My Perfect Mincepies

What’s the important thing, pastry or filling? Yes you can make the mincemeat but I am a big fan of using good products if you can buy it so I normally use shop bought mincemeat. However the only thing I dont use is shop bought pastry, apart from puff pastry that is. So how do you make the perfect pastry for mince pies? I prefer a sweet pastry although you can always use a regular shortcrust or even puff pastry if you prefer. The sweet pastry I use is made with icing sugar, ground almonds and lots of vanilla. It is also enriched with egg yolk, it really is a delicious pastry perfect for mince pies. 

Homemade Mince Pies – makes about 30

550g Plain Flour
50g ground almonds
100g icing sugar
pinch of salt
350g unsalted butter, cold
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp ice cold water
seeds from 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

I make my pastry in a food processor as I think it is a great tool to make deliciously short pastry and it also helps if you have warm hands. Place the flour, almonds, icing sugar and salt in the bowl of the food processor and pulse to evenly combine.

Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, a few larger sized pieces of butter is fine. Add the egg yolks, water and vanilla and pulse in the processor until combined. A lot of recipes say pulse until the pastry forms a ball but I think this can overwork the pastry. Tip the mixture out onto the work surface and bring together and knead lightly until the mixture forms a uniform mixture. When you tip out the mixture it will look like breadcrumbs but trust me there is enough moisture from the egg/water mix and the butter to form the pastry so don’t be tempted to add extra water unless it really needs it.

Divide the pastry in two and form into flat discs and wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 mins.

For my mincepies I add a piece of homemade almond paste in the bottom before adding the mincemeat. It is something my mum has done for years and it works so well, please try it. NOTE – this almond paste recipe makes a lot probably double what you need so you can always halve the reicpe.

Homemade Almond Paste

350g ground almonds
175g icing sugar
175g caster sugar
1 large egg
1 egg white, from a large egg
1 tsp almond extract (or to taste)
1 tbsp rum

This is a really good recipe for kids to get involved as basically the method is add all the ingredients into a bowl and smush it all together until evenly combined. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate until needed.

To make the mincepies you need roughly two jars of mincemeat (if you use the almond paste you wont use it all but if you leave the almond paste out you should have just enough with two jars)

Preheat the oven to 200C. Take the chilled pastry and roll out nice and thin. Cut out enough rounds to fit the bases of your tin them cut out the tops, you will need to re-roll the scraps to get enough lids. Use a knife to cut a slit in the centre of the lids (this will help them stop bursting during baking) and lightly grease the tins. To assemble gently press the base rounds into the tins, place a small nugget of almond paste on the base of the pie and top with mincemeat. Brush the underside of the lid with a little milk and place onto the pie and gently press the edges together to seal. Brush the pies with a little milk and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 mins or until the mincepies are golden. Allow to cool down a while before removing and cooling down completely on a wire rack.


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24 Responses to My Perfect Mincepies

  1. These look delicious… I’ll definitely be making some this weekend!! :-)

  2. claire says:

    I’ve been debating whether to bother making my own mince pies this year but after eating a fair few distinctly average shop bought pies I think the time has come to get stuck in. Love your pastry recipe, will definitely be using it. Still tempted to make my own mincemeat – I specialise in making life difficult for myself!

  3. Penny says:

    Hello Edd, it was so lovely to meet you both before your brilliant demo at Harvest at Jimmy’s – the best bit of a really great weekend! I had been wondering what sort of pastry to make for mince pies this year, and also thinking about making my own marzipan again – with young children and elderly parents I was worried by the raw egg controversy – so now I am sorted! Looks like a happy weekend is coming up!

    You might remember we were talking about your mother’s yummy pudding recipe, which I thought might be related to the pudding I used to make known as “Peasant Girl with a Veil” – I just wondered whether you mentioned it to your mother and, if so, what she thought?

    Stupidly, I have only just found your website – I have really been missing a treat, I can see!

    I hope so much that you both have a really great Christmas, and I hope so much you will be at Harvest next year – a masterclass with you would be simply wonderful – I think I will email them to suggest it, if that’s ok with you?

    Happy baking and love from Milly (my daughter) and me, Penny xx

  4. Linley says:

    The almond paste addition sounds yummy. Think I’ll try these this weekend – thank you.

  5. I sometimes buy shop bought mincemeat too, but would never dream of not making the pastry. I have a tried and tested recipe, but I like the idea of including ground almonds, and the food processor method is so nice and simple. Thanks for the almond paste tip too!

  6. Jacqueline says:

    Mmmmmmm, those do look good Edd. I never get around to making my own, but I really should, they look so much more appealing.

  7. Keith Jones says:

    I always buy my mincemeat one year in advance. I am now using the mincemeat I bought last year, but throughout the year I have been topping up the jars with brandy. The result………scrumptious.

  8. Linley says:

    The pastry in these is beautiful – really short, crumbly and melt-in-the-mouth. The almond paste lifted them to another level! Soo yummy. Will be making another batch with a more generous helping of the paste inside :D
    Thank you for another lovely recipe. X

  9. Almond pastry mince pies….. definitely trying this!

  10. Good recipe, I can´t have any more the M&S mince pies, so this christmas i will bake mincepies for myself. thanks

  11. BakerGirl says:

    These were on BBC Radio 2….. I would love to try one!

  12. Liz says:

    Just heard you on BBC radio 2! I’m inspired! Lets just say my house will be mincepie central!! Thanks :-)

  13. Juno says:

    Can you use margarine instead of butter

  14. Jill says:

    Hi Edd,

    Listened to you rave about these on BBC R2 yesterday and was encouraged to try making them over next few days!

    I don’t have a food processor though, can I make this pastry by hand, if I keep my hands cool?


  15. Mel says:

    These look great. I will have to try and remember the almond paste for next year.

    This year I had to make vegan pies, so I made my own pear and ginger mincemeat, and then enriched the pie with brandy and chopped almonds. I am wondering if the almond paste would be viable without the egg, so I can still have my vegan friends round? I can see I will have to experiment a little.

  16. karen says:

    just made these they are extremely delicious – but beware the almond paste, which is yummy too, is enough to use in about a 100 pies or more – you could easily 1/4 the recipe.

  17. Carli says:

    Yum! I’ve just made these and I have to say I’m so impressed especially with how easy it was, I don’t do a lot of baking so didn’t hold out much hope but they are so tasty :) Yey result. Thanks Ed and will def be making some of your other stuff in the New Year. Merry Christmas everyone xxx

  18. LittleMissBaker says:

    Wonderful! The pastry is remarkable, so easy to make and delicious. I plan to use it to make another tart this weekend. Thank-you.

  19. Hapisarah says:


    The mince pies were an absolute hit… The only thing I wasnt sure of was having such a large amount of almond paste left at the end, did anyone else have this problem? I put a teaspoon in each mince pie…


  20. Linda says:

    Hi Ed,
    made this pastry for some mince pies on christmas eve, they went down a storm, the pastry tasted delicious, it was easy to make and use as long as you don’t roll it out too thin, as it has a tendency to break up if you do. I didn’t put almond paste in this time as its not to everyone s taste , but it sounds lovely. Made 12 more on new years eve and they were gone in a flash, I will use this recipe for all my sweet pastry recipes from now on. Thanks very much. xxx

  21. Deane-Mae says:

    Hi Ed,
    I was given your book for Christmas; can’t wait to work my way through it! I think I’ll start with the Red Velvet Cake because that’s one I’ve wanted to make ever since going to America. There are so many variations, but I’m going for yours.
    Some of the recipes in your book say to use large eggs, but many do not state the size. In these recipes should I use large or medium eggs?
    Thanks very much.

  22. Rita Molloy says:

    I heard Ed being interviewed on Radio 2 before Christmas and was intrigued by the excitement generated by his mince pie recipe. I immediately tried the recipe and they are truly scrumptious! Someone here was asking what to do with the extra almond paste – no problem – I just ate it! I will continue using this recipe and pass it on to my friends.

  23. Marilyn Kennedy says:

    Sweet! I make mincemeat pies but the touch of almond paste is a great idea.. I also skip the topping and add a tiny star in the middle, very festive and less calories!

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