Mini Mince Pies

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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!

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So here’s how (makes 36 mini mince pies or 18 big ones):

Ingredients:

  • 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)

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Method:

  1. 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)
  2. Rub together flour and butter and then add sugar and salt
  3. Add the cold water slowly until the pastry begins to combine and knead into a ball
  4. Cover in cling film and place in the fridge for about 10 minutes to harden
  5. Flour a work surface and roll pastry out into a thin sheet
  6. Using a cookie-cutter, cut out pastry and press into the cupcake tin
  7. Fill each pastry hole with one teaspoon of mincemeat
  8. With the remaining pastry cut out star shapes and place on top of pies
  9. Brush with egg for glaze finish then bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown

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Oh and try not to drop them on the floor whilst taking them out the oven like I did. Oops!

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One last little note, I think they are best served piping hot from the oven and even better with a bit of cream. Delicious.

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