Here is the best way to make mince pies

For my mince pie recipe, I kept the mincemeat fairly traditional and opted for rough puff pastry, which is buttery and crisp and light, yet sturdy enough to be eaten out of the hand. The wholemeal flour adds texture and flavour, and the process of “folding” the dough leaves you with flaky layers of butter that bake beautifully. This mincemeat recipe makes more than you will need, but will keep happily in the fridge for up to a year.

Makes: 12
Course: Dessert
Cooking Time: 20 mins
  • I Bramley apple
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • Zest of one orange
  • 150g raisins
  • 150g sultanas
  • 200g dried cranberries
  • 450g dark brown sugar
  • 225g butter
  • 200g good quality marmalade
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 50ml whiskey
  • Splash of Amaretto
  • 300g cold butter
  • 360g strong white flour
  • 60g wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200ml ice cold water
  • 1 egg
  • Demerara sugar
  • Icing sugar

1. For the mincemeat, halve and core the apple, and grate with the coarse side of a box grater (leaving the skin on). Melt the butter with the sugar and spices, and heat for five minutes. Pour into a bowl with the rest of the ingredients, and mix well. Transfer to a large jar, and leave to sit overnight, or for up to a year in the fridge.

2. For the pastry, use the coarse side of a box grater to grate the butter into a bowl. Add the dry ingredients, and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer, and use your hands to mix the butter through the dry ingredients. Then pour in the water, and bring together into a rough dough. Tip out on to a floured surface, and roll out to approximately the size of an A4 sheet. Fold the top third down over the middle third, then fold the bottom third up over that, so that you have three layers of pastry (this is called a letter fold). Turn the dough 90 degrees, so that the open end is facing you, and repeat the letter fold. Wrap the pastry and refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight.

3. Roll out the pastry to 2-3mm. Cut out 12 10cm circles and 12 5cm circles. Place the larger circles into a muffin tin and press down so that the moulds are lined, with some overhang. Place a heaped teaspoonful of mincemeat in each mould, and then place the smaller circle on top. Press down slightly, then fold the edges of the larger circle in, crimping with your thumb and forefinger all the way around, to create a star shape. Chill in the fridge again for 20-30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

4. Beat an egg, and egg wash (apply with a pastry brush) each mince pie, then sprinkle with Demerara sugar. Use a sharp paring knife to make a small incision in the top of each pie. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the tins immediately and cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar and serve with brandy butter and mulled wine.