Another festive one tonight everybody – Mince Pies! These are something that are really popular in some houses and hated in others so maybe not a recipe for all of you. They would make a lovely gift though for someone who does enjoy them. I actually don’t like mince pies at all but because they’re so connected with Christmas, I almost will myself to like them. As I don’t particularly love the taste of them, I have added extra lemon and orange zest to this recipe, along with extra apple so change up the flavours a bit. These are also quite massive, but it is Christmas and I don’t like anyone leaving my house hungry!
Right, you need:
2 large egg yolks (get free range)
200g plain flour
125g unsalted butter
100g icing sugar
half jar of mincemeat
zest of one lemon and orange
Firstly, you need to make your pastry. Try to have all your ingredients as cold as possible – I’ve even read Paul Hollywood keeps his flour in the freezer for a while before making pastry. I didn’t do that now because it’s a bit time consuming and our freezer is wee. Also I think my mum would think I’m very daft.
Weigh out the flour, sugar and butter and put in a bowl together. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour and sugar until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add your egg yolks and bring together into a soft dough. Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for an hour. You could do this in your food processor as well but all of you may not have one.
I bought a jar of Tesco Finest Mincemeat and added the zest of the orange and lemon to it. I also chopped up one apple into really tiny pieces and added it to the mix. Give it a good stir round. If you want to add some light brown sugar here, do! Sometimes I think mince pies are a bit..bitter? I added 3 teaspoons of sugar to my mix.
Once your pastry is fully chilled, preheat your oven to 190 degrees and find yourself a bun tin.
Roll out your pastry onto a lightly floured surface. How thin you go really depends on how chunky of a pie you want. I wanted mine to look big and rustic so didn’t go too thin. Also, if you’re not too confident about juices running, a thicker one might be for the best.
Cut your pastry into round shapes – you need them big enough to line the bun holes in the tins. There is absolutely no need to use paper cases, the butter in the pastry will stop it from sticking. Just be careful of juices – apple
can be IS a devil!
Once you’ve lined the bun holes with the pastry, add a tiny bit of corn flour to the base of each one. I do this to make sure the juices don’t go all over the shop. It will just thicken up the juices and hopefully prevent you from having a soggy bottom (Though, should your mince pies go to pot and become all soggy and weak when you take them out, chop them up and mix them into ice cream. Usually if people love mince pies, they’ll like them in ice cream too )
Add a spoon or two of your mincemeat mix to each pastry. Try and find a smaller round now and cut out pastry lids. There is no need to put a hole in the pastry lid like you would for a different pie. It will be fine without one. Alternatively, you can just use the star cutter, like in Christmas Ginger Biscuits, and have a small star pastry top. If you make them like these, there will obviously be less pastry and less calories. Brush the lids with egg white.
Don’t be afraid to cut off any extra pastry from around the edges either.
Once you’re happy, pop them into the oven for about 20-25 minutes. They should be golden brown when ready. Leave them to cool in the tin, otherwise they may break (happened me!)
To serve, add a splash of brandy to cream or whipped butter. Cut the mince pie open and eat while making your Christmas lists!
PS, sorry the photos aren’t at all great today, didn’t have my own camera! But the blog is home-made so you’ll still get the idea 🙂