Over the years, I’ve tinkered around with my mince pie recipe and now settled on a rich shortcrust recipe that gives a nice buttery, light pastry. I use it every time I make mince pies.
I like to have a few batches of pies in the freezer ready to serve with drinks when visitors drop by over the Christmas period. They will keep for a week or so in a tin but I prefer to freeze and take out a few as and when I need them.
To make mince pies
- 225g self-raising flour
- 25g caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 125g butter
- 1 egg yolk
- milk to mix the pastry and to glaze for baking
- 1 jar of mincemeat
- Icing sugar to dredge the pies after baking
- Put the flour, caster sugar and salt into a bowl, dice the butter and rub together until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg yoke and mix. Add milk a little at a time until you have a pliable dough.
- You can leave in the fridge for a while before rolling out but I usually use straight away and it works well.
- Roll out the pastry and cut out 12 rounds with a round cutter large enough to fit the bottom of a muffin tin. Cut 12 lids – these can be smaller rounds or any shape you fancy – I use stars as I think they look pretty. Depending on how thick you roll the pasty, there is usually enough pastry left over to make another 4-6 pies and I sometimes fill these with jam for the family members that prefer jam tarts.
- Spoon two teaspoons of mincemeat into each case. Try my mincemeat recipe if you fancy a go at making your own rather than using a shop bought filling.
- Dampen the edges of the case then press down the lids lightly to seal.
- Brush the tops of the pies with milk and if you use a round lid that is sealed all the way round, remember to cut a small slit in the top.
- Bake at 200°C for 15-20 minutes. Cool slightly in the tin, then lift out to cool fully on a wire rack.
I make mince pies in batches and they freeze well after making. I open freeze them first, then bag or box up which makes it easier to pick out a few at a time as and when you need them.
Best served warm, I’ll let them defrost first then heat through in the oven before sprinkling generously with icing sugar.
When pushed for time or when we have had surprise visitors, I have heated them up from frozen, covering them with foil initially to prevent over browning while making sure they are cooked thoroughly.
I heat through for around 5 minutes when they are thawed, or 10 when frozen. Either way, it is best to keep and eye on them to make sure they don’t over brown on top but you also need to test to make sure they are fully warmed through before serving.