Ok, when we say the Queen’s mince pie recipe, what we mean is the Queen’s pastry chef’s mince pie recipe – the royal chef has shared their secret recipe, so we’ve included it here for you to make your own! The Queen’s personal chef makes her mince pies by hand months in advance and this recipe is best enjoyed when the mincemeat has been marinating for around a week, but you can easily whip these up in an afternoon to impress your friends and family this festive season.
For the mincemeat:
The zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
The zest and juice of 1 unwaxed orange
2 tablespoons of brandy
1 tablespoon of port
1 tablespoon of rum
1 tablespoon of sherry
120g suet (you can use either beef or vegetarian suet if you want to make these veggie friendly)
100g mixed peel
half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg
half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
half a teaspoon of ground cloves
For the pastry:
200g plain flour
150g butter (you can use a substitute if you want to make this dairy-free)
1 tablespoon of milk (or water if you want to make these dairy-free)
Egg wash for the tops
A sprinkling of granulated sugar
A dusting of icing sugar.
You can find many of these ingredients from local producers in Dorset. Try our fruit and veg suppliers for your apples and dried fruit and our chicken farmers for fresh eggs. You can even pick up your spirits here.
If you’re planning to let the mincemeat marinate, it’s recommended that you do this for at least a week, make sure to skip to part two to make this as your first step, otherwise, make your pastry first!
Cube the butter and add the flour, then using your fingertips, rub together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add water or milk and stir together to make a dough. Once you’ve got a smooth dough, wrap it up in clingfilm and leave it in the fridge for around half an hour.
Peel and grate your apples, then add all the dry filling ingredients with the apple in a large bowl. Add in the liquid and either leave to soak for a week or for as long as you like! Whether you’re making these in an afternoon or going for the long haul, make sure the everything has been mixed together before assembling your pies.
Retrieve your pastry from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Make it around 2-3 mm thick and using a cutter, cut the tops and bottoms of your pies. If you like you can add a bit of festive flair by shaping the tops into stars, snowflakes or whatever else you fancy!
Grab a baking tray and grease each of the indents before placing the pie bases into place, make sure to make small holes with a fork to prevent the pastry from rising during the baking process and then spoon in your mincemeat to the desired level. Add the top and using a little water or milk, seal the edges. Make an egg wash to cover the top and make a small hole in the top of each pie to allow steam to escape. Sprinkle a little granulated sugar over each one.
Place the baking tray into the middle of a preheated oven (we recommend around 190c or gas mark 5) and cook for around 15 minutes. Let the pies cook slightly before removing them from the tin, dust with icing sugar and then serve!