Mincemeat Pie
Photo by Allrecipes

Smart Cookie demystifies mince pies.

Fans of The Great British Bake Off might recognize mince pies right off, but here's a little background for the uninitiated. Mincemeat pie, or mince pie, is an old-fashioned sweet pastry popular in Britain — especially around Christmastime — with ancient culinary roots in the Middle East. The "mince" is actually a mix of fresh, candied, and dried fruits; plus sugar and spice to make everything nice.

You may ask yourself, "Is there actual meat in mincemeat pie?" And the answer is no and then again, yes. Mince pies originally had bits of meat in there; but these days, the only meat is in the form of the beef suet that you melt down to flavor the filling.

MasterChef alum, Elise Mayfield — aka Smart Cookie — shares her recipe for making miniature mincemeat pie tartlets, including the brandy butter that adds a final warm and melty layer of booze-kissed flavor as you serve them up.

We'll share Smart Cookie's top tips to make the filling and whip up the brandy butter.

Mincemeat Pie with Brandy Butter
Photo by Smart Cookie

"Get the lowdown on how to make marvelous mincemeat tartlets inspired by the Great British Bake Off, brandy butter and all. Green apples, spices, and a medley of candied fruits join the traditional ingredient, beef suet, for a flavorful and festive filling that you can make ahead of time." — Smart Cookie

Smart Cookie's Top Tips:

1. Don't worry about the beef suet making the mincemeat taste like meat, because it doesn't. At all.

2. Be sure to give the mincemeat mix enough resting time to let the flavors develop: 8 hours or up to 3 days.

3. Chilled pie dough is notoriously hard to roll when it's fresh from the fridge. Go ahead and give it a few whacks with your rolling pin to help make the rolling easier.

4. When you're adding brandy to the butter mixture, it might look like it's all falling apart. But if you keep mixing it, the whole thing will magically come together again.

Watch the video to see the recipe come to life: