Portion/Yield:Makes 24 mini mince pies
I love a mince pie and if it’s homemade, it’s even better. I also prefer small bite-sized ones like these, as this way eating two will not make me feel so guilty! They also look lovely and pretty served at the end of a meal. I like serving mine slightly warm and dusted with caster sugar, with plenty of brandy butter or brandy cream.
You could also making and baking these mini mince pies for friends – simply fill a cellophane bag with a few cold baked mince pies, then tie the bag with red string to seal and take it as a small gift when you are invited to parties over the festive period.
Ingredients & Method
For the sweet mince pies
- 250g Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
- 250g Luxury Sweet Mincemeat
- 24 pecan halves, to decorate
- icing sugar, for dusting
For the brandy butter
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 125g sifted icing sugar
- ½ vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
- 1 tablespoon brandy
For the brandy cream
- 200ml double cream
- 25ml brandy
- 1 teaspoon icing sugar
To make the mince pies, lightly grease a 24-hole mini muffin tin and set aside. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to about 2mm thickness. Use a 6–7cm plain or fluted cutter to cut out 24 pastry rounds, then line the prepared mini muffin tin with the pastry rounds and leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
Fill each pastry case with some mincemeat, then decorate the top of each mince pie with a pecan half, pressing it down gently. Bake the pies in the oven for 20–25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.
To make the brandy butter, in a bowl, cream the butter, icing sugar and vanilla seeds together until pale and fluffy. Stir in the brandy until combined, then taste and add a little extra brandy, if needed. Serve the brandy butter at room temperature and use on the day of making.
To make the brandy cream, in a bowl, whip the cream with the brandy and icing sugar until it forms soft peaks. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until needed. The brandy cream will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Remove the baked mince pies from the oven and transfer the mince pies to a wire rack, then immediately dust them with icing sugar. Leave the mince pies to cool slightly, then serve them warm or at room temperature with cream, vanilla ice cream, brandy butter or brandy cream.
Any leftover mince pies can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry cupboard for up to 3 days. You can then warm them through in a preheated oven at 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for 4–5 minutes before serving. Alternatively, the cooked mince pies can be frozen for up to 1 month. Reheat them from frozen in a preheated oven at 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for 10–12 minutes.