Crafting Christmas: Mince Pies

Photo 19-12-2014 15 08 23

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This year I really wanted to try my hand at mince pies right down to making my own mincemeat (however, I did cheat this bit and bought some pre-made from ALDI –  and it was so good! I normally hate mince meat). For the pastry I used a recipe I found in Stella magazine by Orla Kiely. I very mistakenly overfilled my mince pies so they were rather tricky to get out of the tins but we managed to save most of them, phew.

Mince Pie Pastry

Makes 20

  • 350g plain flour
  • 225g butter, chilled and cubed
  • 100g icing-sugar
  • finely grated zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 tsbp double cream (you may need a drop more)

Make the pastry so it has time to rest. Whizz the flour and butter with a good pinch of salt in a food processor until you have a breadcrumb-like mixture. Add the icing-sugar and zest, briefly whizz again, then add the cream. Whizz again. The pastry should come together to form a smooth ball. You might need a little more cream. Don’t overwork the dough – as soon as it forms a ball, take it out, press into a thick disc, cover with clingfilm and chill for an hour.

Take the pastry out of the fridge to soften a little before rolling it out. Don’t let it get warm. Butter 20 holes in two 12-hole pie tins. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Cut out 20 circles slightly larger than the holes in your tins. Gently press the circles of pastry into the holes. Roll out the remaining pastry to the same thickness and cut 20 star shapes to top each pie. Lay these on a lined baking-sheet and put them and the pie tins in the fridge for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Fill the pastry cases 3/4 full with the mincemeat mixture and bake for 16 to 17 minutes. Eight minutes before the end, add the tray of stars to the oven. Remove everything from the oven and leave the pies in the tins for a few minutes, the carefully lever them on to a wire cooling rack. Allow to cool.

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