Mince Pies

'Twas the Night Before Christmas...

This recipe is going up just in time for Christmas Eve, for those of you who like to leave a plateful of mince pies by the chimney…

To make your own sweet shortcrust pastry for the pies, follow the recipe here. I like the pastry cases to be buttery, crumbly, and also quick and easy to make. Shortcrust pastry takes only a few minutes to pull together, followed by a short chilling period in the fridge, so it really doesn’t add much time on to a recipe to make your own from scratch. It also means you can guarantee the quality and purity of ingredients, which is important when butter plays such a key role!

For the bases, I used a cookie cutter with a serrated edge and a 7cm diameter. For the tops I used a star cutter, measuring 5.5cm from one point to another in diameter. You can use whatever cutters suit your fancy, but varying the size may affect how many pies you can get out of these quantities.

If you’ve got pastry and mincemeat leftover, you can always re-form the scraps and roll them out again, to make a second batch.

Makes 12 mince pies.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (360g uncooked weight). See "Method" for link to recipe
  • 1 jar good quality mincemeat (around 410g - you won't need all of it)
  • 1 beaten egg, to glaze
  • icing sugar, to dust

METHOD

Preheat your oven to 200°C.

If you’re making your own shortcrust pastry for the pies, follow the recipe here.

Butter a 12-hole non-stick mince pie or tartlet tin (even though the tin is non-stick, because the pastry is nice and crumbly you want to make it as easy as possible to remove the pies without damaging them).

Sprinkle your worktop with flour, and thinly roll out your shortcrust pastry to around 3mm. Use the serrated cookie cutter to cut out 12 bases. You may need to form the scraps into a ball and roll the pastry out again. Cut out 12 pie tops with the star cutter.

Place the bases gently in the tin. Fill each with roughly one teaspoon of mincemeat. The filling will expand a little in the oven, so don’t overfill them. Place the stars on top, making sure they are firmly fixed into position. Glaze the tops with egg-wash or milk for shine.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, checking halfway through to make sure the tops are not browning too quickly. When the tops are golden and the pastry is cooked through, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for five minutes or so, before transferring to a wire rack.

Sprinkle a little icing sugar on them just before serving.