Monday, 3 December 2012

Mince Pies

You know Christmas is nearly here when you eat your first mince pie! So here's a recipe to make a batch and get that 'Christmas is coming!' feeling...

225g cold butter, diced
350g plain flour
100g golden caster sugar
280g mincemeat
2 tbsp of milk
Icing sugar, to dust

1. To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour, then mix in the sugar and a pinch of salt. Combine the pastry into a ball, adding a tbsp of milk if necessary to bring the dough together, although it should remain firm. Knead briefly.

2. Preheat the oven the 200℃ (180℃ for fan ovens)/400℉/Gas Mark 6 and grease 18 holes of two shallow muffin trays.

3. Roll the dough out on a floured board to around half a centimetre in depth and, using a cookie cutter slightly larger than the muffin tin circles, cut out 18 'bases' and press them into the tins.

4. Fill each pastry base with a couple of teaspoons of mincemeat. Be careful not to overfill.

5. Gather up the remaining dough from the bases, roll out to the same depth as previously and this time use a cookie cutter around the size of the muffin tin holes to make the tops. I used stars and hearts, but you could make full lids or use any shape you please.

6. Brush the tops lightly with milk (or a beaten egg if you prefer the glazed look) and bake in the centre of the pre-heated oven for around 20 minutes, or until golden.

If you want to make these in advance, they can be frozen after step 5. Mince pies make a lovely gift or treat to take to a friends, if you can resist gobbling them all up.

PS How do you eat yours? Hot? Cold? With cream? With brandy butter?