The mince pie supposedly has a long history, dating back to the Middle Ages when fruit and spices were brought back from the Middle East following the Crusades. Originally made from minced meat mixed with suet, spices and fruit, the dish was traditionally cooked during the Christmas period and therefore became known as 'Christmas pie'. During the Victorian era the pie developed into a smaller, sweeter offering, with more emphasis on the preparation of fruit, spices and suet than the addition of meat. The connection to minced meat remained in its name, however, and these days no Christmas party or Boxing Day platter is complete without a platter or two of these sweet pastry treats to wash down with a glass of mulled wine.
This collection of mince pie recipes is guaranteed to put you in the festive spirit, in addition to being a useful skill to have up your sleeve – learning how to make mince pies will ensure you have a well-stocked tin in case any unexpected visitors stop round for a Christmas drink! A basic mince pie recipe can easily be adjusted according to your preferences, whether it's experimenting with different pastry varieties or throwing in additional toppings and flavours. Shay Cooper's easy Mince pie recipe includes a financier batter topping, resulting in a moist, almond-infused sponge contrasting with the tangy mincemeat and crisp, golden pastry. Marcus Wareing also incorporates almond flavours into his bake with a Frangipane mince pie recipe, as well as giving oomph to his mincemeat with the addition of fresh apple, orange zest and prunes. If you prefer buttery puff pastry as the base of your mince pies try Adam Byatt's Mincemeat puffs, incorporating the flavours of mince pies into an attractive party-perfect treat. Victoria Glass has you covered if you've got a gluten intolerance with her Gluten-free mince pie recipe. See our How to make mince pies article for a step-by-step guide to the perfect pies.