Sunday, 12 November 2017

Quick and Easy Mince Pies

Mince Pies are a tradition at Christmas and I usually make them with my own pastry and homemade mincemeat.  But I decided that, for those who want to make them, but without the hassle of doing everything from scratch, I would make some using just two indgredients, shop bought shortcrust pastry and shop bought mincement.

I am aware that it is much easier to find ready-rolled shortcrust pastry in the UK than in other places, so I should say that using shop bought puff pastry is fine too, but will give a different texture to the mince pies.  You could also buy a shortcrust pastry mix, which again is readily available in the UK, where you simply add water to the mix to make the pastry. If you cannot find ready rolled pastry you can also buy blocks of pastry, both refrigerated and frozen which will work just as well but you will have to roll it out.  I will also put links below to my blog posts for making your own pastry and also your own mincement, for anyone who wishes to do that.  I will readily admit that making everything from scratch does give a better mince pie, but not everybody has the time, or the inclination.  Hence this post.

I use a bun or patty tin to shape the mince pies, but a muffin tin would be ok too, just don't line up the to top of each cup or the mince pies will be too large.

I would also recommend, whether using shortcrust or puff, that the pastry is made with butter as this is a major part of the flavour. The supermarkets usually stock 'butter' pastry and pastry made with margarine or vegetable oil.  Butter is the one to go for.  Also, if possible buy one that says 'sweet' pastry since that means there is a little sugar in it too, though that is not critical.

Link to mince pies using home-made pastry:  click here

Link to home-made mincemeat:  click here

Quick & Easy Mince Pies


Quick & Easy Mince Pies - Video

Ingredients:
  • 2 x 320g ready rolled sweet shortcrust pastry(made using butter)
  • 500g mincemeat (buy the best quality you can)
  • I egg, beaten to use as an egg wash.
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/425F/Gas mark 7
  2. Grease a 12 hole bun/patty tin.
  3. Lay the sheets of pastry out, on the paper they are wrapped in, on the counter.
  4. Cut out 12 rounds, using a cookie cutter that is about 3 1/8 inches(just under 8cm).
  5. Cut a further 12 rounds using a cookie cutter that is about 2 1/2inches(just under 7 cm).
  6. Carefully line each hole in the bun tin with the larger discs of pastry,
  7. Carefully spoon about 1 dessert of mincemeat onto the pastry.
  8. Use a finger to wipe some water onto the exposed edge of that pastry(or onto the smaller discs, but on the inside edge of it).
  9. Place the smaller discs of pastry onto the filled pastry and press round the edge to seal(use a fork to make a pattern and aid sealing if you wish.
  10. Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash and then make two small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
  11. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  12. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes, then remove from the bun tin and dust with some icing sugar.
Notes:  Work quickly, before the dough becomes too warm.  
             Re-roll the excess pastry to make more, but chill the pastry in the                     fridge again before rolling otherwise it will shrink back after being                     rolled.


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