• Menzies Hotels

Merry Mince Pie Recipe

December 18, 2012

In the 17th century, mince pie filling was mostly actual meat. A recipe from 1609 lists the ingredients as equal parts of minced cooked mutton, beef suet, currants and raisins with various spices. It’s unlikely this concoction would go down well with your guests nowadays…

The mince pie began to get sweeter in the 18th century, when cheap sugar arrived from slave plantations in the West Indies. A 1747 recipe for

mince pies asks for a whole pound of sugar, 50 apples, 4lb of dried fruit and 3lb of suet. However, there is still a note which suggests mixing in 2lb of chopped ox tongue or boiled sirloin for those traditionalists.

By the 19th century, the mince pie had acquired its modern taste. Some cooks still used beef suet to add to the flavour of their pies, though most recipes dropped the meat entirely. You’ll be glad to know that the mince pies at Menzies Hotels are very much meat-free. Here’s a simple mince pie recipe if you fancy making your own:-


  • 225g cold butter , diced
  • 350g plain flour
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 280g good quality mincemeat
  • 1 small egg
  • icing sugar, to dust


  1. Start with the pastry – rub cold, diced butter into plain flour, then mix in caster sugar and a pinch of salt
  2. Combine the pastry into a ball and knead
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C.
  4. Cut out 18 small circles of pastry and line 18 holes of two 12-hole cake tins
  5. Spoon 280g good quality mincemeat into the pies
  6. Cut out slightly smaller circles big enough to cover the pies
  7. Top the pies with their lids, pressing the edges gently together to seal
  8. Beat 1 small egg and brush the tops of the pies
  9. Bake for 20 minutes until golden
  10. To serve, lightly dust with icing sugar

Most important of all – enjoy!

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