Advent has officially begun, which basically means pre-Christmas is underway!
It’s that busy time of year where there’s little rest, there’s always something else to be done – whether it’s working your way down the Christmas presents to buy list or helping put up decorations. However; one chore I really don’t mind doing is helping my Mother bake the homemade mince pies we have each year, this is the recipe we have used every year for as long as I can remember and they are always delicious!
You will need –
- Plain flour 1 pound
- Butter 4 ounces
- Lard 4 ounces
- A few spoonfuls of cold water
- Large egg, beaten
- Mincemeat, 1 jar
Start by chopping the fat into small chunks and dropping it into the flour; then rub it together using the tips of your fingers until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Keep turning the mixture over with your fingers so that all the flour is mixed in.
Next add a few drops of water to this and mix it together until it is a firm (not wet) dough. You can use a palette knife to cheat slightly and bind it together but, use your hands to finish it up. Do not knead it.
Sprinkle some flour over the surface you will be rolling on and also on the rolling pin, then split your dough into two equal parts and roll them both out to a 1/4 of an inch.
Using a medium sized round biscuit cutter, cut six bases. Press these into the cups in a cupcake tray, then place a level teaspoon of ready made mincemeat in each. Do not overfill them as they will overflow when cooked. If you prefer you can make your own mincemeat but we all know my recipes involve a bit of cheating sometimes!
Now using a cutter one size smaller than previously, cut six circles. These will become the lids to your mince pies. Dampen round the top edges of each of the bases and stick these newly cut tops on. Then make three small snips in the top of each mince pie and brush with beaten egg.
Repeat these steps until you have used all your pastry.
Cook at 200°C for 15-20 minutes.
Once done allow them to cool slightly before removing from the pan; then let them finish cooling on a wire rack. If you wish to freeze any for later consumption siphon them off as soon as they are cool and place them in a plastic tub, then put in the freezer.
Sprinkle with sugar and heat slightly in the microwave to serve. That’s it!