Mince pies have always been one of my favourite things about Christmas.
When I think back to the Christmas of my childhood, my mum’s homemade mince pies feature strongly.
From the sticky glaze and her crumbly pastry to the incredible aroma that filled the kitchen while they were baking it simply wouldn’t have been Christmas without a mince pie. Or twenty.
I’ve never found a shop bought mince pie to match those homemade ones. They might not have looked perfect but the taste was divine. However fancy a shop-bought mince pie, I tend to find them over sweet and just a tiny bit disappointing.
If you’ve never made your own mince pies, now is the time to start. You can make your own pastry – and even your own mincemeat – if you like, but I’ve used ready made here to keep this recipe really simple. They still taste way better than anything you can buy in the shops – you can’t beat a freshly baked, warm mince pie straight from the oven. If you don’t believe me – try it!
If you’d like to make your own mincemeat try this gin mincemeat from Foodie Quine or if you’re not a huge fan of raisins try this cranberry mincemeat from Le Coin de Mel. And for homemade shortcrust pastry, this light olive oil shortcrust from The Petite Cook is a good option.
Incidentally, these mince pies are also suitable for vegans – most pre-made pastry is vegan and the mincemeat I bought was also vegan.
Easy mince pie recipe
Ingredients: (makes 10-12)
- Butter for greasing
- 375g ready rolled shortcrust pastry
- 400g jar mincemeat
- 2 tbsp milk
- Icing sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C/gas mark 6.
Lightly grease a 12-hole bun tin (the same size you’d use to make fairy cakes) with butter and set aside.
Unroll your pastry. You can use it as it is but ideally you should use a rolling pin to roll it out just a tiny bit thinner. You can do this on the paper that it came in. If you roll it out you should have enough pastry to make 12 mince pies.
Using a 9cm cutter, or a large mug or pint glass, cut out circles of pastry. Press them gently into the tin using your fingers.
Add a spoonful of mincemeat into each one.
Re-roll the remaining pastry scraps and cut out tops for your mince pies. I used a 6cm diameter star cutter for this.
Place the tops on the mince pies and brush the tops lightly with a little milk. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
Allow to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. When cool sift over a little icing sugar.
Store in an air tight container.
Mandy Mazliah is a vegetarian mum of three whose kids don’t eat vegetables. Read about her efforts to get them to eat their five a day at www.sneakyveg.com.
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