Christmas Mince Pies

Makes: Around 14 regular or lots of minis Ready in: 1 Hour

I think the thing that makes bought mince pies such a letdown and homemade ones so good, is that the bought ones are far too sweet. The pastry needs to be a contrast to the sweet filling. I make a rich short crust that is meltingly tender but not sickly sweet.

Ingredients

For the pastry
  • 1 heaped cup of plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g butter
  • 1 dstsp sugar – or if you are too lazy to measure like me use a small handful
  • 1 egg yolk
  • splash of ice cold water – just enough to bring the mixture together
For the filling
  • ¾ tub of fruit mince if store bought or approx I big cup if home-made
  • icing sugar to dust

          Method

          Put flour, salt and butter into food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form or rub butter into flour with your finger tips.
          Add sugar, egg yolk, and water and pulse or mix with the blade of a knife until just combined. If the pastry is over worked it will be tough, if it is too crumbly add more water.
          Wrap the pastry in paper or cling film and rest it in the fridge for 1/2 an hour before rolling out.
          Preheat the oven to 190°C. Roll the pastry out on a floured board and use a cutter or glass to cut pastry discs to fit your pans. Grease the pans then line with the pastry discs. Spoon a teaspoon of fruit mince mixture into each one – don’t overfill or they’ll bubble over and stick to the pans. Top with a star or other pastry shape.
          Bake for around 15 minutes until pale golden. Remove from pans while still warm and place on a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container and serve warm or cold. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

          Tips

          Short pastry requires cold butter, cold water and a cold rest in the fridge. Handling or kneading the pastry will make it greasy and tough, so be gentle and you’ll have”melt in the mouth” short pastry for your mince pies.

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