Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas Mince Pies - Quick & Easy Bite Size Version Of These Sweet Treats

English mince pies (the Christmas ones) have had a long tradition in New Zealand as well as England and, I'm  hoping now to persuade my worldwide audience to give them a try, I'm sure you will love them and hopefully make it part of your Christmas tradition.  

My mince pies are mini bite size versions and I'm totally cheating today by using some store bought frozen pre-rolled pastry and of course some ready made fruit mince. I am not sure if it's available in the USA, if not, there is a great recipe for fruit mince at  Delia On Line but it is so much easier to buy and it's a "rare" cook that doesn't use the store bought mince (Delia exempt of course). I did find jars of my favourite, Robertson's Classic Mincemeat to purchase on line.

My guests this year are going to have a little parcel of these tarts on the Christmas dinner table. My two sons love them and usually I'm having to top up the platter every few minutes. I normally make around 4 dozen to have on hand when guests pop  in. In fact, I have actually made 4 dozen this past week and with sons passing through and drinks at neighbours,  they have already disappeared!

I've put together some step by step photos for you and a simple recipe using store bought ingredients:

  • 1 jar of Fruit Mince, I like Robertson's Classic Mincemeat available from your Supermarket or on line.
  • 1 packet of frozen short crust pastry (or sweet crust Pastry) of make your own  shortcrust pastry
  • Icing sugar for dusting.
  • Mini muffin tins  2" diameter and 3/4" deep approximately (5cm diameter x 2 3/4cm deep) These are like mini muffin pans and usually come with 12 in each.
  • Star cutter 1 1/4 " or 3cm from point to point.
  • Round fluted cutter 2 1/4 " or 6cm.


  • Roll your pastry to the desired thickness, thin enough so that they crisp but not so thin they will break when placing the pastry circles into the tins or removing them.
  • Lightly grease your patty tins with margarine, not butter.
  • Using the round cutter, cut enough circles to fill each tin ( 1 jar of fruit mince usually makes about 3-4 dozen of these bite size tarts.(well two bites to be precise).
  • Place your circles down into the mini muffin pans, press gently.
  • Place about 1 teaspoonful of the fruit mincemeat mixture into each tart, you want them to be about 3/4 full. Do not fill too much or they will overflow and it will  make it harder to remove them from their tins.
  • Roll out some more pastry and cut your stars out. I like the pastry to be a little bit thicker so the stars sit nicely on the top.
  • Place your stars in the centre of each filled tart, just let them sit there, do not push it down as you don't want to get the fruit mince to spill onto the stars (perfectionist that I am).
  • Brush the top of the pastry stars with a little milk (not essential but helps to give it a golden colour)
  • Bake at 180-200 degrees (approx 375 Fahrenheit) (or recommended temperature on pastry packet) for approximately 10 mins until the pastry is golden. (check after 10 mins to see if golden, if not cook a little longer).
  • Remove from oven, allow to cool in their tins then remove tarts.
  • Place tarts on a work surface and dust the tops with icing sugar lightly (make sure they are cooled down)
  • You can then move them onto your platter or wrap with cellophane and tie with ribbon or alternatively place in little boxes as  gifts.

Chefs Tips:  

Make a double batch and freeze them.
You can also make the pies in slightly larger pans and serve them warm, fresh from the oven with cream or vanilla ice cream as a desert...Yum, Yum!

Bon Appetite!

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  1. Thank you for sharing this. My brother-in-law just passed away and he loved mincemeat pie. I'm making these for the gathering after the funeral. Thank you, Michele

    1. I am so sorry about you loosing your brother-in-law, there is no good time to loose anyone and so near to Christmas makes it even sadder as it is the time familes gather. However, I lost my mother two and a half years ago to cancer. Christmas is still a difficult time for me but we sit around the table and raise our glasses to my mum and know that she is looking down on us.

      I think it is a lovely gesture to make the Christmas mince pies for the funeral, I think then whenever you eat a mince pie you should look back at the good times you had with him. Please pass my condolences to his family.



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