What could be better than a warm mince pie over the festive season? Warm salted caramel mince pies of course!
I saw that Aldi have a salted caramel version of this Christmas classic on their shelves, so I just had to get to work and whip up a version you can make at home.
Get baking and in less than 30 minutes, you could be enjoying the flaky buttery pastry and oozy salty sweetness of these salted caramel mince pies!
For the pastry
- 400g (14 oz) plain flour
- 200g (7 oz) cold slightly salted butter
- 30g (1 oz) icing sugar
- 80ml (2.6 floz) cold water
For the salted caramel
- 225 ml (7.6 floz) double cream
- 140g (5 oz) slightly salted butter
- 140g (5 oz) demerara sugar
- 1 pinch salt small
- 400g (14 oz) jar of mincemeat
- icing sugar to dust
For the pastry
Cube the butter and either rub together with the flour and icing sugar by hand in a bowl or pulse in the food processor until fully combined.
Add the cold water and either pulse in the food processor, or mix through with a round knife until it comes together.
Knead the pastry a couple of times so it comes together in a smooth ball, cut in two and put in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
For the salted caramel
Put all of the caramel ingredients in a pan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring regularly.
After a few minutes, it will look frothy.
Keep cooking and stirring until the froth disappears and it appears golden and thickened.
Dip your spoon in, then rest it out of the pan so it cools for a minute until safe to touch. Draw your finger through it and if it leaves a thick line, it's ready. Taste (careful, it’s hot!) and add a little more salt if desired. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
To put it all together
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/390F (180C/355F fan). Cut a third off the pastry and set aside.
On a floured surface, roll the larger piece of dough out quite thinly, to about 25cmx25cm.
Cut out twelve 8cm discs.
Grease and flour a non-stick muffin tray and press the pastry discs into the base of each hole.
Fill with the mincemeat - approximately 2 heaped teaspoons per pie.
Top with 2 teaspoons of the cooled caramel.
Roll the off cuts of pastry up with the pastry you reserved earlier, roll out thinly again and cut out twelve 7cm discs. Run a wet finger around the edges of the pies and press the tops on.
Pinch with two fingers all the way round each pie to seal.
If you like, cut some little shapes out with the remaining pastry - I went for stars - and fix to the tops of your pies with a dab of water.
Use a skewer to pierce a hole into the centre of each one - this will allow some steam to escape.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. While still warm, run a butter knife around the edges of the pies and lift out with a dessert spoon. Cool on a wire rack.
Dust with icing sugar.
Are you tempted to try these salted caramel mince pies at home?
Pointers, tricks and troubleshooting tips for the perfect salted caramel mince pies
Are salted caramel mince pies easy to make?
Salted caramel mince pies are very easy to make, even the salted caramel is only a few steps. The only thing you have to be a little mindful about is not to overcook the caramel.
Will I need any special equipment to make salted caramel mince pies?
No, you shouldn't need any equipment you wouldn't find in a standard kitchen - just a muffin tray, some cookie cutters (one 8cm and one 7cm) and a rolling pin.
If you don’t have a cookie cutter or something to cut out the 7cm and 8cm circles you can use an appropriately sized glass. A small plate, or anything circular and food safe, works too, just use a blunt knife to cut around the edges. If you can't find the appropriate sized circle anywhere in your house you could even print two out and make a template yourself.
If you don't have a rolling pin then in an emergency you could use anything food safe, very sturdy (so nothing made out of glass!) and cylindrical. A well cleaned thermos, reusable water bottle or unopened can of something fizzy can all potentially work.
Where can I buy mincemeat?
Mincemeat should be available in all major supermarkets and most smaller shops all year round. Check the baking aisle near the flour, or where the jams and marmalade are sold.
Outside of the UK it may be easiest to locate online, depending on where you live.
Is this recipe suitable for vegetarians?
This recipe is suitable for vegetarians, just make sure that mincemeat you're using doesn't contain any animal fats as some brands still do.
Are these salted caramel mince pies suitable for vegans?
This recipe is not suitable for vegans. There's butter in the pastry along with cream and butter in the salted caramel, and some mincemeat can contain any animal fats.
It would be possible to make this recipe vegan as both vegan pastry and vegan salted caramel exist, and are both absolutely delicious. Let me know in the comments if you would like me to investigate how to vegan-ise the recipe!
Are salted caramel mince pies gluten-free?
This recipe is not gluten-free due to the flour in the pastry, but you could swap this out for gluten-free flour and should have a totally gluten-free dish, but as always do check the labels on everything you buy to make sure, as products do differ.
Are these salted caramel mince pies keto-friendly?
Sadly not due to the high amounts of carbohydrates from the flour and sugars it would be difficult to make these salted caramel mince pies keto friendly as-is.
However, if you're an experienced keto baker you may be able to whip up something with similar flavours. I'd recommend a coconut and almond flour pastry base with a filling containing a small amount of apple and appropriately Christmas-y spices such as mixed spice, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
Are salted caramel mince pies healthy?
This recipe is best left as an occasional treat, as while it does have a little bit of fruit in it also has rather a large number of calories per pie.
Are salted caramel mince pies safe to eat while pregnant?
There is nothing in this recipe that would pose a risk to a pregnant woman as long as the cream has been pasteurized, all the ingredients are in good condition, and the mince pies have been prepared safely and hygienically.
A Mummy Too does not offer medical advice, please speak to a health professional if you have any questions.
Are salted caramel mince pies suitable for babies and toddlers?
A small nibble would be OK for little ones over 8 months old that are happily eating solid foods, but not a whole pie and there’s a lot of sugar per pie for young ones.
Make sure to cut up the pie for them and allow the centre to cool before serving as it will be very hot inside.
What goes well with salted caramel mince pies recipe?
I personally love these mince pies all on their own, or maybe with a large cup of tea, but I know family members who enjoy it with a little whipped cream or even a small glass of whiskey.
Can I make salted caramel mince pies without salted caramel?
You can of course make these mince pies without salted caramel - they will simply become traditional, and still very delicious, mince pies. If you prefer you could also make them with traditional caramel by simply not adding the salt.
I haven’t got salted caramel can I use dulce de leche?
While I haven’t tried it, if you don't have the ingredients available to make salted caramel then you should be able to substitute it for dulce de leche and end up with a slightly different but equally tasty mince pie.
Can I add extra salted caramel to this recipe?
While you could add a little more salted caramel the amount chosen in the recipe makes for the perfect ratio between mincemeat and caramel. You get the strong taste of both flavours while remaining gooey, but not so wet that the pies will fall apart.
If you're absolutely in love with salted caramel or have a little left over you could serve a drizzle over the top.
How should I store salted caramel mince pies?
As the salted caramel mince pies contain dairy it's important to get any that you're not serving immediately cooled down and in the fridge within an hour or two of making them.
Store them in an airtight container, not stacked up more than two pies high (to avoid breaking them) with a layer of greaseproof paper or beeswax wrap separating them.
An airtight container will keep them at their freshest but you could also put them on a plate and cover it with clingfilm or beeswax wrap.
You can also just leave them on a plate in the fridge, but they will go dry slightly sooner and they may take on other strong smells from the fridge, which is never ideal.
How long do salted caramel mince pies keep?
If cooled down and stored in the fridge correctly they should last five days.
Can I leave salted caramel mince pies out on the counter?
No, while the sugar will help to preserve the cream in the salted caramel a little these mince pies should be stored in the fridge.
Can I make salted caramel mince pies recipe ahead?
You can make this recipe ahead and store them in the fridge, but you might notice the pastry isn’t quite as crumbly as fresh out of the oven.
Ideally don't make more than a day ahead, but even two days should be fine. These pies will taste fantastic if you are bringing them up to room temperature from the fridge or heating them up a little in the oven.
Can I freeze salted caramel mince pies?
Yes, you can freeze the salted caramel mince pies. Both the pastry and the filling should freeze quite well and should last for at least 1 month in the freezer.
To freeze, simply cool the pies down within an hour or two of making and place in an airtight container before freezing.
You could also place the pies in their muffin tin, or on a baking tray, in the freezer them wait for them to completely freeze. Once frozen carefully place them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. While you may find that the pastry will chip slightly using this method they should take up less room in your freezer.
What is the best way to reheat salted caramel mince pies?
Preheat the oven to 170°C and when it has come up to temperature take the pies out of the fridge and place on a baking tray, then cover with foil to stop the tops from browning too quickly. Pop them in the oven for 6 - 12 minutes until hot all the way through.
You may find that the tops of the pies are a little softer than fresh out of the oven so you can remove the foil and bake for a minute or two longer if you wish to crisp up the tops.
Be careful not to burn yourself on the filling which will be piping hot!
If cooking from frozen, ideally leave in the fridge overnight to defrost, but you should be able to go from freezer to oven. They will take around 15 minutes to bake through (again at 170C), but check after 10 minutes then every few minutes until cooked.
Can I make salted caramel mince pies in a different quantity?
You can make this recipe in any quantity you want, just use the handy recipe slider found on the recipe card below, which will automatically adjust the ingredient quantities as you adjust the slider.
If you need to bake in batches make sure to keep the dough in the fridge until you need it and if reusing the muffin trays between bakes make sure they are well cleaned and fully cooled down between uses. This is to avoid sticking during baking and pastry that gets so warm it can become difficult to work with.
Can I make salted caramel mince pies in a different tin/tray?
If you don't have a muffin tray it should still be possible to make these pies. I haven't tried it with this particular recipe, but you should be able to get away with cutting the dough into rectangles and baking them on a baking tray. See this recipe for how to do it with two cut pieces of dough per pie, or this way which folds over a single piece.
I would suggest putting the salted caramel in a separate serving jug and drizzling the pies into it after they’ve cooked if you're using either of the methods above. This is because you will likely get leaks before you’ve finished crimping the pasty otherwise. However, if you were to make a well in the mincemeat and add just a little salted caramel into it I think you might be able to get away with it!
Can I make the mince pie crust in a stand mixer such as a KitchenAid or Kenwood Mixer?
I find something with a blade attachment works best for pastry dough and generally opt for a food processor, but if you've had good results using a stand mixer in the past then go for it!
How can I make sure this recipe is perfectly cooked?
If your mince pies are golden brown on top then they are almost certainly cooked all the way through. The next step would be to take one out of the muffin tray and make sure the bottoms are firm and golden.
If not, then pop them back in the oven for a few minutes with tin foil over the muffin tin to stop the tops from burning.
Why did my salted caramel mince pies turn out burned or overcooked?
If you have burnt tops but soft sides or cold filling then this is almost certainly due to an oven that is too hot, so double-check you set your temperature correctly.
If possible use an oven thermometer to check the setting on your oven does actually relate to its temperature, as they can be off by 10C or more.
Why do my salted caramel mince pies have soggy pastry?
If your mince pies are coming out with pastry that's soggy or anything but golden brown then it's likely you didn't leave your pies in for long enough to bake, or that your oven temperature was wrong. Both are easily solved by simply cooking your pies for longer and double checking your oven temperatures.
If your pasty is very wet or falling apart then it's likely that you've made an error in the ingredient quantities and put too much liquid or butter in the dough.
Finally, you may have not let the salted caramel thicken or cook for long enough, so if it’s much more runny that it should be this can again lead to a soggy base.
Why didn’t my salted caramel mince pies rise?
Mince pies don't really rise as the filling has no raising agents in it. The pastry will only puff up by a very small margin, maybe a few millimetre. The rounded tops mostly come with a well stuffed interior.
Why did my salted caramel mince pies taste bland?
Mince pies are generally bursting with a variety of flavours and the salted caramel only adds to that, but if you are underwhelmed by the taste it is likely due to the mincemeat you bought.
Generally you get what you pay for in this regard so going for a more luxurious brand will likely yield better results.
How can I add/change the flavours of my salted caramel mince pies?
Instead of pouring over salted caramel you could use dulce de leche or pop a small piece of fudge into the centre of the mincemeat before baking.
For an ultra Christmasy surprise you could place different unwrapped Quality Street or similar boxed chocolate in the centre of each pie. It also makes for a nice surprise which one you get.
You could make them a little boozy by adding 25ml of brandy or whisky to the salted caramel and also a tablespoon extra of sugar to even out the mix.
If you particularly love a certain spices such as cinnamon then you can add a little more to the mincemeat and mix it through in a bowl before adding it to the the pies
What is the origin of salted caramel mince pies?
Adding salted caramel is, as far as I’m aware, something the supermarket chain Aldi dreamt up. I decided to whip up a version you can make at home. Classic mince pies are much, much older!
What is the origin of mince pies?
Mince pies originally always contained actual meat, hence the name. They generally also contained beef suet or other types of animal fat, which can still hold true today, but more often than not now contain vegetable suet.
England has been adding various spices to meat since at least the 12th century when becoming more exposed to Middle Eastern cooking methods. There are recipes dating back to the 16th century that are very similar to mince pies and contain a fermented mixture of meat and fruit inside pastry.
In very early recipes vinegars and wines are used and by the 18th century spirits were being added such as brandy. As mentioned, spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and mace have been a common part of meat preparation since the Middle Ages, although the exact origin of where many types of spice came from was often a mystery to the West as spice traders were purposely tight-lipped about their origins. In 1248 while in Egypt Sieur de Joinville reported to the king what he had been told - that cinnamon was fished up in nets at the source of the Nile, out at the edge of the world.
England's love of sugar made mincemeat an increasingly sweet dish and pushed it closer to the desert we know and love today until by the 19th century what was then known as ‘apple mincemeat’ was being recommended as a safer and more hygienic filling that contained no actual meat.
By the middle of the 20th century mincemeat was generally used to describe a filling that included no meat, but still usually contained animal fat from suet or butter.
For a bit of historical fun this is a recipe for ‘pyes’ from the 1545 cookbook ‘A Proper newe Booke of Cokerye’. It should give you an idea of how much the ingredients (as well as the English language) has changed.
Here’s the recipe in full - see how much you can understand!
Pyes of mutton or beif must be fyne mynced and ceasoned wyth pepper and salte, and a lyttle saffron to coloure it, suet or marrow a good quantite, a lyttle vyneger, prumes, greate raysins and dates, take the fattest of the broathe of powdred beyfe, and yf you wyll have paest royall, take butter and yolkes of egges and so tempre the flowre to make the paeste.
Where does the name ‘mince pie’ name come from?
The ‘mince’ comes from mincemeat, which itself comes from Middle English and means ‘smallness’, which can also be seen in words like ‘minutia’. The ‘meat’ in mincemeat comes from the fact that actual meat was traditionally used up until relatively recently, although an older meaning of ‘meat’ can also mean food in general.
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Salted caramel mince pies
For the pastry
- 400 g (14.1 oz) plain flour
- 200 g (7.1 oz) slightly salted butter cold, cubed
- 30 g (1.1 oz) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 80 ml (2.7 floz) cold water
For the salted caramel
- 225 ml (7.6 floz) double cream
- 140 g (4.9 oz) slightly salted butter
- 140 g (4.9 oz) demerara sugar
- 1 pinch salt small
- 400 g (14.1 oz) mincemeat vegetarian if required
- 1 tbsp icing sugar to dust
For the pastry
- Cube the butter and either rub together with the flour and icing sugar by hand in a bowl or pulse in the food processor until fully combined.
- Add the cold water and either pulse in the food processor, or mix through with a round knife until it comes together.
- Knead the pastry a couple of times so it comes together in a smooth ball, cut in two and put in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
For the salted caramel
- Put all of the caramel ingredients in a small pan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring regularly. After a few minutes, it will look frothy. Keep cooking and stirring until the froth disappears and it appears golden and thickened.
- Dip your spoon in, then rest it out of the pan so it cools for a minute until safe to touch. Draw your finger through it and if it leaves a thick line, it's ready. Taste (careful, it’s hot!) and add a little more salt if desired. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
To put it all together
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C/390F (180C/355F fan). Cut a third off the pastry and set aside.
- On a floured surface, roll the larger piece of dough out quite thinly, to about 25cmx25cm. Cut out twelve 8cm discs.
- Grease and flour a non-stick muffin tray and press the pastry discs into the base of each hole.
- Fill with the mincemeat - approximately 2 heaped teaspoons per pie.
- Top with 2 teaspoons of the cooled caramel.
- Roll the off cuts of pastry up with the pastry you reserved earlier, roll out thinly again and cut out twelve 7cm discs.
- Run a wet finger around the edges of the pies and press the tops on.
- Pinch with two finger all the way round each pie to seal.
- If you like, cut some little shapes out with the remaining pastry - I went for stars - and fix to the tops of your pies with a dab of water.
- Use a skewer to pierce a hole into the centre of each one - this will allow some steam to escape.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.
- While still warm, run a butter knife around the edges of the pies and lift out with a dessert spoon.
- Cool on a wire rack, dust with icing sugar and enjoy!
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More great festive recipes to try
If you loved this salted caramel mince pies recipe, why not try more of my festive bakes?
Here are some of my favourites.
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