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            Mincemeat Crumble Pies

            The cream cheese pastry in this recipe takes mince pies to another level – especially when paired with a nutty crumble topping. This recipe takes 30 minutes to prepare, and makes 24. You will need a food processor, 2 x 12-hole bun trays, an 8-9cm pastry cutter and a rolling pin.


            For the pastry

            150g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
            ½ teaspoon baking powder
            25g caster sugar
            1 pinch salt
            75g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
            75g cream cheese
            50g ground almonds
            1 medium egg yolk
            1 tablespoon milk

            For the crumble topping

            75g light soft brown sugar
            75g plain flour
            1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
            50g finely chopped almonds
            40g unsalted butter, melted
            400g luxury mincemeat
            Icing sugar for dusting


            1. To make the pastry, place the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in the food processor bowl. Add the butter, and use the pulse button to rub it into the dry ingredients, until the mixture resembles fine sand.
            2. Add the cream cheese, ground almonds, egg yolk and milk, and mix again until a dough starts to form. Place in a mixing bowl and use your hands to make a neat ball – but do not overwork it. Flatten into a disc, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for 1 hour.
            3. Lightly dust the work surface with plain flour. Divide the dough in two and roll out one half until it is around 2mm thick. Using the pastry cutter, stamp out as many discs from the dough as you can. Use them to line the bun trays, pressing gently with your fingers.
            4. Gather the dough scraps together and set aside. Roll out the second half of the dough and stamp out more pastry discs, continuing to line the bun trays. Gather all the dough scraps together and press gently into a ball. Roll this out and stamp out more discs – you should aim for 24 pastry cases in total.
            5. Chill the pastry in the fridge for 30 minutes while you pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 and make the crumble topping. To do this, place the sugar, flour, cinnamon and almonds in a bowl, then add the melted butter and use your fingers to combine.
            6. Spoon the mincemeat into each pastry case and top with a little of the crumble mixture. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool in the bun trays for 10 minutes, then remove carefully and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve the pies warm and dust with a little icing sugar.

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