According to Wikipedia, a mince pie or also known as mincemeat pie is a traditional festive British sweet pastry, usually consumed during the Christmas and New Year period. Mince Pies normally have a pastry top, but versions may also be found without the top in which case they are known as a mince tart. Mince pies are filled with mincemeat – a preserve which typically contains apple, dried fruits such as raisins and sultanas, spices and either suet or vegetable shortening.
Before I set my eyes on mince pies, by the name, I thought they were savoury pies filled with meat or something. The fact that it uses mincemeat, doesn’t help but confuses me more. That’s how I concluded they were savoury pies. However, in the US, mincemeat is known with a more accurate name as ‘fruitmince’.
Why is it called mincemeat? I did some research on the internet and learnt that mince pies did contain meat. This goes as far back to Victorian era where mince pies contained actual meat along with spices and fruits. It was a way of preserving meat by mixing it with fruit, spices and alcohol. The only remnants of the meat in today’s mince pies is the inclusion of suet in the filling. So, now I understand why! 🙂
As Christmas is approaching, I thought I would share this typical British sweet pastry with you all. Below is the recipe of mince pies from Gordon Ramsay. Happy baking!
For the Mince Pies:
For the shortcrust pastry:
200g plain flour
a pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp water
For the mince pies:
zest of 1 orange
2 tbsp brandy
a pinch of cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
icing sugar, for sprinkling
vegetable oil or butter for greasing tin
For the shortcrust pastry:
1. Make sure your butter is at room temperature to make it easier to work with.
2. Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour.
3. Using your fingertips, rub the fat into the flour, lifting the mixture up and dropping it back into the bowl – you want to keep the mixture light and airy. Keep going until all the fat is mixed with the flour and has reached a texture that resembles fine breadcrumbs.
4. Sprinkle a little cold water into the bowl and mix through with a knife. Use your fingers to bring the pastry together: it’s ready when and the sides of the bowl are clean and it’s formed a solid ball. You shouldn’t need to add much more than a tablespoon of water so be careful not to overdo it.
5.Cover the bowl with cling film and leave the pastry to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
For the mince pies:
1. Heat the oven to 220C/400F/Gas 6. Mix your jar of mincemeat together with the orange zest, brandy and cinnamon.
2. Lightly grease your patty tins (or small fluted tins) with a small amount of vegetable oil, or any butter.
3. Flour your work surface and roll out the pastry as thinly as possible. Cut out approximately 12 rounds with a pastry cutter (most pastry cutters have two sides, one with a greater diameter than the other, use the larger side for the base and the smaller for the lids) and place them in the base of your patty-tins (or small fluted tins).
4. Prick all the pie bases with a fork to stop them rising. Fill each case with about 3 teaspoons of the mincemeat mix – don’t overfill your cases or the mixture will leak through the pastry when cooking. Brush the pie edges with a little milk. Stamp out another 12 rounds, using the larger end of your cutter, for the lids and place over the mincemeat mix.
5. Pinch the pie edges together to seal. Brush over with egg wash and pierce the tops with a fork. Bake in the oven for approx 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 1 minute before placing on a wire rack to cool.
6. Serve warm with a light sifting of icing sugar on top.
what a pretty minced pie you baked! So far I still didn’t try my hands on minced pie yet!! since it’s baking season now,I better make use of my new tart pan:))
Lovely pic! I’ve not had mince pie before and I also thought that it’s a savory pie with meat in it. 😛
What a beautiful mince pies. Years ago I too thought mince pie is savory until my British neighbor told me its sweet. Never try any before but I think I should like it since I love fruit cake 🙂
Be still my heart! BEAUTIFUL!!!
Thank you! Looks like you got a good reason to use your new tart pan!
Thank you! I have never tried mince pie until I come to England! Now I know! 🙂
Thank you! I think you should like it, and yes you are right – the filling that used in making mince pie is almost the same as used in fruit cakes.
Pink Bowl Baker,
Thanks for dropping by and your comment! 🙂
LeeMei, I just saw mincemeat at supermarket yesterday!And you are introducing mincemeat now.What a coincidence!! 🙂
At first,I thought this was ingredient for puff pastry,like what I did to the Char Siew puff.Haha,now I know what is this for. Thanks for sharing.
Yeah!! What a coincidence!! I think I would be thinking be same if I didn’t know about mincemeat before!
what a pretty mince pie you have!
as soon my oven is fixed, I’ll give it a try, thanks for sharing the recipe..
I didn’t know about it either and had the same reacion as you on reading these lines.
Thanks for sharing!
Sound delicious! I wonder, if I could get something like that here too.
Oh yum they look good! I love their mini size too!
Thank you for dropping by and your comment!
I am glad that I find out and share this 🙂 I don’t know if you could get in Germany. Probably yes. Check out the major supermarkets.
Thank you! And they are yummy!!
Tks for the detailed explanation. I learnt something new today. I think I will prefer to keep all your pies in my stomach than the air-tight container. Hehehe!
Lovely minced pies… nice for Christmas !
I am in West Hartford Ct. I came from England in1958 I woud love to make mince pies, wher can I buy the cans and pie cutters? Also do you have the recipe for meat and potatoe pie, thanks, Olivia
I believe you can get can and pie cutters from any stores that sell kitchen and baking items. I do not have recipe for meat and potato pie.. but will make a note on this. Thanks for dropping by!
haha.. that’s the best way I reckon!
Those mince pies look good!
Your pies look lovely, but I prefer to use Crosse & Blackwell or Borden’s “NONESUCH” mincemeat in a jar, ready to use. Borden’s also makes a dehydrated little solid brick that can be reconstituted with orange juice, brandy, or rum-yum! You can only find this stuff at Christmas time, but it keeps forever (the alcohol, you know). The old stuff really used to have beef, apples and raisins in it – made ahead of time, during harvest season – and left to ferment and become gloriously, spicy-ly aromatic!
Thank you for your info! I never knew those that you mentioned before! It would next Christmas 🙂 Do you think I should keep them refrigerated once I opened?
I really have no idea what the old stuff tastes like but I think it should really be scrumptious!
Was looking around for a shortcrust pastry! This is perfect. Will be using it this Christmas