Delightful Delicacy: Exploring the Irresistible Christmas Mince Pie!

Lily Synclair

Prep time: 40 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves: 12 standard size mince pies

Welcome, lovelies! ‘Tis the season to embrace the magical flavors of the holidays as we dive into the delightful world of Christmas mince pies. Join me on a scrumptious adventure filled with traditional charm and mouthwatering aromas!

Today we get ready for my second favourite holiday (first is Easter) as we unravel the mysteries of the Christmas mince pie—a quintessentially British treat that holds a special place in our hearts. Picture yourself on a cozy winter’s evening, by the fireplace, sipping a steaming cup of tea. Now, imagine a plate of these golden pastry wonders, ready to be devoured—a recipe for pure festive bliss!

Let’s start by demystifying the name. Contrary to what you might think, these little pies do not actually contain meat. Instead, we’ll discover a merry medley of dried fruits, spices, and a generous splash of festive cheer that will make your taste buds dance with joy!

brown cookies on gray tray
Yummy Mince PIe

The history of the Christmas mince pie is as rich as its flavor. Dating back to the 13th century, these pies were initially filled with a blend of meat, fruits, and spices. Over time, the meat was phased out, giving rise to the sweet incarnation we know and adore. It has become a beloved symbol of Christmas, with its origins rooted in medieval feasting traditions.

Now, let’s delve into the star of the show—the filling! Traditional mincemeat typically includes ingredients such as currants, raisins, candied peel, apples, mixed spices (like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves), and a generous splash of brandy or rum. As we explore further, we’ll witness the flavors meld together, developing a heavenly richness that bursts with fruity, spicy, and slightly boozy notes—a true celebration of Christmas in every bite!

Equally important is the pastry, my dear friends. A perfect mince pie demands a crisp and buttery shell that cradles the luscious filling. Whether you prefer the flaky layers of puff pastry or the crumbly texture of shortcrust, we’ll show you how to achieve pastry perfection that will elevate your mince pies to new heights.

church of st peter in the forest walthamstow east london england
Christmas at church of St Peter-in-the-Forest

Baking mince pies is a cherished tradition in many British households, where families and friends gather in the kitchen to share laughter and memories. Together, we’ll roll out the pastry, cut out those dainty lids, and carefully spoon in the mincemeat—a labor of love that adds an extra sprinkle of magic to the festive season.

Once baked to golden perfection, these miniature delights are best enjoyed warm, with a dusting of snowy icing sugar. You may even choose to add a dollop of clotted cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra indulgence. Trust me, the heavenly combination of flavors and textures will transport you to a winter wonderland of pure bliss.

So, my lovely readers, this holiday season, embrace the magic of Christmas mince pies. Let the enchanting blend of fruits, spices, and nostalgia whisk you away to a world of joy and merriment. Whether you bake them from scratch or purchase them from a trusted local bakery, these delightful treats are guaranteed to ignite your festive spirit.

Remember, Christmas is a time to savor the simple pleasures and create cherished memories with loved ones. So, gather ’round, share a plate of mince pies, and let the warmth of the season fill your hearts.

Wishing you all a merry and mince pie-filled Christmas!

Yours cheerfully,

P.S.: If you’ve enjoyed this delightful mince pie recipe and have fallen in love with British food, I have a treat in store for you! Dive deeper into the rich tapestry of culinary delights that Great Britain has to offer by checking out more of my cultural recipes. From comforting classics to innovative twists, there’s something to satisfy every palate. So, don your apron and join me on a culinary journey through the flavors of Britain. Happy cooking and bon appétit!

Yours with culinary enthusiasm (ok I’m genuinely signing-off)

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  • Prep time: 40 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 5 hours
  • Serves: 12 standard size mince pies

Indulge in the festive flavors of Christmas mince pies with our traditional recipe, packed with fruity goodness and warm spices - the perfect treat for the holiday season!



  • 250 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 125 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 Pinch salt
  • 1 Large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons water, ice-cold

Mincemeat Filling

  • 200 grams (1 1/2 cups) mixed dried fruits, such as currants, raisins, sultanas
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) suet
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) brown sugar
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) candied peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 small lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 small orange, zest and juice
  • 2 tablespoons brandy, optional


  • 1)

    Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl,.

  • 2)

    Add the cold, cubed butter, and using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

  • 3)

    In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and ice-cold water.

  • 4)

    Pour this mixture into the flour-butter mixture, and using a fork, stir until the dough comes together.

  • 5)

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it gently until smooth.

  • 6)

    Shape the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  • 7)

    Prepare the mincemeat filling. In a mixing bowl, combine the dried fruits, chopped apple, suet, brown sugar, candied peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lemon zest, orange zest, lemon juice, orange juice, and brandy (if using). Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover the bowl and let the mincemeat mixture rest for a few hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld together.

  • 8)

    Preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F) for SI units or 375°F (190°C) for US units.

  • 9)

    On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled pastry dough to a thickness of about 3-4mm (1/8 inch). Using a round cookie cutter, cut out circles to fit your mince pie tins. Place the circles of dough into the tins.

  • 10)

    Spoon a generous amount of the prepared mincemeat filling into each pastry-lined tin.

  • 11)

    If desired, use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out smaller shapes from the remaining pastry dough. Place these shapes on top of the mincemeat filling as pie lids, or you can create a lattice pattern with strips of pastry.

  • 12)

    Bake the mince pies in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry turns golden brown.

  • 13)

    Remove the mince pies from the oven and let them cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • 14)

    Once cooled, dust the mince pies with powdered sugar (optional), and they are ready to be served!


  • I wrote the recipe using SI units and had to convert for US volume measurements! Use a scale!
  • Vegetarian suet can be used as well
  • Some people add brandy to their mince.
  • If you use store-bought mince, then this recipe will take 1 hour (otherwise it will take longer!)

Like how it tastes or have a question? Let us know here :)

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