What's Christmas without mince pies. Make these every year. They keep 2-3 days in airtight container. Just reheat when needed
For the shortcrust pastry
- 200 g soft flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 100 g butter
- 2 -3 tablespoons water
For the mince pies
- 540 g mincemeat (the best quality you can get)
- 1 large orange, zest of
- 2 -3 tablespoons brandy
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 50 ml milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 50 g caster sugar
- vegetable oil or butter, wrapper for greasing tin
- For the shortcrust pastry.
- Make sure your butter's at room temperature to make it easier to work with.
- Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour.
- Using your fingertips, rub the fat into the flour, lifting the mixture up and dropping it back into the bowl - you want to keep the mixture light and airy. Keep going until all the fat is mixed with the flour and has reached a texture that resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Sprinkle a little cold water into the bowl and mix through with a knife. Use your fingers to bring the pastry together: it’s ready when and the sides of the bowl are clean and it’s formed a solid ball. You shouldn’t need to add much more than a tablespoon of water so be careful not to overdo it.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and leave the pastry to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- For the mince pies.
- Heat the oven to 220°C/400°F/Gas 6.
- Mix your jar of mincemeat together with the orange zest, brandy and cinnamon.
- Lightly grease your patty tins with a small amount of vegetable oil, or any butter paper you may have.
- Flour your work surface and roll out the pastry as thinly as possible. Cut out approximately 12 rounds with a pastry cutter (most pastry cutters have two sides, one with a greater diameter than the other, use the larger side for the base and the smaller for the lids) and place them in the base of your patty-tins.
- Prick all the pie bases with a fork to stop them rising. Fill each case with about 3 teaspoons of the mincemeat mix - don’t overfill your cases or the mixture will leak through the pastry when cooking.
- Brush the pie edges with a little milk. Stamp out another 12 rounds, using the larger end of your cutter, for the lids and place over the mincemeat mix.
- Pinch the pie edges together to seal. Brush over with egg wash and pierce the tops with a fork. Bake in the oven for approx 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 1 minute before placing on a wire rack to cool.
- Serve warm with a light sifting of icing sugar on top.