Sunday 1 December 2013

Mince Pies

It's that time of year again, the shirt sleeves are getting rolled up, the christmas apron is out the cupboard and I'm swimming in jars of mincemeat. It's December and I can finally put my Christmas tree up and of course, it's time for mince pies!

These are one of my favourite things to eat at christmas, if not my favourite, aside from sausage stuffing balls but that's a whole other drool worthy story! Every year I'm just itching to have mince pies, and every year we end up buying some from the shops for a quick mince pie fix before we get around to making some, and every year I find the store bought mince pies shockingly terrible. You'd think I would have learnt by now but once the first batch is out the oven I guarantee if you're short of mince pies there will always be some in our house, they're like pringles, once you've have a munch you cant stop till you've had them all for lunch.
This is such a quick and easy recipe you could potentially gain time by making these! (just think about it). Would I go as far as saying I can almost hear santa on my roof when I eat them? maybe! Try them out you might even convert and become a mince pie maniac like myself. So without further gilding the lily and with no more ado....

A jar of Mincemeat, I usually use Robertsons
500g Shortcrust pastry
Icing sugar

If you're making your own pastry
220g/8oz plain flour
50g/2oz margarine (at room temperature)
50g/2oz lard (at room temperature)
a pinch of salt
Cold water (roughly 4 tbsp)

You will need:
Two 12 hole shallow bun tin/patty tin
a star cutter (or any other shape you'd like)
3" round/fluted cutter

Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Cut the margarine and lard into small cubes and mix them in with the flour. Using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour lifting your hands up high as you do it to incorporate air. When the mixture is in crumbs sprinkle 4 tbsp of water in and use a knife to mix and bring the mixture together. Add more water if needed a little bit at a time and bring the mixture together to make a smooth ball. Wrap the pastry in cling film and put in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6
Roll out the pastry to an 1/8 inch or smaller depending on preference and cut 24 3" circles and 24 stars, place the circles in the tin holes and press lightly into position. Put 1 teaspoon of mincemeat in each hole and place the star on top. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes. Let them cool on a wire rack, when cooled sprinkle with icing sugar and there you have it, the tastiest mince pies on the planet!


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