Since it is now December, I feel it is only right to start doing some Christmas baking; this weeks bake is mince pies! I love mince pies, they are brilliant on a winter’s night with a cup of tea, they really get you in the festive spirit. I have never made pastry before so this was a bit of change; I was initially going to make small tiny mince pies but the dough was too sticky and difficult to shape into the smaller tart tin. The recipe is Paul Hollywood’s, I didn’t want to risk adding my own twist on this as it would have probably gone wrong. They do look a tad messy but I think I’m going to have to accept that homemade mince pies are going to look a bit rustic.
Ingredients for the sweet pastry
165g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
25g ground almonds
120g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
55g caster sugar
1 medium egg
Ingredients for prep
butter for greasing
flour for dusting
1 egg, beaten with a splash of milk, for glazing
Ingredients for filling
410g jar mincemeat
155g tin mandarin orange segments, drained
1 dessert apple, unpeeled cored and finely chopped
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- Put the mincemeat into a bowl and add the mandarin orange segments, apple chunks and lemon zest. Stir well and leave to macerate for several hours or preferably overnight.
- For the pastry, combine the flour and ground almonds in a large bowl, then add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Then stir in the sugar.
- Break in the egg and work it into the mixture using your hands, the mixture should come together to form a soft, sticky dough.
- Shape the dough into a rough ball and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten the ball using your hands creating a thick disc. Leave this to chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC and lightly butter a 12-hole muffin tin(preferably a shallow one, I used one that was too deep).
- Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface until it’s 2-3mm in thickness. Then using a round 10cm cutter, cut 12 discs to line the muffin tins. Then I used a roughly 6cm star cutter and cut out 12 stars (any shape roughly that big will work well). Re-roll the pastry as necessary.
- Put about 3 tsp of the mincemeat mixture into each pastry case (this will depend on the size of the cases but make sure you don’t fill it too high)
- Brush the stars with and place on the top of the mincemeat before brushing with a little more egg wash and a sprinkle of granulated brown sugar.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown and bubbling. Leave the pies to cool in the tin for a while before lifting out to finish cooling on a wire rack.
These mince pies are great served cold or heated up again.