I made the first mince pies of the season today! It’s Christmas!!! I tend not to start on the mince pies until about now as I love them but I know that if I started at the beginning of December I would be sick of them by Christmas day after the inevitable eating half a dozen in one sitting incident! They were made with homemade mincemeat and homemade pastry. Words cannot describe how wholesome I feel right now. The mincemeat takes 2 weeks to mature so if you want to have a go at making your own then it’s not too late.
– Heat the oven to Gas Mark 6.
– Very lightly butter or oil a 12 hole bun tin, preferably straight sided but round is fine.
– Roll out the shortcrust pastry to a thickness of about a £1 coin. (2-3mm)
– Cut out 12 large and 12 smaller circles to fit the bun tin. You will have to reroll the pastry.
– Press the larger circles into the bun tins being careful not to leave air bubbles underneath.
– Put a teaspoon of mincemeat in the pastry cases.
– Run a wet finger round the top of the pastry cases.
– Place a smaller circle on top and lightly press down.
– If you have any remaing pastry cut out holly leaves and roll berries.
– Put a dab of water on top of the pie and place your decorations on carefully.
– Stab a small hole in the top of the pie with a paring knife, I like to do it between the leaves, to allow steam to escape.
– Add a few drops of water to the egg white and beat until loose.
– Brush over the tops of the pies and sprinkle each one with the sugar.
– Bake for 25 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure even browness.
– Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving warm or allow to cook completely on a wire rack.