Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chloe Bakes: Mince Pies

It's Mince Pie time! This year I made my own mincemeat for the first time (you can see the blog post here). If you've not had time then this Waitrose version is a pretty good alternative!

Ideally you'll need a little fancy tart tin (honestly that's what it's called) - this makes shallow mince pies like you see above. If you've only got a cupcake or muffin tin, I say go for it! Make a deep dish mince pie and cram it full of delicious filling!

For the pastry:

350g Plain flour
150g Butter
Cold water
Pinch of salt

The butter must be cold so pop it in the fridge for a few hours before using - you want to handle it as little as possible so it doesn't go all oily and spoil your pastry. Once it's suitably chilled, cut it into small cubes. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and plop the little cubes of butter in one by one. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Sprinkle in the salt and give it a quick whisk with a fork. Add cold water a few tablespoons at a time (sprinkle it over the flour and butter mixture rather than pour). Start to bring the mixture together with a spatula, adding water a little at a time until the dough starts to come together. Delve in with your hands and form the dough into a ball then cover with cling film and pop in the fridge for 20 - 30 minutes. Have a little glass of sherry.

Don't be tempted to skip the pastry's time out in the fridge or it may shrink up in the oven!

When it's time, roll out the pastry onto a floured work surface - I like to make mine very thin so it crisps up nicely in the oven. I don't have a round pastry cutter so I just cut round a glass! Butter up the tart tin and pop your circle of pastry in, pressing it into the sides.

Add a couple of teaspoons of the mincemeat, bearing in mind that it will bubble up in the oven. Top with a sweet little pastry star and brush the pastry all over with a little milk or beaten egg.

Pop in the oven at 160c for about 15 - 20 minutes (keep an eye on them though as the timings can vary).


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