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An individual mince pie
An American mince pie
A mince pie (sometimes also minced, minced meat, or mincemeat pie) is a Britishmarker festive sweet pastry, traditionally consumed during the Christmas and New Year period. Mince pies normally have a pastry top, but versions may also be found without the top in which case they are known as mince tarts. Mince pies are filled with mincemeat – a preserve typically containing apple, dried fruits such as raisins and sultanas, spices, and either suet or vegetable shortening. Modern mince pies typically do not contain any meat, but because suet is raw beef or mutton fat, mince pies made with suet are not suitable for vegetarians. Individual mince pies are usually 6–7.5 cm (2.5-3 inches) in diameter, although larger mince pies, suitable for slicing, may also be baked.


The origins of Mince pies date back to medieval times.


Other variations include
  • the mincemeat tart, similar in form and taste, save for the lack of a pastry top.
  • mincemeat slices, which replace the pastry lid with a Victoria sponge topping; they are baked in a large square tin and cut into slices or as individual pieces in a bun tin
  • the mincemeat pasty (similar in appearance to a Cornish pasty)
  • the 'iced-top' variation, where the pastry lid is replaced by fondant icing

In popular culture

  • In Great Britain, and other countries, such as Ireland, mince pies are seen as a favourite food of Father Christmas. Children leave one or two mince pies on a plate at the foot of the chimney (along with a small glass of brandy, sherry or milk, and a carrot for the reindeer) as a thank you for filling their stockings.
  • The government of Pitt the Younger formed on 18 December 1783 was satirically dubbed the mince-pie administration as it was widely believed that it would not last until Christmas.


  1. British Life and Culture: Mince Pies at Project Britain

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