Supermarkets seem to start stockpiling mince pies as early as September ready for the December onslaught. The shelves are now stuffed full of them and every time I see them I get a sort of sickly feeling inside. I have a particular dislike for those ones that have far too much mincemeat and always seem to be left half eaten at parties. I only every manage to eat about one or two (three at a push) every Christmas but this year I am determined to enjoy them.
So rather than trying to stomach those awfully big, fat, shop-bought mince pies, I thought I’d make my own mini ones. Now I know what you’re thinking, its so much easier to go out and buy them (and I agree) but trust me homemade ones taste one hundred times better AND they are unbelievably easy to make. I adapted a recipe from Orlando Murrin that I found in the BBC’s Good Food ‘Christmas Made Easy’ cookbook and the first batch (well the ones that didn’t end up on the kitchen floor) went down a treat!
So here’s how (makes 36 mini mince pies or 18 big ones):
- 225g cold butter, diced
- 350g plain flour
- 100g golden caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 280g mincemeat (I used Waitrose’s Traditional mincemeat- cheating a little bit I know but it is SUCH a hassle to make)
- 1 small egg
- 3 tbsp cold water
- icing sugar to dust (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C (180C) and grease two or three mini-cupcake tins with butter (use two large cupcake tins if you are make big ones)
- Rub together flour and butter and then add sugar and salt
- Add the cold water slowly until the pastry begins to combine and knead into a ball
- Cover in cling film and place in the fridge for about 10 minutes to harden
- Flour a work surface and roll pastry out into a thin sheet
- Using a cookie-cutter, cut out pastry and press into the cupcake tin
- Fill each pastry hole with one teaspoon of mincemeat
- With the remaining pastry cut out star shapes and place on top of pies
- Brush with egg for glaze finish then bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown
Oh and try not to drop them on the floor whilst taking them out the oven like I did. Oops!
One last little note, I think they are best served piping hot from the oven and even better with a bit of cream. Delicious.