They’re mince pies with a smile. We first published this in December 1949. Here it is again, but using good-quality ready-made mincemeat.
Makes: 12
Cooking time: 20 mins
Total time: 1 hr 20 mins
Skill level: Easy peasy
Costs:Cheap as chips




    • For the pastry: (Or use 375g/12oz readymade shortcrust pastry)


    • 250g (8oz) plain flour


    • 1 level tsp baking powder


    • Pinch of salt


    • 125g (4oz) mixed butter and lard


    • 500g jar mincemeat


    • Milk, to glaze


    • 6cm (2½in) and 5.5cm (2¼in) pastry cutters


    • 12-hole patty tin






    1. To make the pastry: Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Rub in the fat and mix to a stiff paste with a little water, about 1½ tbsp. Form into a smooth round, wrap and chill for 20 mins.


    1. Set the oven to Gas Mark 6 or 200°C. Roll out the pastry to about 4mm (1/8in) thick and stamp out 12 rounds, using the smaller cutter. Put aside for the lids. Gather up the trimmings, roll out again and stamp out the same number of rounds, using the larger cutter, for the pastry cases.


    1. Line the patty tins, pressing them a little thinner at the base. Fill with mincemeat, about 1 heaped teaspoon per pie. Spread it flat, but leave a little raised bit in the middle of the pie. Damp the edges of the pastry with water and put the lids on the pies.


    1. Use a skewer to make 2 small holes for the eyes through the lid of the pastry, then make a curved cut with a sharp knife, and open it slightly to mark the mouth. Glaze with a little milk. Bake for 15-20 mins. Serve warm or cold.



Nutritional information per portion



fat 11.0g saturates 3.0g calories 285(kcal)


This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.