You’re all set to bake your delicious mince pies, but you’ve heard that the filling can sometimes bubble over and make a mess. Is there anything you can do to prevent this from happening?
There are many ways you can stop your mince pies from bubbling over. The most important trick is to prevent steam from getting trapped under your pie crust and not to overfill your pie case.
Here are some simple tips on how to stop mince pies from bubbling over.
Why Your Mince Pies Bubble Over
Mince pies are a popular holiday treat, but they can sometimes tend to bubble over in the oven.
There are a few reasons for this, including the fillings and the pie crust.
- Overfilling the pastry cases: If you fill the cases too much, the filling will expand and spill out during baking.
- Improper baking temperature: If the oven is too hot, the filling will boil and cause the pastry to overflow.
- Using a too-juicy filling: If the mincemeat filling is too wet, it can cause the pies to bubble over.
Bubbling Pie Crust
Pie dough can form bubbles while baking due to steam generated from the butter.
As the butter melts and heats up, pockets of hot air are created, which have nowhere to escape causing them to push upwards and create both bubbles and cracks on the crust’s surface.
When the pie crust rises too much, it creates more space for the filling to expand into, which can cause it to boil and overflow.
How to Prevent and Stop Your Mince Pies from Bubbling Over
To prevent and stop mince pies from bubbling over, you can do these tricks to the filling and the pie crust.
- Fill the pastry cases only to three-quarters full. Keep the filling below the crust level. Though not the best, this option leaves a little room inside the pie for the steam to raise the filling without going over.
- Use a pie bird. A pie bird is a small ceramic funnel placed in the center of a mince pie to help steam escape without bubbling over.
- If you can’t find a pie bird, you can make a hole in the top of each pie and place a small cut piece of straw or uncooked macaroni into it.
- Bake the mince pies at the right temperature, usually around 375°F. Ensure your oven is not too hot and preheat it to the recommended temperature before baking.
- Use a drier mincemeat with less moisture content. Strain the mincemeat filling to remove any excess juices.
- Add breadcrumbs or oats if necessary to absorb some of the liquid.
- Use a pie shield or foil to cover the edges of the pies and prevent them from over-browning.
- Roll out the pie crust evenly and not too thin.
- Chill the pie crust before baking to help it retain its shape.
- Prick the bottom of your pastry cases with a fork to allow steam to escape.
- Brush the surface of each pie with milk or egg wash before baking. This will help create a seal and prevent any bubbles from forming.
- Use pie weights or dried beans to keep the pie crust from puffing up during baking.
- Bake the pie crust for a few minutes before adding the filling to help it set and prevent it from rising.
About Mince Pies
Mince pies are a traditional English dessert that has been around since the 16th century. They are made with mincemeat, a mixture of dried fruits, spices, and suet (beef or mutton fat).
The most common ingredients in mincemeat are raisins, currants, apples, candied citrus peel, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brandy or sherry.
Mince pies were originally larger and shaped into ovals to represent the manger in which Jesus was laid after his birth. Today they are usually round and come in many different sizes, from small individual pies to large family-sized ones.
Mince pies are delicious, served hot or cold on their own or with brandy butter, cream, or even a good vanilla ice cream. They can be enjoyed anytime during the festive season but are especially popular around Christmas.
How do you keep pies from sweating?
Pies can easily sweat when the humidity is high or when stored in a warm environment.
To keep your pies from sweating, you should bake them on dry, low-humidity days and store them in the refrigerator after they have cooled.
How do you keep the bottom of mince pies from getting soggy?
Making sure your mince pies don’t get a soggy bottom is easy with the right techniques.
- One way to prevent a soggy bottom is by blind baking, which means pre-baking the crust before adding the filling.
- You can also prick the base with a fork to allow steam to escape and use a metal baking sheet lined with parchment paper for extra heat transfer.
- Another helpful tip is to scatter 1/3 of the recipe’s sugar on the bottom crust before filling it.
- Finally, cool any fillings before adding them to the pastry.
How do you seal a pie?
Making a perfect pie crust is an art form; one of the most important steps is sealing it properly. Sealing a pie ensures that the filling stays in place while baking and prevents leakage.
Here are some tips on how to seal a pie:
- For single-crust pies, fold the edges of the dough under itself so that it fits snugly against the sides of the pan. Use your fingers to crimp or flute the edges for a decorative finish.
- For double-crust pies, moisten the edge of the bottom crust with water before placing the top crust over it. Press down on both layers with your fingers, or use a fork to create a tight seal around the edges.
No matter what type of crust you’re using, brush it with an egg wash before baking for extra golden color and shine.
How to Make the Perfect Mince Pies
These delicious mince pies are the perfect treat to enjoy with family and friends.
- 1 batch of sweet shortcrust pastry
- One egg, beaten
- 500g (1lb 2oz) mincemeat
- Flour for dusting
- Icing sugar for dusting (optional)
- 24 small star cutters
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out two-thirds of the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin.
- Use the pastry to line a 24-hole non-stick mini muffin tin, re-rolling any trimmings if necessary – you should have enough to make 12 pies. Reserve the remaining pastry for later.
- Divide the mincemeat evenly among the pastry cases – you can be generous as they will shrink during cooking.
- Roll out the remaining pastry on a lightly floured surface until it’s the thickness of a £1 coin again. Use a small star cutter to cut out 24 stars, then place them on top of the pies, gently pressing down so they adhere slightly to the pie filling below.
- Brush each pie with a little beaten egg, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through – keep an eye on them as they may need a few minutes less or more depending on your range.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar if desired and serve warm or cold – these will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month before serving (defrost thoroughly before eating). Enjoy!