Puff Pastry Mince Pies are a flaky update on a British Christmas classic. Packed with traditional fruity mincemeat and topped with sugar crusted star shaped lids, my easy pie making method not only minimises waste but bakes up to look simply stunning.
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For the purposes of full disclosure, I do not like mince pies. But many many other people do and I’ve loved to bake since I was small. So I’ve made mince pies for most of my life.
There is always someone desperate to dive into a batch of freshly made mince pies in the near vicinity. And whilst I don’t love the taste of mincemeat, I can’t deny that baking them does make the house smell wonderful and festive.
Obviously with my constant obsession with puff pastry, I couldn’t help but experiment to make something a little different from the traditional shortcrust pastry mince pie.
I struggled to find any existing recipes which really made pies in a pie shape rather than mini hand pies or pinwheels. As cute as turnovers are, I wanted to make a pie.
I do think it’s nice when you can see some of the mincemeat filling. And I’ve always been drawn to star topped pies. Getting the balance of filling and pastry just right took a few experiments.
Overfilling the pies means the filling bubbles up and over the edges of the pastry. Good luck getting the pies out the tin if that happens! Mincemeat is a sticky substance in a league of its own – I learnt this the hard way so you don’t have to.
I also developed a couple of tips and tricks to make sure that the pies come out the tin really easily. So please don’t think this recipe is long and complicated because it isn’t. I’ve just included lots of really simply advice so you get the best outcome every single time.
How to Serve Puff Pastry Mince Pies
It is traditional to serve mince pies with brandy butter or cream. I’ve served these with both at various times. And with other flavoured creams – usually boozy. Cointreau cream is a particular favourite of mine.
But for something a little more unusual, I am told on good authority that eating puff pastry pies warm with custard is the way forward.
So I highly recommend giving that a try. It makes mince pies into the perfect dessert. And could even be a great alternative to a heavier Christmas pudding on the big day.
But otherwise warm or cold, these pies are an excellent snack or gift at any time over the holiday period. Dust with a little icing sugar before serving for the maximum festive look.
Make Flaky Mince Pies into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
Mince pies are basically a given at almost any festive shindig. Whether we’re talking about a book club meeting in early December or a full on Christmas party. But you might well want to serve up a little more than just pies.
For savoury elements, my Bacon & Cherry Bites never fail to disappear in minutes (make triple). No Christmas party feast is complete without sausage rolls.
And I have options for you! You can go Greggs style with a puff pastry version. Or old school with a shortcrust pastry recipe based recipe. I’ve got you covered with a vegan option and or mini sausage rolls – perfect for a party!
Don’t forget to head over to my Feast Collection pages to find all of my tips and tricks to help you host a fun and stress-free feast. Plus remember to check out my recipe index to create your own awesome Feast!
Ingredients for Puff Pastry Mince Pies
Using puff pastry is pretty crucial to the recipe. I usually take this opportunity to tell you how amazing homemade puff pastry is and how it isn’t actually difficult to make. And how you should use it if you can.
But unless you have super powers of rolling pastry into a perfect rectangle at the perfect thickness, this recipe is much easier using a sheet of ready rolled puff pastry.
Because you want neat little squares and the rise relies on them being quite even, the perfect rectangle of a ready rolled sheet is ideal for this recipe.
After many years of buying supermarket own brand pastry, I have now come to the conclusion that a good brand like Jus-Roll is actually superior. It seems to hold up a little better and give more puff.
I’m not being paid to say this, it is just what I now buy and use. The few extra pennies are worth it. And I stock up when they’re on offer.
Not being a mincemeat fan myself, I do usually draw the line of my generosity at making my own mincemeat. I have done in the past, and I would again, but for the most part I do find that most people I feed are extremely happy with a store bought filling.
If you do want to give making your own a go, here are some recipes I would recommend trying:
- Quick Mincemeat from Curly’s Cooking
- Vegan Slow Cooker Mincemeat from Sew White
- Victorian Mincemeat (with actual meat!) from From The Larder
If you do prefer to buy ready made mincemeat, you should simply use your favourite.
There are a myriad of options available – some use different nuts, different fruits, or different alcohol. Some use butter rather than the traditional suet and there are options to suit pretty much all dietary requirements.
There is also a halfway option. Many people take a jar of basic mincemeat and customise it to their tastes. So you could add in fresh cranberries or glace cherries, stir through some Cointreau or pack it full of chopped nuts. You can of course do this and use your pimped mincemeat for the filling.
Another way to use mincemeat is to make my Cheat’s Microwave Christmas Pudding.
I’ve included cream in the recipe simply as a way of glazing the star lids of the pies without cracking a whole egg. I prefer to use cream rather than milk as it provides more of a glaze. But please don’t buy any just for this recipe. You could use some creme fraiche, sour cream or just milk if you need to. You only need a tiny bit.
Just the little addition of crunchy brown sugar on top of the pies makes a great difference to the look, flavour and texture so please don’t skip it. A gram of sugar isn’t going to kill anyone (actual medical issues aside).
If you can’t get hold of demerara (also called turbinado or raw sugar) use regular granulated white sugar instead.
There are 2 main ingredients to this recipe – puff pastry and mincemeat. Please don’t be flexible with the pastry or they will no longer be puff pastry mince pies.
I’ve mentioned several ways above that you can mix up the mincemeat. As for other actual fillings – you can experiment at your own risk!
Strawberry Jam is worth trying for puffy jam tarts. You could also try curds like Peach or Plum or Fresh Fig. Or you can go savoury. Maybe a good amount of Fresh Fig Chutney topped with a generous amount of grated cheddar? Sounds good to me.
Make it Vegetarian or Vegan
Whether your pies are suitable for vegetarians or vegans will depend on the ingredients you choose to use.
Commercially available puff pastry is generally vegan or it can be homemade using a dairy free butter substitute. All pastry will be vegetarian suitable.
Not all mincemeat is vegan or even veggie. Mincemeat is traditionally made with beef suet and many recipes still use this. But it is incredibly easy to make or buy vegetarian and vegan versions. So it is simply a case of checking the label.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from egg.
Gluten Free: Gluten-free puff pastry is pretty easy to get hold of – even ready rolled. If you can’t find it in the chiller section of the store, try the freezers.
The other thing to pay attention to is the mincemeat. Suet which is a traditional ingredient is usually sold shredded with a light coating of flour to stop it clumping. So it is easy for mincemeat to not be gluten free. There are however many options available to buy but you must thoroughly check the label.
Nut Free: Nuts are another common ingredient in mincemeat but not all recipes. It is again easy to find nut free recipes and ready made options – you know what I’m going to say – check the label.
Dairy Free: As I’ve mentioned, most regular ready made puff pastry is vegan and therefore dairy free. You will also need to glaze the pastry tops with a plant based alternative to egg, milk or cream.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Mince Pies with Puff Pastry
You will need a Muffin Tin to make these pie. You should look to make sure that it is good and deep – not a shallower bun tin. I really must stress that it needs to be a decent non-stick tin.
I’m not a big rolled out dough cookie fan but I do own both regular and Star Cookie Cutters . They’re useful for making scones, American style biscuits and cutting cute shapes out of pastry for pie lids.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
Puff pastry mince pies are amazing to make in advance. They freeze really well uncooked and can be cooked straight from frozen. You simply need to add around 5 minutes to the cooking time.
To freeze them, they should be made in the muffin tin per the recipe. They can then be really well chilled before being carefully taken out the tray and frozen on a tray. Or, if you have room, put the whole muffin tray into the freezer.
Once fully frozen, the pies can be bagged or put in a lidded container and frozen.
Leftover Mince Pies
I’m not really sure there is such a thing as a leftover mince pie. They are truly at their best the same day that they’re baked. But they are good to eat for several days.
A few minutes in a hot oven will refresh them nicely even after a day or two. You can freeze any extras but it is really better to freeze some of the batch before cooking if you think that’s likely.
Puff Pastry Mince Pie Tips
- Please don’t skimp on oiling the tins. I tried making these pies several ways. Making sure the tins were comprehensively greased was the best way to make sure that the pastry doesn’t stick.
It also makes sure that the bottoms go nice and crispy.
- The next tip for preventing sticking is to make sure that the pastry is not at all sticky. By this I mean that a little extra flour can be rubbed over the surface of the pastry (both sides) if it feels at all wet to the touch.
I find that pastry which has been frozen tends to be wetter than fresh.
- Please don’t be tempted to add more filling to the pies. This is again something that I had to experiment with to get just right.
Although it feels great to be more generous, the mincemeat bubbles over the sides of the pastry which stops it from puffing. It also makes the chances of the pies sticking to the tins higher.
- And my final big tip for making sure the pies come out of the tin cleanly is to run a plastic knife around the edge of the pies no more than a few minutes after they come out of the oven. Getting them loose at this point is much easier than later.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Puff Pastry Mince Pies
- 320 g Puff Pastry
- 350 g Mincemeat
- 1 tbsp Double Cream (Heavy Cream) - approx
- 10 g Demerara Sugar (Turbinado Sugar)
- Plain Flour (All Purpose) - for dusting
- Vegetable Spray Oil
- Icing Sugar (Confectioner's Sugar) - to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200c fan | 180c | 390c or equivalent.
- Roll 320g Puff Pastry out on a floured surface to about ¼ inch thickness. Or unroll a sheet of ready rolled pastry.
- Sprinkle over a little extra flour and gently rub it in if the surface of the pastry is at all tacky/wet to the touch. Turn the pastry over and do this on the reverse if you need to.
- You will need to either do a little maths or have confidence in your eye to cut 10 equal squares from the pastry. I cut a 3 x 3 grid then an extra square to the side using a large sharp knife. The squares should be around 7.5cm/3” square.
- Using a 4cm star cookie cutter, cut 10 stars from the remaining pastry. Dip the cutter in a little flour if needed.
- Liberally oil 10 holes of a muffin tin. I like to use a spray and then a pastry brush to make sure no bit is uncovered. Don’t forget to oil right up to and slightly over the rim.
- Take a square of pastry and carefully rest it over one muffin tin hole. Try to make sure it is centred.
- Use your fingers to press the pastry down into the hole. It needs to touch the bottom but doesn’t need heavily pressing into the tin.
- Use a finger to slightly squish the lower sides of pastry slightly up the tin. This is going to help contain the mincemeat a little better.
- Repeat with the remaining pastry until you have 10 pastry cases.
- Divide 350g Mincemeat between the pastry cases. Try to be vaguely neat about it. Specks of mincemeat everywhere can catch and burn.
- Turn back to the pastry stars and remove any pastry scraps from around them. Use around 1 tbsp Double Cream to glaze the tops of the stars using a pastry brush.
- Carefully place one star in the centre of each mincemeat filled pastry case.
- Sprinkle approximately 10g Demerara Sugar over the stars and the exposed mincemeat.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes – until they are golden brown and none of the visible pastry looks to be uncooked.
- Allow the cooked pies to sit in their tin for around one minute before using a plastic knife to make sure they are not stuck to the tin. Run the knife between the tin and the pastry until the pie is free and will spin around in its hole with no resistance.
- Give the pies at least 10 more minutes in the tin before moving to a cooling rack. Or eating them warm.
- Serve with a light dusting of icing sugar.