Growing up, Christmas was the same event year in, year out. The same meal, equally identical decorations and mince pies indistinguishable from one another. That’s not to say that any part of what was dished up was disagreeable, but change helps keep occasions exciting.
A quick and easy rendition of the classic mince pie, these Eccles Cake Mince Pies are packed full of homemade mincemeat and made with flaky puff pastry. Christmas indulgence at its finest.
Named after the town of Eccles on the outskirts of Manchester, in the North of England, Eccles cakes are small round pastries or cakes usually filled generously with currants.
Traditionally speaking, Eccles cakes would be made with a pastry more akin to rough-puff, but pre-rolled puff pastry makes for a very light, easy and quick to produce cake. This recipe is Christmas for those in a hurry.
The use of mincemeat is a logical jumping-off point on the way to making eccles cakes. Being a currant mixture itself – albeit with some added festive cheer (brandy) – mincemeat lends itself perfectly to the filling of Eccles cakes; a match made in heaven.
Eccles cake mince pies couldn’t be easier to make. Simply cut a few circles out, fill them generously with mincemeat, seal with egg, pat down and slice; a whole batch can be ready to eat in under 30 minutes.
Though the recipe below makes only 6 eccles cakes, you’ll be glad to know that it lends itself well to scaling up. Make as many as you like, but be careful not to bake too many at once; the oven temperature needs to be consistent for the lamination of the pastry.
Of course, if you would prefer a classic shortcrust mince pie there’s a recipe for that too. Or for something a little different these mince pies topped with homemade marzipan are just the ticket.
Eccles Cake Mince Pies
- pre-rolled puff pastry, 20cm x 30cm
- 6 tsp homemade mincemeat
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- Cut 6 circles of puff pastry, 10 cm in diameter. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C(fan). Line a baking tray.
- Dollop a teaspoon of mincemeat in the centre of each and brush the edges with the beaten egg.
- Fold the pastry gently over the mincemeat to create a sealed disc. Turn over on the prepared tray so the sealed side is down and gently flatten.
- Slice two holes in the top of each pie, brush with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle generously with sugar.
- Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until puffed up and golden brown. Leave to cool for 5 minutes and consume warm with cream or ice cream.
Cost: Using homemade mincemeat and inexpensive pre-rolled puff pastry, these little festive eccles cakes should set you back no more than £1.