homemade mince pies baked with icing sugar on top

You only get one (OK, maybe two if you’re lucky) Christmas dinner every year, but it’s the whole month leading up to the big event that we really get excited about. We’re talking mince pies here. Christmas is not Christmas without mince pies…are we right? Sweet enough to satisfy a sweet tooth, and small enough to have another…and another.

These little treats are a real British thing as far as we know, so for the uninitiated let us explain about the (meat-free) mince pie. Once upon a time, they were more like what we all would associate with a pie. Large, oval pastries filled with a mixture of meat, suet and various fruits. Nowadays, though you sometimes come across suet, we’ve done away the meat all together and stick to the sweet treats all of us British folk know and love.

For us, above everything else, is to make your own. You can buy great quality mincemeat ready-made. You don’t have to get into the nuances of pastry and filling ratios. Just make your own and you’ll see that it’s so worth it! We’ve made it as simple as possible in our mince pies by creating the casing using bread. You don’t have to make a thing!

Of course if you did want to go all out the amount of filling can be make or break…too little and it’s sad and dry…but for us, too much can become a mess of mincemeat and pastry; not ideal for such a perfect festive snack. The pastry can make all the difference too, the shorter the better for many people, although there’s something to be said for a slightly chewier mix. Puff? No thanks, but how about filo? We recently challenged our community to come up with a more modern take on the mince pie and they really came through. Super crunchy filo pastry wrapped around a moroccan inspired, homemade mincemeat that includes sesame seeds and almond flour, but zero alcohol, all in the shape of a Christmas horn!

We tested these in a live recipe lab a few weeks ago and it went down really well! You get the familiar tastes mixed with something completely new, so do keep a look out for a video coming up next month on sortedfood.com. Give these a go at Christmas and you’re sure to impress your guests this festive season.

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