Packed with delicious Walnut and Whisky mincemeat and encased in a sweet, crumbly, lemony pastry, these melt-in-the-mouth homemade mince pies are an absolute baking must this Christmas.
This post is sponsored by "Robin and Mouse", check out their truly divine table linen and gifts.
For me, Christmas is all about the baking. (That will probably come as no surprise!) I really love this Small Christmas Cake because of its variety of fruits and nuts, but if I want a quick last-minute fruit 🍉 cake then this Easy Boiled Fruit Cake is my go-to.
But one thing I absolutely have to bake are plenty of homemade mince pies.
And this year, having the very best recipe for mincemeat, my Walnut and Whisky Mincemeat, has taken them to another level.
The mince pies are displayed on a beautiful Christmas table runner from the selection at “Robin and Mouse”. “Robin and Mouse” are a lifestyle business based in Buckinghamshire, England producing beautiful high-quality bespoke table linen and gift items.
Table runner courtesy of "Robin and Mouse"
These mince pies are not too big, as I prefer a mince pie that can be eaten in a couple of bites. But you can use a 10cm cutter if you want them to be a bit larger.
All of my Top Tips for perfect mince pies are listed below.
See Recipe Card below for ingredient quantities
- Plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- Icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- Eggs (one for the pastry and one for the egg wash)
- Unsalted butter
- Walnut and Whisky Mincemeat (or any good mincemeat)
- Orange (optional)
- Whisky (optional)
See Recipe Card below for exact instructions.
Add your mincemeat to a clean bowl and give it a mix. Mix in your orange zest and then your whisky. Cover and set aside whilst you make your pastry.
Fit the blade attachment to your food processor and add your plain flour and pre-sifted icing sugar. Pulse until mixed.
Dot over your chopped cold butter. Pulse your food processor until the butter has been mixed in and the mixture has a sandlike texture. You will need to give the mixture a shake or a stir in between to be sure the dry mixture at base is incorporated equally.
Add your cold egg and pulse again until the pastry starts to clump together. Add your milk and keep pulsing until the mixture starts to form larger balls.
Tip the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface and then bring it together into a ball. Don't knead it though as this will make it tough. Flatten the pastry out to a circle of about 1 inch in depth and then cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Grease your muffin tray with some excess butter and heat your oven. Then roll your pastry out and using a 8cm cutter, cut out circles of about 2-3mm in depth. Then cut out small sized stars for the tops.
Gently push the pastry circles into the greased muffin tin holes and then fill with 2-3 teaspoons of mincemeat. Make sure that you only fill the pastry cases just to slightly below the top edge.
Place a pastry star on top. Beat your remaining egg and brush over the stars. Then bake for 15 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes and then carefully remove to a cooling rack.
Sweet Pastry Variations
- Orange-flavoured mince pies - simply replace the lemon zest with the same quantity of orange zest. You can also replace the added whisky with fresh orange juice.
- Almond mince pies - replace 50 grams of flour with ground almonds. Instead of using Whisky in your mincemeat replace with Amaretto.
- Cinnamon mince pies - add ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon to your flour and mix together.
Food processor with blade attachment fitted
12 hole Muffin tin
Fluted 8cm cutter and star cutter
Store in an air-tight container at room temperature. Homemade Mince Pies will keep for up to a week.
Top Tips for Perfect Mince Pies
Sweet Pastry Top Tips
Making your pastry dough
- Ensure your butter, egg and milk are cold as in straight from the fridge.
- Give the ingredients a shake or mix several times during the process so that the dry ingredients mix in properly rather than sticking to the bottom of the bowl.
- Be careful not to over-mix your pastry, it is ready as soon as it starts to clump together.
- Your dough should be nice and pliable when ready, it should be soft and easily stick together when pressed.
- Refrigerate your pastry before rolling it out as this sets the butter and ensures a soft, flaky pastry.
Rolling your pastry out
- Only lightly flour your worksurface, too much flour will be incorporated into the pastry making it dry.
- Keep moving the pastry around as you roll it out and flipping it over, re-flouring your work surface as you go, so that it doesn't stick.
- Flour your rolling pin as well and drape the pastry over it to move it around rather than picking it up by hand.
- Try to keep your pastry circles to 2-3mm in depth, you want to taste the mincemeat, not be overwhelmed with excess pastry.
- Refrigerate your pastry again if it warms up or if you are using 1 muffin tin and need to bake your first 12 mince pies first.
Adding your pastry to your muffin tin
- The pastry circles will not fill the whole of the muffin cavity, so don't be tempted to force them up the sides.
- Only fill your pastry cases with about 2-3 teaspoons of mincemeat, if they are overfilled the mincemeat will bubble over and stick to the tin making it difficult to remove your baked mince pies.
And don't forget to....
- Ensure you preheat your oven and that it is at temperature before baking your mince pies.
- Give your mince pies time to set once they come out of the oven before removing from the tin, so that the pastry does not break as you remove them.
- Sift over a little icing sugar or sprinkle over some caster sugar for decoration.
- If the mince pies in the middle are not as golden as those around the edge of the tin they will need a little longer back in the oven.
Your pastry dough should easily press and stick together. It should not be sticky and wet and you should be able to roll it out several times without it tearing.
Table runner courtesy of "Robin and Mouse"
Looking for other Christmas recipes like this? Try these:
Homemade Mince Pies
Here's what you'll need...
- Food processor with blade attachment fitted
- 12 hold Muffin tin
- Cookie cutters 8cm fluted round cutter
Ingredients you'll need...
- 250 g Plain flour (all-purpose flour) plus extra for rolling out
- 50 g Icing sugar sifted (confectioner's sugar)
- 125 g Unsalted butter cold and cut into small chunks - plus extra for greasing
- 1 teaspoon Lemon zest
- 1 Large egg
- 2 tablespoon Milk cold
- 420 g Good quality mincemeat
- 1 teaspoon orange zest from 1 medium orange
- 1 tablespoon Whisky
Here's what we do...
- Scoop your mincemeat out of the jar and into a bowl, mix in your orange zest and then your whisky. Cover and set aside whilst you make your pastry,
- Add your flour and sifted icing sugar to your food processor and pulse to mix together.
- Dot over the cold, chunks of butter and pulse about 20 times, then stop and give the mixture a shake to ensure the dry flour from the base mixes in fully.
- Keep pulsing until the mixture has a sand-like consistency.
- Sprinkle over your lemon zest and pulse a few times to mix in.
- Add your egg and pulse until it just starts to incorporate and then add your milk and pulse just until the mixture starts to clump together in lumps.
- Lightly flour your work surface and then tip out your pastry mixture onto it.
- Bring the pastry together into a ball, it should easily stick together when pressed. If it is crumbly and the ball of dough easily breaks apart, return it to your food processor and add another teaspoon of cold milk. If it is very sticky add a little more flour.
- Flatten the pastry out into a circle about 1 inch deep and then wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This is very important as it sets the butter and ensures your pastry has a crumbly and flaking texture and it also prevents it from shrinking in the tin when baking.
- Heat your oven to 200℃ Fan/Gas mark/400℉/Gas mark 6.
- Grease your muffin tin cavities with some extra butter.
- Roll your chilled pastry out to a depth of about 2-3 mm and then cut out circles using your 8cm cutter.
- Drape a pastry circle over the top of a muffin cavity and then gently press it into the tin so that it touches the base. Don't worry about pushing right down into base, the pastry will flatten out when baking.
- Add 2-3 teaspoons of mincemeat into each pastry case and level out. The mincemeat should come to just below the top of the pastry case.
- Cut out small stars and place them on top.
- Beat an egg and using your pastry brush, gently brush the egg wash over the pastry star.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden.
- Leave to cool in the tin for at least 5 minutes and then, using a small spatula or a butter knife, gently push the mince pies out and leave to cool fully on your cooling rack.
- When fully cooled, sift over some extra icing sugar or sprinkle over a little caster sugar.