Its Christmas Eve and I literally have managed to get very little organised. My house is slightly cleaner but as long as the dishes are done and we have enough knickers and baby grows to see us through the next few days I think we’ll be ok. I had a plan to go and get the last few gifts yesterday but I ended up buying a load of stuff for Ernest. The White Company had a sale on and I just cant resist their incredibly inviting smell as I waft past, plus it was raining and stupid here forgot to pack the rain cover.
So even though I have very little time to tie all the loose ends up today, there is always time to make mince pies. I have made these mince pies for a few years now and they never ever get old. I have taken a classic Mary Berry recipe as she always makes things that bit simpler especially for the novice baker. Now when you say you make your own pastry people assume its hard to do but actually its so simple and I love the fact that I can say I made the pastry too! So here’s what you’ll need:
- 175g plain flour
- 75g butter, cut into cubes
- 25g icing sugar
- Finely grated rind of 1 orange.
- 1 egg, beaten.
- 350g mincemeat from any good supermarket.
- 1 egg, beaten, to glaze.
- Icing sugar for dusting.
Step 1: Measure the flour, butter, icing sugar and grated orange into a food processor and process until it resembles breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a food processor then your hands will do just fine too. Add the egg and pulse until the dough starts to form a ball. Knead lightly on a floured board.
Step 2: Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6. Roll the pastry out thinly on a lightly floured surface and cut out your rounds. The recipe suggests that you cut out 18 but I like to have slightly more deep filled mince pies I usually make 12. Spoon the mincemeat into each round. I like to add a squeeze of orange juice on top of the mincemeat. You can also add nuts too.
Step 3: Re-roll the pastry trimmings and cut out either stars, squares or circles using a cutter. Place them on top of the mincemeat.
Step 4: Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. I will usually run a sharp knife around the edge as the mincemeat usually oozes out the sides. If you are able to take them out of the tray then do so before you allow to cool. Once they have cooled down you will see that the oozing mincemeat goes like sticky treacle. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
I have made a few little changes as they are so versatile but its what ever works for you. I realise that we are basically knocking on Christmas Days door but if you have the time then I suggest you give these a go. They are always a complete winner.
I usually double up my pastry so I can make some little pastry shapes. I add a couple of white chocolate buttons to them and voila they are perfect for the little ones.