The Kirkland signature mince pies from Costco. For me and my family these are some of the best mince pies you can buy, and the festive season does not start for us until we get a huge 12 pack of these incredible little cakey pie things. For those of you who don’t know, the Kirkland mince pie is a layer a sweet shortcrust pastry, a layer of rich mincemeat, topped with traditional vanilla sponge mix and dusted off with heaps of icing sugar. I have never seen this type of mince pie anywhere else yet! If you haven’t had one, it’s worth getting a Costco membership just to try them.
This year I had an itch to try and create my own version – if not better. It had to have a rich, homemade, sweet shortcrust pastry, rich and fruity mince meat and a light and fluffy sponge mix to top it off. After a good few days a researching the best pastry and cake recipes I found out the best way to do it – and to tell you the truth, they’re amazing mince pies. I don’t think I’d make them any other way now, and I hope you feel the same after trying them.
In this recipe I will teach you exactly how to make a good sweet shortcrust pastry from scratch, as well as a quick and easy sponge mix which is light a fluffy after 15 minutes in the oven. I have to a admit, I did cheat on the mincemeat and used Robertsons Mincemeat – it just reminds me of Christmas, as this is what my mother and her mother used to use. Plus, it makes everything A LOT quicker and easier.
Top Tips for tip top mince pies
- When making pastry, make sure you’re using cold butter, ice cold water, cold hands and a cold worktop. This is to avoid the fat in the mixture becoming warm and soft. A warm mixture will produce a pastry that is cardboard like and unpleasant to eat.
- Allow the pastry dough to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes prior to rolling and cutting. This allows the fat to firm up after you’ve handled it.
- When rolling and working the dough into your mince pie like discs, do not over-flour the worktop. Too much flour will cause the pastry to dry out and become too dense. If using, brush off any excess flour before rolling, or better yet, roll between too pieces of clingfilm and scrap the flour all together.
- Fill with a generous amount of mince meat – as it warms in the oven it becomes thinner. Add more than you initially think.
- Make your sponge mix after you have rolled out your mince pie discs. Cake mix should be used right away and not left to sit for too long.
- Use a piping bag to pipe the cake batter into the moulds. Do not over fill as it will rise a fair amount. Keep the batter below the rim of the pastry.
- Grease the pan with lots of butter to avoid sticking. Use softened butter and rub the pan well.
- When putting the discs into the baking tray moulds, lightly press around the edges of the pastry so it sinks into the mould. Try not to press in the bottom of the pastry disc, and try not to press too hard into the mould or they will be difficult to get out.
- Put the tray in the middle of the oven to allow good circulation of heat during cooking.
- Pre heat the oven to the correct temperature well in advance.
Costco Style Kirkland Mince Pies
- Rolling Pin
- Deep fill baking tray for 12 pies - roughly 2.5 inches wide. Can use any tray, but amount is for this style tray
- Large mixing bowl
- Hand mixer or Electric mixer
- 250 g Mincemeat
- 175 Plain Flour
- 15 g Icing Sugar
- 75 g Butter, diced ensure it's cold
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 tbsp Ice Cold Water add more if necessary
- 115 g Self Raising Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 Eggs
- 115 g Butter, softened & and diced
- 115 g Caster Sugar
- 10-20 g Icing Sugar use as much as you want, the more the better
The Rich & Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
- Add the flour and icing sugar to a large mixing bowl. Combine.
- Add the cold diced butter to the flour mix. Using your finger tips and working fast, rub the butter into the flour to create a breadcrumb like texture. TOP TIP - Working fast will ensure the butter stays as cold as possible, keeping the fat cells intact.
- To the flour and butter mix, add the egg yolk and the water. Mix with a cold spatula, or strong metal pallet knife and combine (can be done in a good food processor) until firm dough.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 mins to harden the butter.
Vanilla Sponge Mix
- At this point, pre-heat your oven to 180c (fan assisted).
- Start making this mixture 10 minutes before the pastry is due to come out of the fridge - sponge mix should not be left around too long.
- Combine all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine thoroughly for about 2 minutes. Best mixed using an electric mixer or hand mixer (Kitchen Aid etc..). Can be done with a wooden spoon/spatula, but will be a workout!
Making the Pies
- Grease the baking tray with plenty of butter. Ensure it is well covered so it's possible to remove the pies after cooking. Best practice if to go over the tin twice.
- Take out the pastry. On a clean, cold, flat and generously floured surface, roll out the dough until it's about 4cm thick. TOP TIP - Flour the rolling pin too, work fast and roll in verticval and horizontal directions to ensure an evenly rolled piece of dough.
- Cut the dough pieces into 3.5-4 inch round discs. If you don't have a cookie cutter, use the rim of a large glass and make do with the size you have. TOP TIP - The pastry shouldn't sink too far below the rim of the baking tray. To perfectly get the pastry into the mould, press on the edges of the pastry until it begins to sink into postion. When the pastry edges are flush with the surface of the tray, it's done.
- Add a heaped teaspoon into each pastry filled mould. Add more if dessired.
- Top the mincemeat and pastry filled moulds with the sponge mixture. TOP TIP - Fill each mould to about 3cm below the pastry rim to rise like the pictures. Fill less if you'd prefer less of a rise.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes, or until the sponge is golden on top and cooked all the way through. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.TOP TIP - use a cocktail stick to poke into the sponge, if it comes out clean it's ready. Do not open the oven until absolutely necessary.
- Once the mince pies have cooled slightly for 5 mintues, but still warm, get them out of the moulds. Use a pallet knife to get the mince pies out of the mould, they should pop out with no problems.NOTE - If you added enough butter I promise you they will come out with great ease. If they don't it's because you didn't butter enough.
- Let the pies cool fully.
- Using sieve and teaspoon, dust the pies with a generous layer of icing sugar. TOP TIP - Use the teaspoon in the bottom of the sieve and press down rubbing the sugar in a circular motion to dust the pies perfectly.
- Work quickly with the pastry to ensure it stays cold. Cold fat (butter) is what makes the pastry light and delicious.
- Let the pastry rest int he fridge, don't overlook this step. It allow the butter to solidify after working with it.
- Make the sponge just before (10 mins) taking the pastry out of the fridge. Sponge mix doesn't like to sit around for too long.
- Heavily grease the moulds. Do it twice over.
- Don't force the pastry into the moulds. Use your thumb tips and the edges of the pastry to slide it gently into the mould. Don't press into the bottom or the sides of the mould too hard or it will stick to it during cooking.
- Fill with more mincemeat than you expect.
- Fill with more cake mixture if you want the cake to rise high above the pastry line. Fill with less if you want less of a rise.