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What's Cooking: Mince Pies

13 December 2019

#ValleysMag |

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“Christmas to me is all about coming together with loved ones to enjoy good company and good food!”

Our Communications Officer, Sadye shares her mother’s ‘legendary’ mince pie recipe that will get you feeling festive.

One of my earliest Christmas memories is standing on a stool over the kitchen counter, covered in icing sugar, mixing sticky fruit and enjoying the sweet smell of mince pies baking in the oven.

I love mince pies and have sampled a LOT in my time, but none beat my mam’s and she’s agreed to share the recipe with you, enjoy!

My Mam’s Mince Pies

Makes 18

The filling:

If you’d like to make your own, this mix makes 4 x 500ml jars:

Soak 250g raisins and 375g of currants in 100ml of brandy and the juice of half a lemon until they plump up. Drain the mix and set the juice aside.

Add the zest of 1 lemon, 300g shredded suet, 250g of dark brown sugar, 85g chopped mixed peel, ½ small nutmeg grated and 1 large bramley apple, peeled and grated to the mix and stir. Add the brandy back in when everything is well mixed. Spoon into jars, cover and leave for around a week – the mix can last up to 6 months.

You could cheat and get 1 jar of mincemeat, most supermarkets sell them. If you want a boozy pie, stir in around 30ml of brandy per jar.

For the pastry, you’ll need:

  • 1lb plain flour
  • 1/2 lbs unsalted butter
  • 50mls lemonade


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 190° or gas mark 5.
  2. Take some cake tins and grease them if they’re not non stick (you can use some more butter to do this, just lightly rub it over the tin)
  3. Mix your flour with butter, at room temperature, together with your hands until it forms a breadcrumb consistency.
  4. Add in 30mls of the lemonade and mix together to form a dough (add more lemonade if it’s dry)
  5. Lightly flour your worktop and roll out half the dough to roughly 4milimeters.
  6. Use a round cookie cutter to cut the pastry into rounds and place in the tin.
  7. Use a teaspoon and spoon some mincemeat into the pastry, so it just reaches the top (be careful not to overfill)
  8. Roll out the other half of the pastry and cut into Christmassy shapes – I like to do stars.
  9. Brush the edges of the pastry base with lemonade and then add the star on top. Break 2 eggs and separate the yolks, use this to brush the star.
  10. Put the pies into the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until browned.
  11. Take out, allow to cool* remove from the baking tin and sprinkle with icing sugar for a snowy effect.

*although they smell divine, please be careful not to eat before they cool or the filling will burn your tongue – speaking from experience!