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Thursday, 20 December 2007

Rosie’s Mince Pies

Tradition since being a child has been to bake mince pies at Christmas time. I would stand on a stool each Christmas Eve at my mother’s side helping stamp out the pastry cases and filling them with rich mincemeat. This is where I learned to make shortcrust pastry, although my mother would always use self-raising flour instead of plain flour. I now use half plain and half self-raising flour and this gives a wonderful short pastry. Another trick with this pastry is not to overload it with too much water; too much water leads to a heavy not light pastry. I have given in the ingredients here for all plain flour, but I fully recommend the half and half of flours that I use these days in my mince pies.

Eaten whilst still warm with a little rum butter oozing down the side of a mince pie is sheer wantonness; I’m not complaining for one second *giggle* bring it on I say!!

Rosie’s Mince Pies

Makes 12

For The Shortcrust Pastry
255g (8 oz) plain flour
Pinch of salt
50g (2 oz) cold butter, cut into small cubes
50g (2 oz) cold lard or Trex vegetable shortening, cut into small cubes
Cold water
Extra flour for dusting the work surface
For The Filling
A small jar of homemade mincemeat or good quality shop brought mincemeat
To Glaze
1 egg yolk & a little water, beaten together for egg washing
A little icing sugar, for dusting

You will need a 12-hole patty tin, greased with a little butter. 2 round pastry cutters, (one large enough to fit the base of your patty tin and another for the tops of the mince pies). Optional for pastry tops, a star cutter, lattice pastry cutter.


Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, add the cubed butter and lard or Trex vegetable shortening. With fingertips rub the fats through the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, don’t over mix you don’t want clumps. Sprinkle just enough cold water over the mixture to form into a dough that leaves the sides of the bowl clean. (I like to form the dough together firstly with a knife cutting through the mixture until it starts to clump together, then finish by bringing it together with my hands into one large ball.) Flatten into a disc and wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.

Sprinkle a work-surface or marble slab with a little flour, unwrap the pastry from the fridge and cut it in half leaving one half to one side. Taking one half of the pastry roll out as thinly as possible. Cut out enough circles of pastry with the larger pastry cutter as you can, you will need 12 circles. Re-roll the scraps and cut out the remaining quantity if need be. Place each pastry circle carefully into the base of each patty tin hole. Add a teaspoonful of mincemeat into each pastry base and dampen the edges with a little cold water.

Roll out the second half of the pastry as thinly as possible. Cut out your desired pastry top and place over the mincemeat. If cutting a smaller circle for the top, seal down the edges with your fingertips and make two slits into the lid near the centre. Brush over each pastry top with a little egg wash, then place into the preheated oven near to the top and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the pastry is a golden in colour.

Place the mince pies onto a wire rack to cool and dust with icing sugar. Leave to fully cool before storing them away in an airtight tin.

Note. If you don’t fancy making your own pastry you could buy it in all ready-made.

I would recommend if buying ready-made mincemeat, to add a couple of spoonfuls of brandy or dark rum and mix this through thoroughly before filling the pastry cases.

This recipe can be doubled without any problem to make 24 mince pies if baking for a larger family / guests.


Pixie said...

Am enjoying my mincemeat crumble while reading about your gorgeous mincepies! I've yet to make my own shortcrust pastry. Another recipe of yours I hall have to come back to next year! Thanks for the tip of adding brandy or rum to store bought mincemeat.

Happy cook said...

Delicious looking mincemeat pies.
I have never had them home made. Onlyshop bought one and that too ages ago. Here we don't get them.

Sagari said...

rosie thos pies look delecious and your christmas cake wow beautifulllll

Rosie said...

Hi Pixie,
I'll swap a couple of mine pies for a dish of your mincemeat crumble *giggle* The pastry I use when making meat pies etc...

Hi Happy Cook,
Ahhh happy I wish i could pass you a mince pie over to try! I hope you'll try my recipe out with some boozy homemade mincemeat ;)

Hi Sagri,
Thank you so much and your sugar cookies look amazing too :)

Thank you all for popping by and also for your kind comments :)

Rosie x

Cakelaw said...

Yummo - I love the richness of fruit mince, and with rum butter - ahh, heavenly. Merry Christmas Rosie!

Jeena said...

Rosie these mince pies look fabulous I love how you can see the mincemeat through your pastry tops. :-) Lovely recipe again! You arew a true baker Rosie. :)

Rosie said...

Hi Cakelaw,
I have to say mince pies are one of my favourite things at Christmas time mmmmmmm :)

Hi Jeena,
Thank you and your mince pies look very yummy too :)

Thank you both for calling by and for your kind comments!

Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas and New Year 2008.

Rosie x