Eastern mince pies

Eastern mince pies
  • Serves icon Makes 24 mini mince pies
  • Time icon Hands-on time 1 hour 45 min, oven time 20 min, plus chilling and 24 hours infusing

Peter Lien’s mince pies are inspired by the three kings of the nativity story and the ingredients common to the region they came from.


For the pastry

  • 65g cold butter, diced
  • 125g plain flour
  • ½ medium egg
  • Approx. 1 tbsp water
  • Pinch of salt

For the mincemeat

  • 75g sultanas
  • 2 lapsang souchong teabags infused in 75ml boiling water for 15 minutes
  • 75g chopped dates
  • 1.5 tbsp Cointreau
  • 1/8 tsp concentrated rosewater mixed with 1tsp water
  • 25g pistachios, chopped
  • 1 black fresh fig diced
  • 45g diced bramley apple
  • 2 pinches ground cardamom
  • 1.5 tsp veg suet

For the marshmallow topping (there will enough mixture to make extra marshmallows)

  • 1 egg white
  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 1 sachet powdered gelatine (about 12g)
  • 50ml water
  • 3 lapsang souchong teabags infused in 100ml boiling water
  • 1/2 tbsp liquid glucose
  • ¼ tsp ground mixed spice
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar


  1. To make the mincemeat, pour the 75ml of lapsang souchong infused water over the sultanas. In a separate bowl, mix the rosewater with the Cointreau and pour over the dates. Allow both to macerate for 24 hours.
  2. Drain the sultanas of all the surrounding liquid then roughly chop and place in a mixing bowl. Add the dates, chopped pistachios, diced fig, apple, suet and cardamom. Taste and add more rosewater or cardamom if required. Reserve until needed.
  3. To make the pastry, pulse the butter with the flour and salt in a food processor until it resembles breadcrumbs. Combine the egg and water and add to processor, pulsing to combine. Turn the dough out onto a worktop and bring together into a ball.
  4. Roll out the pastry to about 2mm thickness. Using a pastry cutter, cut out rounds of pastry large enough to fill 24 cups of a mini tartlet tray. Press the pastry evenly into the trays. When the whole tray is full, chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Turn on the oven to 160°C.
  5. Remove the pastry tray from the fridge, then fill each cup with mincemeat. Place in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
  6. While the pies are cooking, make the marshmallow topping
  7. Boil 100ml of water and add 3 lapsang souchong teabags. Leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the teabags and squeeze out any liquid to ensure you still have 100ml.
  8. Place the 50ml water in a small bowl then sprinkle the gelatine over the top. Allow the gelatine to ‘bloom’ by absorbing the water and reserve until needed.
  9. Place the laspsang water in a small saucepan with the sugar and liquid glucose, and over a low heat allow to dissolve. Once all the sugar and glucose has dissolved turn the heat up to boil the liquid. Using a sugar thermometer, wait until the temperature reaches 117°C then start to beat the egg white in a stand mixer to a stiff peak. When the sugar syrup reaches 122°C take it off the heat and add the gelatine, stirring to combine. It will froth up at this point. With the whisk still running at full speed, pour the syrup into the egg white begin careful not to pour onto the whisk itself. Leave the whisk running for 15-20 minutes while the mixture slowly cools down.
  10. Place a round nozzle in a plastic piping bag. Combine the icing sugar and cornflour and dust the inside of the piping bag. Transfer the marshmallow to the piping bag.
  11. When the pies are cool, pipe peaks of marshmallow directly onto the mincemeat, pulling upwards to get slightly spiked tops which should flop. Dust with edible glitter and gold shimmer spray for a ‘toasted’ look. Leave for a couple of hours so that the marshmallow sets.

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Recipe By

Peter Lien


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