How wonderful that Christmas is just around the corner! How even more wonderful that you don’t actually have to wait till the festive season to make some delicious mince pies – there is no reason not to make them all year round! These freezer-friendly mince pies can be made ahead of time, popped into the freezer, and taken out for Christmas morning, or for when you feel like the taste of the festive season throughout the year.
You can keep these mince pies simple and easy, or try one of the variations to make them even more flavourful!
- 500g sweet shortcrust pastry
- 300g mincemeat
- Plain flour for dusting
- Splash of milk to glaze
- Divide the shortcrust pastry into half. Place half on a lightly floured surface and roll it out to around the thickness of a coin. Measure out and stamp out pastry circles to fit into a 12-hole bun tin. It will be fine to use an 8cm cookie cutter.
- Reroll the extra pieces of pastry until you have filled all the 12 holes.
- With a spoon, place a small amount of mincemeat into each pastry cut out, filling them about ¾ of the way.
- Place the other half of the pastry onto the floured surface, and using a 6cm round or fluted cutter, cut out 12 lids.
- Gently place these pastry lids onto the mincemeat, pushing them around the edges to seal them. Poke one or two small holes in each lid to allow steam to escape.
- To freeze, wrap the tray in plastic wrap, and place it in the freezer. You can place the plastic-wrapped tray into a freezer bag for extra protection. Keep the mince pies in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- When it comes time to cook the mince pies, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Remove the cling wrap from the mince pies and brush the top of each pie with some milk.
- Bake the mince pies in the oven for 20 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and golden and the filling is hot.
If you are wanting to give your mince pies a little twist and some extra texture, here are some recipe variations you could try:
Cinnamon Mince Pies
Rub together 50g cubed butter, 5 tbsp demerara sugar, 7 tbsp flour, and 1 ½ tsp of ground cinnamon in a small bowl.
Sprinkle this over the mincemeat filled pies and then place them into the freezer as per the above instructions. You will not need to top these mince pies with pastry lids, so you can save these for another batch.
Marzipan Mince Pies
Grate a 100g block of marzipan, and add this to 50g of toasted flaked almonds. Sprinkle this mix over the mincemeat pies, and freeze as per directions above. The marzipan mix can be sprinkled onto the pastry lid, frozen, and then baked.
For some fun, and to get the kids involved, you can roll out the pastry lids as normal, sprinkle them with 2 tbsp granulated sugar, and use cookie cutters to turn the lids into festive Christmas shapes. These could be star cookie cutters, holly, or hearts. These should be around 3-4cm big.