So, it’s only November but I am already posting my second Christmas recipe. Until trying these I would have said I wasn’t really that keen on mince pies. I would eat a few every Christmas but I wouldn’t look forward to them and I wouldn’t miss them if they weren’t there. I wouldn’t buy them, although until now, I wouldn’t have made them either.
So, what’s changed? Well, Little Miss Spice loves play dough and she loves to make star shapes with it. As I hadn’t done any actual baking with her, I decided that letting her cut out the tops of the mince pies would be a perfect way to introduce her to some real baking.
I chose a recipe called unbelievably easy mince pies from BBC Good Food. Partly because of the word ‘easy’ and partly as it said the dough was very forgiving and could be thrown around a lot and would still make great biscuity pastry. Well, maybe a less shortbready dough would have been easier. The dough takes a lot of work to actually come together and form a dough. I did think it wasn’t going to work as it kept just crumbling apart but eventually it did and it was definitely worth it. The pastry is sweet and buttery and tastes like shortbread. I even made little biscuits with the leftover dough and they were lovely just eaten as they were. I wouldn’t call these unbelievably easy, but they were incredibly delicious. So delicious that I will be making a few more batches and putting in the freezer for over Christmas, which means there’s still no need to go out and buy any mince pies.
If you wanted these to look a little bit more special for guests you could dust them with icing sugar, but I found them to be perfect just like this. They are already quite sweet and rich and looking at the picture, they tasted much better than I’ve managed to make them look.
I am linking this to Bookmarked Recipes hosted by Tinned Tomatoes and the Biscuit Barrel Challenge hosted by I’d Much Rather Bake Than…
Ingredients – Makes 18
350g plain flour
Pinch of salt
How to Make Mince Pies
1. Chop the butter up and then rub it into the floor with your fingertips. Add the salt and sugar and mix together.
2. Using your hands, press, knead and combine the pastry into a ball without adding any extra liquid. Although it will keep crumbling up at first it will form a dough after a few minutes. Just don’t give up.
3. Wrap the dough in cling film and put it in the fridge to rest until you need it or go straight to step 4.
4. Pull off lumps of the dough and place them in the muffin tin. Just use your thumb and fingers to press the dough down and line the tins.
5. Add a couple of teaspoons of mincemeat to each pie.
6. Roll or press the remaining pastry down and use pastry cutters to make the tops of the pies. If you have any extra pastry left, just cut out shapes with the pastry cutters to make little shortbread biscuits.
7. Bake in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes. If you have any extra biscuits they will cook in about 8 – 12 minutes, depending on how thick they are.