Cheat’s Mince Pies with a Secret Twist – amaze your friends!

Cheat's Mince Pies with a Secret Twist - Fab Food 4 All

Today I bring you Cheat’s Mince Pies with a Secret TwistI haven’t made mince pies for about 25 years, gasp! You see hubby has never really liked them or any of the other traditional British Christmas treats containing dried fruit and my daughter has followed in his foot steps and won’t even eat a scone with raisins in it. However my son and I love mince pies, Christmas cake etc so I decided to make some. I remembered back to 25 years ago when my hubby used to work in an agency and every Christmas the landlady of the office premises used to come round with her home-made mince pies. But the shocking thing was that hubby actually liked Mrs Belcher’s mince pies because they had a twist to them, the addition of cottage cheese!

Cheat's Mince Pies with a Secret Twist - Fab Food 4 AllSo I seem to remember making my own version all those years ago but when there were just the 2 of us to eat them it wasn’t something I carried on making and on my side of the family it’s only my dad who likes mince pies! So on Saturday I decided to put together a really quick and easy but delicious mince pie recipe. My Cheat’s Mince Pies with a Secret Twist use shop bought shortcrust pastry sheets, shop bought mincemeat to which you add your own brandy and chopped almonds (you could also add a few chopped glace cherries) and the twist of the cottage cheese.

Cheat's Mince Pies with a Secret Twist - Fab Food 4 AllWell you’re not going to believe what happened next, I kind of thought my hubby would eat these mince pies as he’d had liked them all those years ago but the shocking thing was that my daughter asked to have one, liked it and had more over the weekend!! She said it was the best mince pie she’d ever had. I wasn’t that impressed with this statement as I couldn’t remember her ever having had one but she said she’d tried a few LOL! My son came home from work (Saturday job) and seeing the mince pies grabbed one before he’d even taken his coat off. He was a bit shocked that I’d made them, poor lad, I’ve deprived him all these years as he’s only every had shop bought ones! He loved my mince pies too.

Cheat's Mince Pies with a Secret Twist - Fab Food 4 AllI asked hubby what it is about these Cheats Mince Pies that he likes when he won’t usually eat one and he said that the cottage cheese takes away the intensity of the mincemeat flavour. It does add a lovely creamy element to the mince pie and now I know the whole family will eat them I’ll be baking these every year. I also like the extra crunch of the chopped almonds and the brandy flavour. Goodness know why it took me this long to remember Mrs Belcher’s trick but better late than never eh!


5.0 from 7 reviews
Cheat’s Mince Pies with a Secret Twist
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cheat's Mince Pies with a Secret Twist make the most of shop bought pastry and mincemeat with the gourmet addition of almonds, brandy and a dollop of cottage cheese! Just delicious!
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: British
Serves: 12
  • generous ½ jar mincemeat
  • 20g blanched almonds, chopped
  • 1 - 3 tsp brandy
  • 1 320g pack short crust pasty sheet (rested at room temperature for 15 minutes)
  • 6 tsp cottage cheese
  • milk for glazing
  • icing sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 200º.
  2. Place the mincemeat, chopped almonds and brandy into a bowl and mix well.
  3. Grease a 12 hole patty tin.
  4. Unroll the pastry sheet and give it a quick roll with a rolling pin to stretch slightly.
  5. Use a 7.5 cm fluted pastry cutter to cut out 12 circles (you’ll need to gather up the pastry and re-roll with a dusting of flour) and fill the patty tin with the pastry circles.
  6. Fill each pastry circle with mincemeat and top with ½ tsp of cottage cheese.
  7. Roll out the rest of the pastry and using a 6 cm fluted cutter cut out 12 circles, brush edges with water and press onto the bases.
  8. Cut a hole with a table knife into the top of each pie to allow steam to escape (I would give it a slight twist too as the hole seems to seal up).
  9. Brush the tops with milk and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes.
  10. Transfer mince pies to a cooling rack.
  11. Serve warm or cold dusted with icing sugar.

So don’t stress if you haven’t made your own mincemeat this year and don’t have time to make pastry, simply make my Cheat’s Mince Pies with a Secret Twist – no-one will ever know you didn’t spend hours preparing them from scratch! Do you have any quick Christmas baking or dessert making tips or tricks that you’d like to share with my readers? Do let me know in the comments below! I asked some fellow bloggers for their Christmas recipes that use “cheats” and here are a few:

Pear & Mincemeat Strudel – Tinned Tomatoes 

Cherry Bakewell Mince Pies – Emily’s Recipes & Reviews

Christmas Trifle – How to Cook Good Food

Christmas Lemon Curd & Amaretto Trifle – Casa Costello

Quick & Easy Speculoos & Marscapone Pancake Cake – Kavey Eats

Why not pin for later?

Cheat's Mince Pies with a Secret Twist - Fab Food 4 All

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  1. Richard Eldred Hawes

    Their is nothing like a lovely homemade mince pie

    1. Camilla

      Very true Richard:-)

  2. Helen Moulden

    Great recipe. I love mince pies all year around!

    1. Camilla


  3. Amy Fidler

    Love this cheat xx great for this xmas x

    1. Camilla

      Thank you Amy:-)

  4. William Gould

    I actually like the intense flavour of mince pies and wouldn’t want to take away from that. It does look like an interesting addition though, especially if the pies are still warm!!

    1. Camilla

      It’s a bit like having cream on your Christmas Pudding:-)

  5. Ryan

    Look delish!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Ryan:-)

  6. Heather Haigh

    These sound fabulous. I love the addition of the cheese. I was always a fan of cheese with Christmas cake (don’t know if that’s a Northern thing) so I just know this will work.

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Heather, not heard of cheese and Christmas cake:-)

  7. Carrie Talbot-Ashby

    These look amazing! I wish I could cook like this lol. Might have to get the husband to try the recipe out! Nicely done! xxx

    1. Camilla

      There really is zero skill required here as the pastry is bought:-)

  8. Ren Behan

    This is such a fascinating idea to add cottage cheese – I really have to try it now you’ve put it in my mind! Great recipe as ever Camilla!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Ren, yes it’s stuck in my mind all these years:-)

  9. Elizabeth

    Such an interesting twist! I love mince pies, me, but I totally have to try out this tip.

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Elizabeth, yes do give the twist a try;-)

  10. Jo of Jo's Kitchen

    This looks delicious. I love the cottage cheese twist too. I must try it myself!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Jo, yes do give it a try;-)

  11. Renz

    Love the idea of the cottage cheese addition. Now I want to go make a batch just so I can taste it.

    1. Camilla

      Excellent, glad to have inspired you:-)

  12. Ceri Jones

    I’d have never of guessed that twist, what a crazy but brilliant idea to offset that mincemeat sweetness. I adore mince pies, glad to see your daughter finally thinks so too!

    1. Camilla

      Fab and crazy isn’t it! When I said I was making mince pies hubby immediately moaned until I said I was making the ones like Mrs Belcher used to make which he liked-)

  13. Angela Webster

    I love this idea, I’m definitely going to give them a go.

    1. Camilla

      Great Angela, do let me know what you think!

  14. Laura@howtocookgoodfood

    I have made a recipe from the 70s which uses a dollop of cream cheese in the centre of the mince pies but not heard of cottage cheese before but think it would definitely cut through the richness of mince pies so it’s a great idea!

    1. Camilla

      It really does lift the mince pie so great for those who find the flavour a bit rich:-)

  15. Lucy

    They sound delicious Camilla, will have to try the cottage cheese twist!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Lucy, yes do:-)

  16. Janice

    What a great story and I’ve never tried cottage cheese in mince pies, how unusual!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Janice, yes I buried these at the back of my mind for too long LOL-)

  17. Kavey

    Lovely way of bringing together shop-bought ingredients into something homemade and rather special.

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Kavey, I do love a good cheat:-)

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