Classic Mince Pies

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min 30/12/2016

Now I couldn’t let Christmas pass without posting mice pies!

There are countless recipes for mince pies; countless recipes for pastry; countless recipes for mincemeat; countless recipes for toppings. I have posted a few variations myself.

As with most of my recipes, you can of course alter, add, swap whatever you like but this is a no frills, classic, old school recipe with the bare essentials that focuses on technique rather than fancy ingredients to give you the perfect festive treat with no faff.

Ingredients:

  • 12oz plain flour
  • 3oz butter – for richness
  • 3oz vegetable shortening (I used Trex) – for crispness
  • A pinch of salt
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • Ice cold water
  • A jar of homemade or good quality mincemeat
  • Milk for brushing

Method:

  1. Measure the flour into a large mixing bowl with the salt.
  2. Add the butter and shortening to the flour. Cut it into the flour using a metal knife then work into fine crumbs with your fingertips. The trick is to handle it as little as possible.
  3. Squeeze a little lemon juice in and add just enough water to incorporate the mix into a ball of pastry dough. Again, try to handle the pastry as little as possible.
  4. Wrap the ball in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180C fan/200C.
  6. Once chilled, roll the pastry out on a floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Cut out as many circles as you can using a 76mm cutter. This amount of pastry should make approx. 18 mince pies with lids.
  7. Place the circles in mince pie tins and fill each with a teaspoon of mincemeat. If the mincemeat is a little dry or crystalised, loosen it up with a splash of brandy or rum.
  8. Reroll the offcuts and cut out lids. I like using a star cutter for this. Each time you roll the pastry out, it will become tougher so try and get as many shapes cut as you can without having to roll again.
  9. Brush the edges of the mince pies with a bit of milk then place the lids on and brush those with milk too. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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10. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Once cool, sprinkle with icing sugar. Fantastic with brandy cream/butter.

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