Cranberry Mince Pies -- the perfect treat for your holiday party!

Your New Favorite Holiday Treat: Cranberry Mince Pies

Cranberry Mince Pies -- perfect for the holidays!I first discovered mincemeat pies in December of 2007, when I spent my first Christmas away from home.

Six months after graduating from college, I moved to the United Kingdom and began working as a live-in bartender at a hotel pub in a small town a few hours outside of London. This was where I tried my first mince pie.

I had heard of mince pies before that Christmas but had never known what they were, exactly. I’d probably never even seen one.

I was enticed first by their delicious, spiced aroma; all the smells of Christmas mixed into one bite-sized treat. And they tasted even better than they smelled.

Once I returned to the states, I was more than eager to try my hand at these tiny delicacies. This recipe for cranberry mincemeat pies is sweet, spicy, and perfect for any holiday gathering. They’ve quickly become a holiday tradition in our home.

Cranberry Mince Pies -- perfect for the holidays!

Adapted from BBC Food’s Mince Pies and Cranberry-studded Mincemeat.

Cranberry Mince Pies


    For the mincemeat:
  • 1/2 c soft dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 c ruby port
  • 3 1/2 c cranberries (about 10.5 oz)
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • 1/2 t ground cloves
  • 1/2 c currants
  • 1/2 c raisins
  • 1/4 c dried cranberries
  • 1/2 orange (zest and juice only)
  • 2 1/2 T brandy
  • few drops almond extract
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T honey
  • For the crust:
  • 1 1/3 c flour
  • 1/4 c caster sugar
  • 1/2 c ground almonds
  • 1/2 c & 1 T unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • milk, to glaze


Warm the ruby port in a saucepan over low heat. Pour in the brown sugar, allowing it to dissolve fully into the port.

Add the fresh cranberries and stir to coat them with the mixture. Now add the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, currants, raisins, dried cranberries, and orange zest and juice. I used the juice of half an orange and about one teaspoon of zest.

Stir everything together and simmer until the cranberries have popped and most of the liquid has been absorbed, approximately 10 minutes. At this point, you can pop any unpopped berries between your spoon and the side of the saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.

Now add the brandy, almond extract, vanilla extract, and honey and mix well.

Once the mixture cools, pour the mincemeat into a glass jar and refrigerate until you are ready to make your pies. The mixture should last in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Now it's time to start the crust. Grind your almonds using a food processor. Combine 1/2 cup ground almonds with the flour, caster sugar, and butter. Mix at medium speed until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. You should no longer see large chunks of butter.

Beat the egg in a separate bowl and then slowly add it to the dry mixture while mixing on low speed. Continue mixing until combined. Your mixture should now stick together like dough.

Roll the dough into a ball with your hands and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about an hour.

Once the dough has chilled, remove both it and the mincemeat from the refrigerator.

Butter a 12-hole pie tin. I use a 12-hole whoopie pie tin, as it was the closest thing I could find here in the states. You can also try mini tart pans or muffin pans though these may be too deep for the shallow mince pies.

Pour the mincemeat into a bowl and stir to reincorporate the liquid.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it's quite thin. Use a fluted pastry cutter to cut out 12 circles, just slightly larger than the holes in your pie tin. Place the circles in the pie tins and fill with mincemeat. Now cut out pie tops from the remaining dough. I like to use a star cookie cutter, but you can use any shape you choose. If you decide to fully cover the tops with smaller fluted pastry circles, be sure to cut a small slit in the top to allow it to breathe a little in the oven. Press any overlapping edges together to seal.

Brush the tops with milk, and then place the pies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400° F. Once the pies are done chilling, put them directly into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Mince pies are best served warm with a bit of homemade brandy butter or whipped cream. Enjoy!

What are your favorite holiday recipes?

Cranberry Mince Pies -- so perfect for the holiday season!    Cranberry Mince Pies -- perfect for the holidays!
Cranberry Mince Pies -- perfect for the holidays!

You might also enjoy this All-American Peach Custard Pie or my favorite Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies.

  • Food Booze & Baggage

    They look so pretty!! I love cranberry, I might have to try this out (though I’m not sure I have small tart pans). Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing!

    • Erika

      Thank you! You should definitely try them. I’ve heard people have made them in muffin tins — I think that might work as long as you butter them well so they don’t stick!

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  • Selfie

    Hello! I'm Erika, a quiet girl living in the noisy city of Los Angeles with my husband Eric and my cat Cookies. I enjoy exploring new places, going on adventures, eating delicious food, and taking lots of pictures! >> Read more

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