Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Christmas Mince Pies

As Christmas approaches our minds turn to what treats we are going to enjoy.  High up on the list, in the UK at least, is always mince pies.  I read, only yesterday, that supermarkets sell 370 million of them each year, with the average person eating 27.  I find that average number rather high, but it is true that mince pies are a big favourite.

I made my mincemeat a couple of weeks ago and left it to mature.  So today I made the mince pies.  This is just the first batch, I will make the main batch nearer to Christmas.  Of course you can buy very good mincemeat in the supermarkets, so you don't need to make your own if you don't wish to.

The recipe for the pastry is very simple indeed, with just a few ingredients.  So if you want a delicious treat for Christmas you should try this recipe.

The recipe below will make about 18 mince pies, if you roll the pastry as thin as I did, and use patty or bun tins.

I used a food processor to make the pastry, for quickness, but doing it by hand is easy enough.  It just takes a little longer.

For the recipe below I give the hand mixing method.  If you wish to use a food processor just put everything except the egg in the processor and pulse until it is fine breadcrumb-like.  Then add the egg and pulse until it comes together.
Mince Pies 


Mince Pies - Video
Ingredients:
  • 574g mincemeat,( if you are buying it then 454g/1lb jar will be enough, if you slightly reduce the amount for each pie)
For the pastry:
  • 375g plain flour
  • 260g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 beaten egg for glazing
Method:
  1. Place the flour, sugar and butter in a bowl and rub together to a crumb consistency. 
  2. Add the egg, and mix together. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and fold until the pastry comes together, be careful not to over mix. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for 30 mins.
  3. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7/425 F. 
  4. Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick. Using a round cutter (about 10cm), cut out 12 bases and place them into patty/bun trays. 
  5. Put 1 1/2 tbsp mincemeat mixture into each. 
  6. Brush the edge of each pie with a little beaten egg. 
  7. Re-roll out the pastry to cut 7cm lids and press them on top to seal. 
  8. Glaze with the rest of the egg, sprinkle with caster sugar, then make a small cut in the tops.
  9. Roll out the pastry again to make more pies, after you have baked the first batch.
  10. Bake mince pies for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Leave to cool before releasing them from the patty/bun tray and dusting with icing sugar. 

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