I have been visiting my Nannie to make Mince Pies with her every Christmas for about 5 years. It’s a Christmas tradition that I really cherish, and her recipe is honestly better than anything I’ve tried. And I’m a keen Mince Pie Critique, I’ve had a lot of them in my time.
So, I had a little browse online to see if I could see the same recipe anywhere but no luck. Nannie’s recipe really is one of many years of perfection. Granted, there were similar recipes but quite with the same level of love and craft, so I thought I’d share it here with you! In the spirit of Christmas and all.
You will need:
350g Plain Flour
75g Lard (At room temperature)
75g Butter (At room temperature)
1 Large Jar of mincemeat
1 Large Egg
Sugar (Caster or Plain, whichever you prefer, I use plain)
This recipe makes about 24 mince pies.
Step 1: Pre-heat your oven…
You’ll need your oven at 200oC (Gas mark 6) for the perfect golden brown Mince Pies. At the same time, line your cake trays with a generous amount of butter. Muffin or cupcake trays are fine, I use Muffin trays though because I like the extra deep, full to the brim kind of Mince Pie.
Tip: When I say be generous with the butter, I mean it. The more butter the easier it will be to pop the Mince pies out once they’re all done.
Step 2: It’s all in the care…
Sieve your flour into a bowl (I’d recommend a glass bowl if you have one it’ll make things easier a little later). Be extra careful to ensure your flour is light and fluffy.
Follow by adding the butter and lard in small chunks. Using a fork, mix until small breadcrumbs are formed. You want to ensure all the butter and lard is incorporated, the glass bowl is handy here because you can see what you’ve missed!
Slowly begin to add the water and use your hands to combine. It will be messy at first, but things neaten as the dough forms. You want to end up with a solid dough and clean bowl. It should not be sticky, if it is, add more flour. If it is too hard add a touch more water.
Step 4: Air and Butter are the key ingredients for the puffiest of pastries…
Sprinkle flour onto your work surface and roll out the dough until it is about 2mm thick. Remember puff pastry expands so you’ll want the layers to be thin as possible.
Then spread some butter over two-thirds of the dough. Take a hold of the end of dough without butter and fold over on itself. Keep folding the ends in like a card until you can see no more butter. Doing this traps the air in the pastry and is what makes it fluffy. I would then roll in out again, and repeat this step at least 2 more times. I love a fluffy Mince Pie.
Step 5: Cookie cutter time…
Once you’ve rolled, buttered and folded the dough enough times, roll it out again to about 2mm thick. Using a large cookie cutter, begin cutting the shapes for the base of the pie. Pop these on top of the holes in the cake tin and press into the whole lightly.
Step 6: The Mince Pies are almost done…
Fill each pie with some mincemeat, usually just one teaspoon is enough but it’s very much personal preference.
Step 7: Just need a star for a topper…
With the remaining dough, cut out enough tops for your pies. You can used a medium circle cookie cutter if you’re a closed pie kinda gal. But seeing as it’s Christmas, I love using a little star.
Step 8/9: A dusting of sugar…
In a small bowl, crack an egg and whisk the yolk and white until combined. Using a baker’s brush, paint the stars with the egg. This is what will make the top crispy and golden brown Alternatively you can use milk or water.
Finally, dust the mince pies with sugar and pop into your pre-heated oven for 25 – 30 minutes.
Step 10: The most perfect mince pies… ever!
Once golden brown, remove from the oven and leave to cool before you remove them from the baking tray! This is where you find out if you lined with enough butter. They should just slide out with a gentle nudge. However occasionally you may need a butter knife or desert spoon to wiggle them free.
Serve and enjoy! Honestly, this Mince Pie recipe is the best ever. If you try this recipe out, please send me a photo when you’re done. I’d love to see your master piece, of that they will because I’m serious when I say these are the best Mince Pies.