I love my mince pies – there are few things that I am confident about, but I am quite happy to state that I make some of the best mince pies on the planet…! I shall be up early tomorrow making some for our Home Ed group Christmas party – can’t wait to try my first mince pies of the season. What makes mine even more gorgeous than any other mince pie (I’m not having any arguments about this!) is this super-rich pastry recipe, which I am sharing with you so that you can try and compete… good luck ;-). Here’s my favourite mincemeat recipe to use with it.
Orange and almond pastry for mince pies
- 100g plain flour
- 25g ground almonds
- 60g butter
- 25g caster sugar
- finely grated rind of 1/2 orange
- a pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- a little orange juice (possibly!)
- Put the flour and almonds in a bowl, add the butter in small pieces and use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (you can used a food processor or food mixer to do this quickly).
- Stir in the sugar, orange rind and the salt. Add the egg yolk and bring the mixture together with a knife and then your hands. You may need a little juice from the orange to moisten the dough, but go very slowly when adding it because you don’t want it too sticky.
- Pop the dough in a poly bag or wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or so. Meanwhile preheat your oven to gas 5/190C and butter a 12 hole mince pie tin. Get your mincemeat, a teaspoon, a rolling pin and your preferred pastry cutters ready – I like to use a star shape for the top of my pies.
- Flour your worktop and roll out 2/3s of the dough thinly (around 2mm) and cut out 12 circles.
- Put the circles in the baking tray and fill each circle with 1 heaped teaspoon of your chosen mincemeat. Do not overfill because if the mincemeat overflows during the cooking process then the mince pie will stick to the tin.
- Now go back to your pastry, roll out whatever you have left and the remaining 1/3 pastry together. Cut out the tops of your pies and place them over the mincemeat. You can now brush the tops of the pies with milk, but to be honest I don’t bother because I like to give them a nice thick sprinkle of snowy icing sugar after they’ve cooked and cooled a bit.
- Put the tray in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes until the tops of the pies are golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin then remove to a cooling tray.
- Delicious with a glass of sherry or a cup of tea, or on their own, or with cream, or with ice cream, or custard….