I spy… mince pies! It’s not Christmas ’til you’ve eaten your first mince pie of the season and although they hit the shelves way back in the early Autumn, they’re best served on a bitter winter’s day. It’s a fact that they taste better then. Honest.
There’s something to be said for making your own mince pies. Especially if you turn the crappy Christmas tunes up loud and belt along to Mariah Carey as you go. Not that that happened here, obviously. Anyway, moving on.
First of all, there are different levels of work associated with mince pie baking. You can go from barely breaking a sweat (aka. pre-made pastry and a jar of mincemeat) all the way up to a ‘we’re talking wedding and babies’ level of home-made pastry and making the mincemeat also. Which feels like… commitment. Never one to make a decision when sitting on the fence would do, I went for a bit of both; we made the pastry and bought the mincemeat. It was quick, fun and yummy, which is what we all want ultimately isn’t it? Lazy recipes that taste delish.
Makes 16 mince pies
You will need:
- 375g plain flour
- 260g unsalted butter (softened)
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Jar of mincemeat
- Pre-heat the oven to 220°C / Gas mark 7
- Chop the butter into small cubes and place into a large mixing bowl with the flour
- Using your hands, mix the two together, working the lumps of butter into the flour (I grab a handful in each hand and use my thumbs to rub the two together against my fingers in a pinching motion) until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
- Mix in the sugar and one of the eggs folding it together to bring it together – you may find it easier to tip it out onto a floured surface for this stage once you’ve mixed the egg in!
- Wrap in clingfilm or pop it in a sandwich bag, place in the fridge and allow to chill for 10 minutes
- Once chilled, lightly flour a work surface and your rolling pin
- Roll out the pasty to approximately 2-3mm thick
- Using a pastry cutter (or upturned pint glass) cut 16 circles roughly 10cm in diameter
- Place these into your cake tin and push down lightly into the base
- Spoon 2tsp of mincemeat into each one to fill. You want the mincemeat to fill the pie leaving adequate pastry around the edge for you to seal the lid to (roughly 5mm)
- Beat an egg in a cup and brush lightly around the edges of each pie
- Using a smaller pastry cutter (or upturned wine glass) cut the lids to each pie. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even go for cutting star shapes or christmas trees or a pastry lattice!
- Place the lids onto each pie and crimp together the edges with your fingers, sealing the pie
- Brush the lids with beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar and make a small cut in the lid to allow air to escape – minimising explosions
- Cook for 15 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove from oven, allow to cool and enjoy!