The Mince Pie is one of Britain’s favourite festive treats.

Mince pies should have a star on top depicting the Christmas star that led the three wise men and the shepherds to baby Jesus
Mince pies should have a star on top depicting the Christmas star that led the three wise men and the shepherds to baby Jesus

You can enjoy them warmed up with a cup of tea, or nice and cold with a glass of champagne.

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They used to be savoury

As the name might imply, once upon a time mince pies contained mincemeat mixed with alcohol, fruits and spices to help preserve it. As time went on, it became progressively sweeter until the mince was removed all together but the name remained.

Sweet mincemeat
Modern mince pies are filled with sweet mincemeat

They’re not actually British

While mince pies have been widely accepted as a British tradition, the idea actually started in the Middle East in the 13th Century. European crusaders returning to their homelands brought recipes that included meats, fruits and spices which inspired the notion for a mince pie.

They weren’t always called ‘mince pies’

Over the years, they’ve had a flurry of names including ‘shrid pies’ ‘Christmas pies’ ‘crib cakes’ and ‘mutton pies’. They were even called ‘wayfarers’ pies’ at one time, as they were given to visitors during the Christmas season.

They can bring bad luck

According to English tradition, superstition dictates that you must always stir clockwise when making mince pies. Apparently, stirring anti-clockwise will bring bad luck.

They can bring good luck too

If you eat a mince pie each day over the twelve day of Christmas it brings good luck for the year ahead.

According to tradition, you must make a wish when eating your first mince pie of the season. It’s a bit late for us now, but maybe next year…

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Leftover Mince Pies

Use your leftovers in these tasty desserts

Trifle with a twist

Crumble mince pies and layer with vanilla whipped cream and fresh berries for a modern slant on festive trifle.

Mince Pie Fridge Cake

Click here for the recipe courtesy of Good Food

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