05 December 2012

best mince pie recipe ever!

Got into the kitchen for a (these days) rare baking sesh on Sunday. It was triggered by eating a packet of disappointing store-bought mince pies, and needing to remember that home made ones are much much better. Especially my home made ones.

The texture of the pastry is so incredibly light and crumbly, and the flavour rich and buttery - the perfect indulgent Christmas treat.

I've used this recipe for years and, with a bit of Google detective work, I was surprised to find that it is still kicking about on t'internet, 10 years after it was published!
To make these buttery, crumbly, melt-in-the-mouth delights you will need:
225g cold butter, diced
350g plain flour
100g golden caster sugar
pinch of salt
280g mincemeat
1 small egg
icing sugar to dust
1. Preheat the oven to Gas6/200°C/180°C(fan) and grease a 12 holed bun tin.
2. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips to make 'breadcrumbs'.
3. Stir in the sugar (I just use normal caster sugar), and a pinch of salt.
4. Using just the heat of your hands bring the dough together into a ball, or say 3 smaller balls (I've found that the mixture is so crumbly it doesn't hold together in big balls very easily).
5. Take walnut sized pieces of the dough, and again, using the heat of your hands, press them into the palm of your hands to make the pastry base, and press this into the bottom of the bun moulds. It can still be quite crumbly, so you might have to do a bit of patching here, but don't worry, it will come together.
6. Add a teaspoon or so of mincemeat to each base, then press out smaller pieces of pastry for the lids. In my experience the lids don't need to be attached very securely, so just do your best to press on. Brush lids with beaten egg.
7. Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy the Christmas smell pervading your home.
8. I tend to leave the pies in the tins a bit longer than the 5 minutes the recipe recommends, as I find they come out easier, say 10-15. Then place on a wire rack to cool.
9. Resist the temptation for as long as you can, then make yourself a nice cup of tea and devour
Merry Christmas everyone!