If you’re looking to impress guests on Christmas Day, this mince pie recipe might just do the trick.
Pastry chefs at Buckingham Palace have revealed how they make mince pies for The Royal Family and their guests, with an important message: ‘Give yourself plenty of time.’
Royal Pastry chef Kathryn Cuthbertson and Chef de Partie Victoria Scupham recommend having cold hands when working with the pastry, to help keep it at the right consistency.
They also make their own mincemeat – with lashings of port, rum and sherry.
The pair will make over 1,200 mince pies for festive events, so they definitely know what they’re talking about.
Everything from the mincemeat to the pastry is handmade by the small team in the kitchens at Buckingham Palace. The mincemeat is made months in advance and stored in the pantry. That said, you’ve still got time to make some (with some corner-cutting involved).
Here’s the recipe in full:
For the mincemeat
:: Zest and some juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
:: Zest and some juice of 1 unwaxed orange
:: 2 tablespoons brandy
:: 1 tablespoon of port
:: 1 tablespoon of rum
:: 1 tablespoon of sherry
:: 120g (1 cup) suet
:: 160g (3/4 cup) golden sultanas
:: 100g (1/2 cup) raisins
:: 100g (1/2 cup) mixed peel
:: 100g (1/2 cup) currants
:: 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
:: 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
:: 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
:: 160 (6oz) russet apples, peeled and grated
:: 500g (1lb 2 oz) sweet pastry
:: Egg washed for sticking lids on the bases
:: Granulated sugar for the top of the mince pies before baking
:: Icing sugar for dusting
:: 12 hole non-stick shallow baking tray
:: mince pie tin 32x24cm
:: 12.5 x 9″ fluted or plain cutters
1. Place all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir. Then add all the liquid and grated apple. Allow to soak for at least one week in a 1kg Kilner jar sat in the fridge or pantry.
2. Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F, gas mark 5).
3. Roll the sweet pastry into a sheet approximately 2-3 mm thick, place on a tray, and allow to rest in the fridge. Once rested, cut tops and bottoms for your mince pies using fluted or plain cutters (selecting sizes to fit your tin). Place the pie bases into the tin and prick them with a small knife or fork to prevent the pastry from rising during the baking.
4. Spoon a teaspoon of the homemade mincemeat into the base and egg wash the edge of the pastry to enable the lids to stick. Place the mince pies in the fridge to rest for another 30 minutes, then add a pastry top to each, egg washing it and pricking a small hole in the top to allow the steam to escape. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
5. Place the baking tray on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake the pies for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry turns golden and the mincemeat starts to boil slightly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before taking the pies out of their tin.
6. Sprinkle the mince pies with icing sugar and serve immediately. To add a festive feel, the mince pie tops could be shaped with a star cutter or perhaps a holly-shaped cutter.
All the recipes are included in Royal Collection Trust’s book, Royal Teas: Seasonal Recipes from Buckingham Palace.