Thursday, 22 December 2011

Mince Pies - Part 3 - Different Pastry

Okay, part 2. The first batch of making mince pies didn't go to well. The pastry was too thick, I over filled the pies, they spilt – need I go on. Although I will say they were very tasty, if a little ugly to look at. So, shortcrust pastry works only the maker doesn't!

I have found another pastry recipe and am trying this out and with the mistakes from the part 2, I am hoping that I've learnt something and that these come out better – fingers crossed!

This is a sweet pastry and with a little more research I found some good tips, including making sure you rest the pastry in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes before you use it. Also that you bring the pastry back to room temperature otherwise it will crack when rolling. Make sure you have a LOT of flour on your board so the pastry doesn't stick. Also ensure your pastry is not tot wet or too dry – nothing like conflicting tips is there?

You can use shop-bought mincemeat, but I have a recipe HERE. It will last a long time as long as you place it into sterilised jars where it will last at least 6 months. I am not saying how much you need as it depends on how much you want to fill the pies and of course how many you are making.

  • 200g plain flour
  • 40g golden caster sugar
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 125g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten

Sieve the flour into a bowl and add the caster sugar and ground almonds. Add the butter and with your fingertips blend it together until you have a consistency of breadcrumbs. If you want to speed up the process, use a food processor.

Add the beaten egg and bind the mixture together into a ball. Place the ball in to some clingflim and place it in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Take the pastry out of the fridge and let is stand until it comes to room temperature- This can take about an hour.

Place some flour on a surface and roll out the pastry until it's about 2mm thick. Cut out 12 circles with a pastry cutter and place it in to the base of a muffin/ Yorkshire pudding tin.

Add just enough mincemeat. Judge by your eye, but you don't want it too full, otherwise the pies will spilt when baking -see picture HERE - try and ensure there are no big gaps between the mixture.

Now cut out 12 smaller circles. Take each circle and place a little milk around the bottom edge. Place each on to the base and pinch together to seal in the mincemeat.

Brush some milk lightly on top and place in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes.

Place into a preheated oven at 200C and cook for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

One thing I learned today, when coming to the end of the cooking time, don’t talk to a friend on the phone whilst supping a glass of red wine, as you will overcook them.

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