Mince pies are a staple on the traditional Christmas table. Picture: Supplied

Is it ever too early to start thinking about Christmas? Let us talk about mince pies, and how to make a good one. 

Mince pies are a staple on the traditional Christmas table, having been served during the festive period for centuries. 

They are small, sweet, rich, and crumbly, but most people find it very difficult to make them. 

While you could buy packaged, pre-made or already-made mince pies for your family this Christmas, why not go the extra mile and make your own? 

We asked award-winning author and baker, Grace Stevens for five tips to perfect your mince pie making techniques. 

Mince pies are a staple on the traditional Christmas table. Picture: Supplied

Add alcohol 

Add some rum or brandy to mincemeat to add a festive flavour. 

Chill

Make sure your pastry is well chilled before rolling it out. 

Make it in time 

Tip three: pastry can be made up to a week in advance and kept in the fridge until needed. 

Freeze 

Make your mince pies and freeze them before baking. Bake them off as you need them. It is always good to be prepared. 

Cool it down

Make sure your pastry is completely cooled before removing your pies from the tins. This prevents the pastry from cracking. 

Do not overwork the pastry

Try not to overwork the pastry. For example, if you are re-rolling trimmings, bring them together with as little work as possible. The more you work or roll or knead your pastry, the tougher it will get as the gluten develops.