17 December 2015

Mince Pies - A British Classic with Easy Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

Mince Pies / www.delightfulrepast.com

If you made the Mincemeat last week and got your mince pie tin, you're ready to make Mince Pies! The Mincemeat recipe makes enough for four dozen of the pies, but I just make them a dozen at a time; so my pastry recipe below is formulated to make just enough pastry for a dozen. If you have a bit leftover, just save it for the next batch or bake it as cookies.

(I got distracted by the cat and overbaked these a few minutes, but they were still good!)

Mr. Delightful isn't crazy about mincemeat, so I'm going to make a batch of mince pies for him that are half mincemeat and half finely diced apple. If he doesn't like that, I guess I'll have to accept the fact that he's just not a mince pie kind of guy!

A popular holiday season treat in the UK, mince pies are wonderful all winter or anytime of year. They would be perfect for an afternoon tea, but I'm not going to have time this month or next to give one. A trio of them make a delightful after-dinner dessert with coffee or tea.


Mince Pies - A British Classic / www.delightfulrepast.com

The pastry is easier than regular pie crust, in that it is a shortcrust, rather than flaky, pastry. You really don't have to worry about chunks of butter, keeping everything cold, not handling it too much, etc. Just make it quite carelessly, rolling and re-rolling all you want. You really can't mess it up.

Mince pies are good at room temperature, but they are grrrrreat warm. Never serve them cold. If you're making them ahead, just pop them into a preheated 350F/180C/Gas4 oven for about 5 minutes. You'll be glad you did!

What are you baking this week?




Mince Pies


(Makes 12 little pies)

The Shortcrust Pastry


1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1 ounce/28 grams) unsifted powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoon water

The Mincemeat


About 1/4 of the Mincemeat recipe (about 1 1/8 cups)*


* It depends on how full you fill your pies. I use about 1 1/2 tablespoons per pie.

1 You can easily make the pastry by hand, but here are directions for food processor method. Add flour, powdered sugar and salt to work bowl of food processor; turn on for about 3 or 4 seconds to combine. Add chunks of butter; pulse to a crumb texture. Add egg yolk and water; pulse until the dough starts clumping together. This is to be a crisp, more cookie-like crust, rather than a flaky pastry; so there's not quite the concern about over-processing. Flatten slightly into a 4- to 6-inch round disc, wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2 On a very lightly floured sheet of baking parchment, roll out all the dough, for both tops and bottoms, about 1/8 inch/3mm thick. Cut 3-inch/8cm rounds for bottoms. OR Before rolling out the pastry (for just the tops), use a #60 (1 tablespoon) scoop and place a scoop of dough in each of the 12 cups of the mince pie tin. With your thumbs, press the pastry in each cup. Roll out remaining pastry on a lightly floured sheet of parchment, and cut out either stars or circles about 2 to 2.25 inches/5 or 6cm in diameter for the tops.



How to Make Mince Pies / www.delightfulrepast.com


3 Put about 1 1/2 level tablespoons of mincemeat in each of the 12 cups. Top with pastry. If using round tops, crimp the edges and cut a slit to allow steam to escape. If using star tops, just lay them on and press the points against the edge of the bottom pastry.


Note: Save any leftover pastry for another batch or another use. You can even bake it as not-too-sweet cookies!

4 Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas6. Place mince pie tin in a rimmed baking sheet. My pan fits perfectly inside a 13x9x1-inch quarter-sheet pan. Bake until pastry is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with a dusting of powdered sugar.



Mince Pies / www.delightfulrepast.com


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66 comments:

Sue/the view from great island said...

These are stunning, and I've been so curious about mincemeat pies, I don't think I've ever had one...that has to change! Have a wonderful holiday :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sue! And have a fabulous 2016!

Bernideen said...

Jean:
So glad you shared these incredible tarts! Lovely presentation and thanks for the recipe for all to enjoy!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Bernideen! Wish I could deliver a batch to you and sit down and have a cup of tea with you!

Gina @ VictorianWannaBe said...

Hi Jean, Those tarts look delicious! Can you believe I have never had mincemeat before? Now I have no excuse since you included the recipe! :)
Thanks so much for your recent visit to my Christmas decorated chandy post, and for the comment.
Have a Merry Christmas!
Gina

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

I can almost taste it! Your tarts are beautiful and so perfectly traditional. I'll give it my best shot! :)

Merry Christmas!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Gina! I do hope you'll try it and let me know if you liked it.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Maureen, thank you! I really think you'll like them and find them rather fun to make.

Angie Schneider said...

They look heavenly, Jean. Could you save me one too?

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

I can understand why Mr. Delightful is a bit cautious. He’s nervous. I mean, what do you mean you got distracted by the cat? Last month we were discussing the oh-so-elusive mystery meat in mincemeat and this month you were DISTRACTED BY THE CAT? I’m a dog lover myself (watch what you say, Sully), but cats like me, so I feel a certain mandate to protect them from…from – Ahem. Merry, merry, vegan Christmas to you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I'd love to, Angie!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

LOL Really! Sully, let me assure you, the cat still lives! (I'm still laughing!)

Amy at love made my home said...

Nothing like Christmas with a good mince pie is there! xx

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Amy, I could never just eat them one day a year, but I do tend to eat waaaayy too many mince pies!

eclectichomelife said...

They look lovely. This is the first year since I've been married (21 years) that I've not made mince pies. Instead my husband has!! They were better than mine! Instead I've been baking seven different varieties of Scandinavian cookies for Christmas. Each recipe is up on my blog should you be interested x

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, EHL! Sounds like you have a wonderful tradition going, and it's wonderful that your husband carried it on this time! Kokoskakor is the only Scandinavian cookie I make (so far). Will check yours out!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hi Jean,
Your tarts look fabulous! I make them just like you do, or rather they look the same with the little stars cutout on top. l plan to make mine next week although it will be bottled mincemeat and not home made. Don't tell anyone! We always had mincemeat pie for Christmas dinner as well as plum pudding when I was growing up. Tomorrow I plan to make my sugar plums and maybe my chocolate peanut butter bars. Next week will be a double batch of donuts and meat pie as well as the tarts.
Thanks for sharing your delicious recipes with us.

Merry Christmas,
Sandi

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sandi, thank you! Sounds like you've got lots of cooking and baking to do -- when will you sleep? :D Now you've got me thinking of meat pies. Mmmm. Can't believe we're almost to 2016!

Julie's Lifestyle said...

Your mincemeat pies look so pretty Jean.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas.
Julie

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Julie! And I hope you have a fabulous 2016!

Michelle Nahom said...

What a beautiful treat, Jean!! Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

Tony Grant said...

Lovely, mince pies, Jean. I see you have started eating them already!! Must be good.OR, is the Mr Delightful helping out? Have a lovely Christmas the two of you,Tony

Margaret-whiteangel said...

My, they look and I bet they taste very delicious..

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Michelle. Much as I love a piece of pie, cute little individual pies are just so, well, cute!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, I think of mince pies as simply a winter treat and so eat them throughout the winter months. And Mr. Delightful is getting to quite like them! Happy Baking!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Margaret. They are really fun to make! (And eat.)

Julie's Lifestyle said...

Thanks Jean for joining and sharing your wonderful recipe with us at Cooking and Crafting with J & J!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank *you*, Julie. Fun to see what everyone is making!

Brooks said...

I'm loving the star shaped shortcrust topper on these individual gems. Between this post and the previous one, I'm well equipped to get on these sooner than later. Thank you for the details, and all the season's best to you and yours!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Brooks! Your baking is so over-the-top beautiful, you probably feel a lot of pressure to make *every*thing look perfect! Whereas I can just go for "good enough."

Jess said...

These are so pretty and sound so delicious!

Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

Cathleen said...

I LOVE mince pies! This reminds me of Christmas SO much. I really need to try making it sometime!

Beatrice Euphemie said...

These look so charming! I haven't had mincemeat in years - my dear Mother loved it and would bake a pie for us at Christmas. Thank you for sharing the recipe - I never did get hers. I hope to bake some sugar cookies and make some mints this week! Hope you are having a lovely lead up to Christmas and a wonderful Christmas holiday! xo Karen

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

The little tarts are just so pretty, Jean! I love the stars on top and the crust sounds so easy, and I'm thinking would be great for other tarts, too. I must confess that I've never had a mincemeat pie or tart, but sure would love to try one of yours.
Merry Christmas blessings to you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jess, thank you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Cathleen, I think you're going to have a lot of fun when you make them! Let me know how they turn out for you.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Karen! I love sugar cookies, too!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kitty, thanks. That crust *is* good for other tarts as well. So even if you don't make the mince pies, you might find a good use for it.

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

The highlight of our garden club Christmas pot luck dinner is friend Judy's homemade mince pie. After reading your recipe and seeing how easy it is, I'm going to give it a go next year for luckily my husband likes it too. The actual pan for the tarts is interesting with a rounded bottom - thanks for sharing your pastry, and mincemeat recipes.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Judith. Let me know how it turns out for you. It's especially good if you make your mincemeat about a week ahead of time so the dried fruits have time to rehydrate.

Daniela said...

What inviting images of your little mince pies and what an inspiring recipe, I love little pastry, to cook and to eat !
Thank you darling Jean for another precious post !

May your Christmas be the Merriest you could ever imagine and wish, filled with JOY, LOVE, ARMONY, PEACE, HEALTH and FAMILIAR WARMTH, the most blessed and precious Gifts we have.
Sending hugs across the miles
Dany

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Dany, thank you so much. And I wish you all the best as well!

Mildred said...

Merry Christmas, Jean! I agree with Daniela....your photos are so amazing and I would love to try one of these pies! Enjoy every minute of this special time of the year.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Mildred! If I were nearby, I'd bring you a batch of pies; and maybe you could put the kettle on!

Sahana Ajeethan said...

Looks great!! Love your presentation too!! Thank you for sharing with us at #HomeMattersParty. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays !!. We would love to have you again when we are back on Jan 8, 2016.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sahana, thank you! I'll look for you on January 8. Wishing you a fabulous 2016!

April J Harris said...

There's nothing like a good mince pie - and yours look fantastic, Jean. Your pastry looks wonderful! Thank you for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, April! And thanks for hosting the Hearth and Soul Hop!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

Picture perfect pies! I love the idea of half apple, that would be a great way for us to try them and see what we think of mincemeat.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Lil' Cookies! I hope you will give it a try and let me know how you liked it.

Swathi Iyer said...

That is cute little pies, I can eat few pies in a stretch, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning, tweeting

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Swathi! And for pinning and tweeting -- I need all the help I can get!

Miz Helen said...

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday. I sure appreciate you!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Miz Helen! And I really appreciate you! Wishing you a wonderful 2016!

The Charm of Home said...

How cute these are! Merry Christmas! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, TCOH! I just love little individual things!

Sippity Sup said...

They're certainly beautiful. GREG

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Greg! They go great with eggnog!

Jann Olson said...

These are as beautiful as I bet they are tasty. I have never tasted or made mince meat pies. Found out last year that it is my fil's favorite. May need to try making some! Thanks for sharing them with SYC. Happy New Year.
hugs,
Jann

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jann, thank you! If you make some for your father-in-law, let me know how he liked them! Great with a cup of coffee or tea. Have a terrific 2016. Hugs to you, too.

Rettabug said...

Jean, this brought back SOOO many memories! My mother LOVED mincemeat pie & would make it every Christmas. I love your tiny individual servings...so dainty & pretty.
I've just discovered your blog via Bernideen's linky party, so I'll get another cuppa tea & spend at least an hour poking around. Thanks for sharing your world!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Retta, thank you so much! Isn't Bernideen's linky party lovely? We "tea ladies" are a special group! You'll find lots to do with tea here. Hope you find something else you like.

Margie said...

I'm embarrassed to admit that for the longest time, I thought mincemeat pie contained real meat. Hee! Good to know that they should always be served warm.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Margie, you're not alone! I hope you'll try this soon as they are so perfect with tea!

Sylvia said...

Jean, Mincemeat tarts are my favorite holiday treat. I have been lucky to have them several times. I have not made any myself. Love the blue and white dishes. Thanks for sharing. Sylvia D.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you so much, Sylvia. I hope you'll make my recipe one of these days. They really are fun to make!

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