutty & the icing's boozy. This is a next level batch of festive pies!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Chilling Time12 hours
Total Time13 hours
Course: Baking, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: English
Servings: 12 Mince Pies
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • 12 Hole Muffin Tin
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Small Mixing Bowl
  • Rolling Pin
  • Palette Knife
  • 9½ cm Round Fluted Pastry Cutter
  • Wire Cooling Rack

Ingredients

Sourdough Discard Shortcrust Pastry

  • 210 g Plain Flour
  • 50 g Icing Sugar
  • ½ tsp Table Salt
  • 140 g Unsalted Butter
  • 80 g Sourdough Discard Cold
  • 1 Egg Yolk

Assembly

  • 20 g Melted Butter To Brush The Tin
  • 400 g Mincemeat See Notes

Brandy Icing

  • 100 g Fondant Icing Sugar
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Paste
  • ½ tsp Brandy
  • Cold Water

Instructions

Sourdough Pastry

  • Sift the flour, icing sugar & salt into a large mixing bowl.
  • 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 sourdough & egg yolk 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 overnight (or up to 2 days).

Assembly

  • Take the pastry out of the fridge & leave to warm up at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  • 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 fluted cutter.
    Knead together the pastry trimmings & re roll if necessary.
  • Gently press the circles of pastry into the muffin tray, making sure that the pastry reaches the top of each hole.
  • Fill each mince pie ⅔ full with mincemeat then chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Baking

  • Preheat an oven to 180°c/160°c fan (356°f/320°f).
  • Bake the mince pies for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is crisp & golden brown.
  • Let the mince pies cool in the tin for a couple of minutes then gently press the mincemeat down with a teaspoon so that it is flat on top.
  • Using a small palette knife, transfer the mince pies to a cooling rack & leave to cool completely before icing.

Brandy Icing

  • Sift the fondant icing sugar into a mixing bowl then add in the vanilla paste & brandy.
  • Stir together, adding enough cold water to make a smooth, thick icing.
    I'd recommend starting with 1 tsp of water then adding in more as necessary.
  • Pour icing over each mince pie so that it sits level with the top of the pastry, without overflowing.
  • Leave to set for 15-20 minutes then serve.

Notes

1. Cooking In An Aga – Bake the mince pies in the baking oven on the second from bottom set of runners. If the pastry starts to brown too much, move the tray down a 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. Sourdough – This pastry uses discard from a 100% hydration starter. The discard should be fridge cold & ideally be no older than 3 days old.
5. Pastry – The pastry can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days before being rolled out. Because of the sourdough in the pastry, it isn’t really suitable for freezing.

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