Baking (and eating) mince pies has to be one of my favourite things about Christmas. I understand that there are some folks who don’t like mince pies, but I would know anything about that, they simply can’t be my friends.

If you have the chance to make your own filling, not only do you feel like you’re winning at life, but it does make the best pies. (check out an earlier recipe for mincemeat filling)

Traditionally we all go to the shortcrust pastry option for pies, but with our South African summers I like something a little lighter and using phyllo pastry does the trick. Everytime I’ve served them they always bring an ‘oooh’, and who doesn’t like an ‘oooh’. This recipe also registers as ridiculously simple on the effort scale and they look fabulous when you bring them out with your favourite Yuletide tipple.


Jar of mince meat (home made or store bought)

Large muffin tin

Bought phyllo pastry

Icing sugar (3 table spoons)

250gr melted butter

The How

Butter in-between 4 layers of pastry (damp cloth over the phyllo to stop it drying out)

Cut in squares (size depends on size of muffin tin) large enough so that there is a enough to cover the top of the filling

Press into the muffins pan with the edges lifted up – alternate the edges in a cross pattern so that all the edges of the muffin tin have pastry around it.

Fill with the pastry 3/4 fill up – can either keep the edges up and open (brush the insides with a little melted butter)

Or cover the filling with the pastry edges and brush with butter to make a little pastry parcel

Bake at 180 for 15 mins until edges start get brown

Take out and cool

Sieve icing sugar over the cooled pies

Throw on something sparkly, serve on a gorgeous serving platter, sneak one before you head out to your guests and bring on the ‘ooohs’


Photo and styling: Daria Higgins

Copy: Daria Higgins