The Queen's pastry chef reveals her secret mince pie recipe (2024)

With Christmas around the corner, people across the country are tucking into their mince pies - including the Queen, it would seem.

Buckingham Palace's top pastry chef has now revealed the secret recipe behind the baked treat enjoyed by the royal family and their guests.

Royal chef Kathryn Cuthbertson explained how their mincemeat, which includes golden sultanas, currants and russet apples, is made months in advance.

Buckingham Palace's pastry chef has revealed the secret recipe behind the mince pies enjoyed by the royal family (pictured)

Along with a traditional recipe, a smaller version is topped with flaked almonds for 'texture', while another is made out of puff pastry.

Kathryn revealed how they make over 1,200 mince pies for each Christmas reception at Buckingham Palace.


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She said: 'It's probably thousands each, but as long as you are organised, it's doable.'

Sharing her top tips for making mince pies, Kathryn stressed the importance of having 'plenty of time', along with 'cold hands'.

Traditional mince pie recipe


For the Mincemeat

zest and some juice of 1 unwaxed lemon

zest and some juice of 1 unwaxed orange

2 tablespoons brandy

1 tablespoon of port

1 tablespoon of rum

1 tablespoon of sherry 120g (1 cup) suet

160g (3/4 cup) golden sultanas

100g (1/2 cup) raisins

100g (1/2 cup) mixed peel

100g (1/2 cup) currants

1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1.2 teaspoon ground cloves

160g (6oz) russet apples, peeled and grated

500g (1lb 2 oz) sweet pastry

Egg wash for sticking lids on the bases

Granulated sugar for the top of the mince pies before baking

Icing sugar for dusting

The filling of the mince pie includes golden sultanas, raisins and russet apples


12 hole non-stick shallow baking tray / mince pie tin 32 x 24 cm (12.5 x 9")

fluted or plain cutters


Place all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir. Then add all the liquid and grated apple and allow to soak for at least one week in a 1kg kilner jar sat in the fridge or pantry.

Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F, gas mark 5)

Roll the sweet pastry into a sheet approximately 2 to 3 mm thick, place on a tray, and allow to rest in the fridge. Once rested, cut tops and bottoms for your mince pies using fluted or plain cutters (selecting sizes to fit your tin). Place the pie bases into the tin and prick them with a small knife or fork to prevent the pastry from rising during the baking.

Spoon a teaspoon of the home-made mincemeat into the base and egg wash the edge of the pastry to enable the lids to stick. Place the mince pies in the fridge to rest for another 30 minutes, then add a pastry top to each, egg washing it and pricking a small hole in the top to allow the steam to escape. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Place the baking tray on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake the pies for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry turns golden and the mincemeat starts to boil slightly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before taking the pies out of their tin.

Sprinkle the mince pies with icing sugar and serve immediately. To add a festive feel, the mince pie tops could be shaped with a star cutter or perhaps a holly-shaped cutter.

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Other festive treats served up at royal receptions include gingerbread men, Jammy Dodgers and mini chocolate roulades.

It comes after it was revealed that the Queen and Prince Philip give their 1,500 staff a rather surprising gift at Christmas.

The official website of the royal family reveals that Her Majesty gifts a Christmas pudding to each and every member of her staff.

The Queen's pastry chef revealed that 1,200 mince pies for each at Buckingham Palace

Kathryn said they also make a smaller version (left), that is topped for almonds for 'texture'

The tradition was handed down by her father, King George VI and her grandfather, George V.

In previous years, the Queen is reported to have favoured puddings from Harrods or Fortnum & Mason - which holds a warrant as the royal grocer - but appears to have since swapped to a rather more ordinary retailer.

According to Hello!, the monarch opts for Tesco's Finest Matured Christmas Pudding, having switched to the budget option in order to cut costs.

The Queen's pastry chef reveals her secret mince pie recipe (2024)
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