THE secret behind a bakery's award winning mince pies will be revealed in a TV Christmas special.

A Lake District Farm Shop, the Channel 4 series about Tebay services and its suppliers, has returned for a Christmas special which will air this weekend.

The original series attracted millions of views over the summer.

The crew visited More? The Artisan Bakery at Staveley to revisit bakery founder Patrick More and his team.

Filming started in September with the harvesting of Lyth Valley damsons, which is the start of the four-month artisan process behind the mince pies.

Patrick said that the top quality ingredients and the attention to detail that goes into the mince pies put them in a different league to mass produced versions.

Patrick said: "Think about the best mincemeat you can have and that’s what we’re putting into these pies.

"We use plenty of damson gin and fruit and we make sure there’s the correct amount in each one.

“The lovely, crisp pastry cases are filled with that mincemeat and topped with the jewel in the crown, which is a gin-soaked damson.

"On top we add a layer of hazelnut frangipane, made with finely ground hazelnuts, Winter Tarn Dairy butter from Cumbria and icing sugar.

“The level of love and tender loving care that goes into this product isn’t something you can rush. No manufacturer would take it on because it’s too labour intensive.”

Patrick and the team will make approximately 8,000 mince pies this Christmas, with production naturally limited by damson supplies.

The mince pies, which hold a three-star Great Taste award, are sold exclusively from the bakery at Staveley Mill Yard and from Tebay Services.

Patrick said it was good to have the film crew back: “We’ve had a great response to the documentary, which showed the high quality of what’s produced in Cumbria and the fantastic relationship we have with the team at Tebay Services. We hope viewers enjoy learning the secrets of our mince pies.”

A Lake District Farm Shop at Christmas is to be broadcast on Channel 4 on Saturday, December 18 at 6pm.