Day 3/24 – Mince pies
Mince pies are possibly my favourite Christmas food (sorry yule log, it was a close run thing).
To make mine more thrifty, I buy my mincemeat just after Christmas when it’s all reduced (as it usually has a long enough sell by date to get through to the following year). I like them to be classic, with shortcrust pastry, as per the recipe below, but go wild with puff pastry or even filo – this recipe looks delicious.
225g cold butter, diced
350g plain flour
100g golden caster sugar
2 tbsp of milk
Icing sugar, to dust
1. To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour, then mix in the sugar and a pinch of salt. Combine the pastry into a ball, adding a tablespoon of milk if necessary to bring the dough together, although it should remain firm. Knead briefly.
2. Preheat the oven the 200℃ (180℃ for fan ovens)/400℉/Gas Mark 6 and grease 18 holes of two shallow muffin trays.
3. Roll the dough out on a floured board to around half a centimetre in depth and, using a cookie cutter slightly larger than the muffin tin circles, cut out 18 bases and press them into the tins.
4. Fill each pastry base with a couple of teaspoons of mincemeat.
5. Gather up the remaining dough from the bases, roll out to the same depth as previously and this time use a cookie cutter around the size of the muffin tin holes to make the tops. Use stars for extra Christmas points
They can be frozen before baking, so you can make them in advance of the big day. Serve warm, preferably with lots of cream/brandy butter/other extravagant accompaniment.