Level-up your mince pies with our expert tips

Do you want to master mince pies? Or perfect your pastry? Look no further as we have top tips from our expert team on how to make your best mince pie.

Keep it short

For beautifully crumbly pastry, make sure you don’t overwork the dough. This will ensure a lovely, short texture. If you’re using water to bring the dough together, make sure it’s ice-cold. If possible, make the dough in a food processor so the warmth of your hands doesn’t affect it.

Roll with care

A light dusting of flour is best to stop the pastry from sticking to your rolling pin and surface. However, too much can make your pastry dry. It’s best to roll pastry out as few times as possible for this reason, as each time you re-roll, you’ll need more flour. This is why we suggest cutting and reserving some pastry for lids.

Boost the flavour

There are lots of different flavour combinations available, so choose one you love, or add extra flavourings like orange zest, brandy, amaretto or port. It’s a good idea to taste the mincemeat before you make the pies as you can then adjust the flavours accordingly.

Lining your tin

The fear of cakes and bakes sticking to their tin is a real one. But, as pastry usually contains a lot of butter, you won’t need to oil your tin unless it’s very old and the non-stick surface has worn away over time. In that case, lightly butter the tin or use a neutral-tasting oil.

Mix it up

For a lighter, flakier texture, use puff pastry to make your pastry cases. If you love festive marzipan flavours, roll some marzipan into small balls and push these into the mincemeat before covering with the lid. Orange or lemon zest and festive spice, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, are a great way to flavour the dough if you’re making your own pastry.

And if all this mince pie talk has made you peckish, why not try our rum, raisin and custard mince pies, exclusive to you as a BBC Good Food app subscriber. Eat, drink, and be merry!

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