Making Mince Pies

There’s a lot of joy in a mince pie — especially if the mincemeat filling contains real meat. Sure, the anti-mince pie crusaders of a hundred years ago claimed they caused insanity. But you’re not going to let a little thing like a psychotic break get between you and a handsome snack, are you? I thought not.

For four of these bad boys you’ll need 1 recipe of pie dough, plus 4-5 cups of mincemeat. Start by preheating your oven to 350. Apply about half your dough to a lightly floured surface.

Roll it out according to the more detailed directions supplied here. Then cut out circles to first your molds. I have an actual mini pie pan, but you can make these pies in muffin tin if you wish. My pan from Chicago Metallic makes six 4-inch pies, so I have a 4 1/2-inch cutter (for the tops) and a six-inch cutter (for the bottoms). You can also make these circles freehand with a pizza cutter, using cardboard or paper templates.

Re-roll the scraps, working them as little as you can, until you’ve got as many shapes as you can get. Do the same thing with the other half of your dough.

Lay the bottoms into your pan, then put the pan into the refrigerator (along with the tops) for an hour. This will help relax gluten and minimize shrinkage.

Next, fill the pies with cold mincemeat.

Put on the tops.

Press the edges down firmly.

Crimp the tops.

Cut steam holes in the tops (wiggle the knife back and forth a little to make sure you have a good opening). Now rest these guys in fridge again for another hour. I know, I know, but do you want the dough to shrink up or not?

Bake 30-40 minutes until they’re a nice golden brown on the top.

Let them cool completely, then de-pan them by gently rotating the pies in the molds and carefully lifting them out.

Eat! But you know, not so many that you die.

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4 Responses to Making Mince Pies

  1. Bronwyn says:

    I think they would be too sweet for me. An advantage of the tiny tartlet size of pie is the higher pastry to filling ratio. I’m not a huge fan of our Xmas mincemeat pies (here in New Zealand “mince” is ground beef, and a mince pie is a savoury meat pie), as they are usually made with a sweet short crust. Made with flaky pastry they’re pretty good, but again, for my taste they need more pastry and less filling than yours have. I generally make Eccles cakes instead of mincemeat pies; they are delicious and just the right ratio of slightly salty pastry to sweet fruit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eccles_cake
    I think could enjoy your pies with a good dollop of unsweetened whipped cream; I find it is an excellent antidote to too much sweetness. The traditional accompaniment to mincemeat pies here is hard sauce (a.k.a. brandy butter) which is likewise far too sweet for me. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_sauce

  2. joepastry says:

    Hey Bronwyn!

    You might be surprised on that count. Mrs. Pastry doesn’t like extremely sweet foods, but these pies were a big hit with her. The meat really tones things down quite a bit. Which is not to say I’d want to finish one of these myself. A 4″ pie is really a perfect size to share.

    - Joe

  3. Tora says:

    It is becoming apparent that I need to make some kind of pie this way. I’ve read your stuff on mincemeat since coming across a jar of it in the shop and being intrigued. I really want to make some mincemeat, and some of these beautiful little pies, but I’m not so sure they will go down well with a norwegian palate. Obviously it can’t hurt too much to try. Something that contains both raisins and brandy (or rum) is considered a true, true friend of mine. Thank you for the insight Joe!

    • joepastry says:

      I’d think your hearty Scandinavians would love something like this, Tora!

      Anyway, you can adjust the recipe as you like to fit your tastes. Mincemeat isn’t a precise science. Let me know what you com up with!

      - Joe

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