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The Queen's pastry chef reveals her special mince pie recipe

Create a Christmas snack with the royal seal of approval

by Chloe Best

The Queen's royal pastry chef has shared the recipe for the mince pies served at Buckingham Palace, however you may need to wait until next year to give them a try! Kathryn Cuthbertson, a member of the team responsible for making over 1,200 mince pies for each of the Christmas receptions held at the palaces, said the secret to success is starting to prepare the mincemeat filling early – at least a week, or even months in advance.

"Give yourself plenty of time," is the number one tip she offers in a post on the Royal Family's official website. Meanwhile she also recommends having cold hands when working with the pastry, which will help to keep it at the right consistency.

GALLERY: Inside Buckingham Palace at Christmas

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The Queen's pastry chefs have shared their mince pie recipe

Not content with creating just one type of mince pie, the royal pastry chefs create variations made with puff pastry, and another with flaked almonds brushed with egg whites and icing sugar on top. Add a royal-approved snack to your Christmas menu with the full recipe for festive mince pies below. The recipe is also included in Royal Collection Trust's book, Royal Teas: Seasonal Recipes from Buckingham Palace.

Ingredients:

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

RELATED: This is what the royal family eat on Christmas Day

Equipment:

  • 12 hole non-stick shallow baking tray /
  • mince pie tin 32 x 24 cm/ 12.5 x 9"
  • fluted or plain cutters

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The filling is made months in advance

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Method

  1. Place all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir. Then add all the liquid and grated apple and 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 to 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 home-made 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. 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.

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