Whether you like them or not, its mince pie season, regardless.
These tasty little treats are sweet, spicy and fruity all in one bite. Which can be overwhelming or downright confusing, especially if you haven’t them before.
If you’re from somewhere in the world that doesn’t have these easily accessible, don’t worry. Despite the name, the mincemeat is sweet (made most of dried fruit, sugar, spices and alcohol) and doesn’t contain a single gram of meat. Many years ago they would have been meat based but they have evolved to become what we know and love today.
I thought that mincemeat was available around the world, but it isn’t. Don’t worry I have already uploaded a recipe on how to make mincemeat here (which is actually super easy, it just needs some time to mature).
Some prep work won’t go amiss here. Preheat your oven to 180˚c/350˚f, weigh up your ingredients and get any equipment you may need ready.
The pastry isn’t exactly hard to make, all you need to do is beat the sugar and egg together, then set it aside until later on. Into a bowl or food processor place the flour, salt and butter then combine them together by either rubbing the butter into the flour or pulsing them together in a food processor (I went with the food processor method on this occasion. Mostly because I as short on time and my hands are warm and often heat up the butter, which isn’t what you want while making pastry).
Once they are combined, add in the egg/sugar mix and work it into the flour/butter mixture. This will bind the dough together, work them together until almost fully combined then tip out onto a floured surface to knead the pastry together. You’re looking for a clear dough, with no traces of a single ingredient. Wrap in clingfilm/plastic wrap then chill in the fridge for around an hour, this is to allow the butter to firm up and the gluten to relax.
After the hour in the fridge, take your dough out of the fridge and chop it roughly in half, keeping half out and rewrapping the other half and placing back in the fridge until you need it later on. Roll out your dough until you’ve achieved 5mm in thickness, once achieved, cut out your circles of pastry for each pie. Use a 3 inch cookie cutter, this gets your the perfect shape/amount for each cup on the cupcake pan. I only made 6 but you could easily make around 8-10.
Once you’ve got your pastry cases in the cupcake tin, you’ll then want to fill them with a generous amount of the homemade mincemeat, you can go as far as just a few millimetres below the top of the case (the more the better I say, but go with your preference). You can then work on the ‘lids’ which is a smaller circle cut out (around 1.5 – 2 inches), then place on top of each mince pie and secure in place by crimping the side of the pastry case and the pastry lid together with a fork, repeat for all your mince pies. You’ll want to egg wash your pastry (this helps to make your pastry bake a better golden brown colour), to make the egg wash, crack an egg into a small bowl and beat until its all combined. Use your pastry brush and give the tops of the mince pies a generous coating with the egg wash.
Just before you use the last of the pastry, stab a hole into the centre of each mince pie, this is to release any steam that may build up while they bake. You can then partially cover the hole with small cut out pastry decoration, I used a small plunger cutter do this but its completely optional. Egg wash the little cut out, then place into your preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is a nice golden brown.
90g Granulated sugar.
375g Plain Flour.
A pinch of salt.w
Mince meat recipe here
- Start by doing some prep work by preheating your oven to 180˚c/350˚f, weighing up your ingredients into small bowls and prepare any equipment you’ll need to use.
- Start the recipe by making your pastry. Crack an egg into a small bowl then add the sugar and mix the two together until the sugar has dissolved in the egg, set aside until later on.
- Into a large bowl or food processor, place the flour, salt and butter then combine them by rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients or pulsing them together.
- Once they are fully combined, add in the egg/sugar mix from earlier on. Mix in or pulse together until they are almost fully combined, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead until a clear dough forms. Once you’ve got a clear dough, wrap the flattened ball of dough in clingfilm/plastic wrap and place in the fridge for an hour to chill. This give the gluten in the dough time to relax and for the butter to firm up.
- After about an hour, take your pastry out of the fridge and cut in half. Keep one half out and wrap the other back up and place in the fridge until you need it later on.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until its about 5mm in thickness (this is the ideal thickness). Take a 3 inch cookie cutter and cut out your circles. I made 6 mince pies but with this amount of pastry you could easily make 8-10.
- Take your pastry circles and place them into the cupcake tin. Work and manipulate the dough to fit into the shape of the cupcake tray, repeat until you’ve got all your pastry cases done.
- Fill each mince pie almost to the top with the homemade mincemeat. Repeat this for each mince pie.
- With the remaining pastry, roll it out until slightly thinner than 5mm then cut out some more circles but this time they are smaller, around 1.5-2 inches (whichever fits just right on top of the mince pies).
- Crimp the pastry case and the lid together using fork. This secures the lid on top and stops it from popping off while baking. Once the lids are on, egg wash the top of each mince pie (the egg wash is just a beaten egg in a small bowl).
- Stab a hole in the centre of the mince pie, this is to allow the steam to escape. Then partially cover the hole with a small pastry cut out that has been made with a small plunger cutter. This is optional but adds a homemade touch to the mince pies. Egg wash the cut outs if you use them.
- Bake the mince pies in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is a nice golden brown colour.
- Once baked and cooled, just before serving you can give them a dusting with icing sugar and enjoy on there own OR serve with some cream or ice cream.
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