Ex-royal chef reveals secret ingredient added to King Charles’s mince pies

King Charles is set to enjoy an array of festive favourites over the coming week, including specially-made mince pies.

According to one former royal chef, a secret ingredient was added to the King’s mince pies to make them taste extra delicious.

In a video posted on his YouTube channel last December, former royal chef Darren McGrady revealed how the Royal Family like to enjoy their mince pies during the festive season.

In the video, the former royal chef was making the pies from scratch and, after removing them from the oven, he said: “You’ve got to let them go completely cold. I know, it’s hard – they smell gorgeous but hide them away somewhere, go for a walk.

“Once they’re cold, then you can run a knife around the edges and carefully lift them out onto a serving tray. Later in the day, around lunch time, once the entrée had gone into the dining room, then you could put the pies back in the oven and we had to do that to get them really, really hot.”

Mr McGrady then, revealing the secret ingredient, added: “You saw earlier when I made them that I didn’t put any egg on the lids because I didn’t want them to stick to the mince pies. We take the brandy butter (frozen swirls of butter, icing sugar and brandy) and then just lift the lid and put some brandy butter into each one.

“And by the time they got into the royal dining room, oh my goodness, they tasted absolutely gorgeous. But before they went into the dining room, a little powdered sugar on the top. We had to be careful how much powdered sugar we put on top of the pies. I remember one Sandringham Christmas, Prince Philip nearly choking because he inhaled the powdered sugar off the top of the mince pie.”

Speaking of what else the family enjoy for Christmas, the former royal chef previously told OK! that the festive menu always includes traditional turkeys.

He said: “We did three turkeys for the Queen and her family in the royal dining room, one for the children’s nursery and then more for the 100 or so staff, so everyone had a Christmas lunch.

“The turkey is served with mashed and roast potatoes, chestnut or sage and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce and bread sauce. Vegetables include brussels sprouts, carrots and roast parsnips.”

As well as mince pies, the family are known to enjoy homemade Christmas pudding and a date and apple pie made with apples from Sandringham’s orchard.

According to the former royal chef, who previously wrote a book called Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen, the family also enjoy a bubble and squeak and a traditional potato dish.


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