These are made following my own mum’s mince pie recipe. They are ridiculously easy to make and even easier to eat! I am not a fan of shop bought mince pies as they pastry if often too thick and tasteless and there is usually far too much of it, along with mincemeat overload. These mince pies are made using a sweet delicate pastry with just a spoonful of mincemeat. My children adore them and they are such an easy Christmas treat for them to help bake and are wonderful Christmas gifts for neighbours and friends, wrapped in cellophane and tied with a bow!
The following recipe makes about three dozen, which I promise won’t be too many!
10 oz Plain flour
6 oz Butter (unsalted)
4 oz Caster sugar
2 large egg yolks
I use a blender as it is so fast, but it can also be done by hand. I’ve only had a blender since this year and realised the benefits! While the children are waiting for me to make the pastry I get them to flour a chopping board and also their rolling pins, ready to go.
Chop up the butter into cubes and put into a blender along with the flour. Mix the two together briefly to form a bread crumb like mixture and then add the sugar and egg yolks. Save the egg whites – these can be used to make meringues at a later date (see later post), which are also so easy.
Once the pastry has started to glue together it is ready. At this stage it may still feel a bit dry and crumbly, but do trust my amounts and scoop it out of the bowl and use the heat if your hands to kneed it into a ball. If short for time, then you can wrap it in cling film at this stage and save for a few days in the fridge. A little bit of time in the fridge can actually improve it, but if the children are eager to help then it won’t make much difference if you carry on at this stage. Roll the pastry out to a thickness of about 5mm, and use a medium sized scone cutter to cut out the base and a star cutter for the top. Place the base on a 12-well shallow cake tray, and add just a teaspoon of a good quality mincemeat. Don’t feel tempted to ‘fill’ the mince pie with more as it will spill over the edges and ruin it. Honestly, a teaspoon is just enough, although it may mean that you eat twice as many!
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees Celcius for 7 minutes. The time is quite precise. Take them out just as they are turning golden and they will be just right. Leave to cool in the tray for about 10 minutes and then lift out onto a cooling tray. Don ‘t try to remove them too soon as they will fall apart. Hopefully the kids will love the pastry, and if they find the mincemeat too overwhelming you could always make them a special batch with a jam filling instead. It is Christmas after all!