The perfect mince pie (or mince pie perfection)

My perfect mince pie ready to cook

I have an ideal in mind when I talk about the perfect mince pie… the pastry for starters should be flaky, but not too flaky – you want a good mouthful of pastry when you bite into the pie, it shouldn’t just flake everywhere and leave crumbs all over your chin. The exterior colour of the pie should be a soft and mellow golden colour – overcook the pie and you can taste the burnt pastry, and that’s when things start getting overly flaky.

As far as the mince filling goes, there are just about as many versions as there are pie eaters, but to my mind there should be plenty of mince (beef of course!) so that the filling just about reaches the top of the pastry case. I like my filling a little bit ‘wet’, so there should definitely be a sauce/gravy element to the filling, but I hate those pies that are mostly gravy with very little meat – that’s just cheap and nasty!  The flavour of the filling should be rich and ‘meaty’ with plenty of seasoning. Onion and garlic, along with herbs and beef stock, should simmer slowly with the meat for at least an hour until the onion has broken down and become part of the sauce. When it comes to mince pies I’m a bit of a purist… no peas, carrots or corn as fillers for me!!

I made a mince pie for dinner last night (see above), and was all ready to take a photo of it when it came out of the oven – it really did look beautiful! But I got kind of side tracked, and forgot to take the photo before tucking into the pie… so you’ll just have to take my word for it 🙂

What’s your idea of pie perfection?


3 thoughts on “The perfect mince pie (or mince pie perfection)

  1. If you have a favorite recipe, I’d love it!

    In my blog series (okay, maybe 2 posts can’t be called a series) about “one of my all-time favorite foods” Australian/New Zealand mince pies are one of my dream posts.

    I haven’t been to the Southern Hemisphere for almost 10 years, though, and I don’t have any good pictures of the pies I enjoyed.

    I always called them meat pies, though, because to an American, “mince” sounds like “mincemeat” and that’s just a gross concoction altogether to my palate ( But I love meat pies and there is NOTHING like them in the U.S. The flavors are all different; the pastry is wrong; it’s just not the same.


    1. I will definitely post my recipe – I’ll just have to make it again to remember what I actually put in, it’s one of those things I make that turn out slightly different each time depending on what’s lying around in the pantry/fridge.

      I didn’t realise you don’t have meat pies in the US?! You POOR thing Kara – life without meat/mince pies… Goodness, this whole blogging thing is completely challenging my preconceived notions about other country’s cuisines.


      1. The closest thing we have are called “pot pies.” If you say “meat pie” to an American, that’s what we’ll think of.

        Chicken pot pies are most common:

        They’ve typically got a pie crust that’s less flaky than most mince pies I had and they’re way more gravy-veggie centric than a good meat pie in your part of the world.

        Thanks! I look forward to it. I can’t wait to make one for my husband that’s SOME approximation of the real thing.

        As a side note, our sausage is entirely different too. We can’t make typical sausage rolls here. 😉 And last time I was there, Aus/NZ didn’t have breakfast sausage like we have.

        Quite the culture shock (in the minutiae) both ways: It’s always the things you wouldn’t expect!


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