And really, why would I want to?
A Potted History of the Pie...
Mince pies have been around since the 13th century, when European Crusaders returned from the Middle Eastern with the recipe, originally containing minced meat, fruit and spices... 13 ingredients in total, said to represent Christ and the 12 apostles.
Fortunately, someone along the way thought it might be better without the meat! So we have today the utterly indulgent Christmas treat that we know and love.
I use Delia Smith's Mincemeat recipe - good ol' Delia - but I substitute the suet with with same amount of butter; a) Because its tastes nicer, and b) Because means its vegetarian friendly.
When I come to make a batch of mince pies (x12) I take 400g and add to it;
- Half an apple, finely diced
- Zest of half a lemon, and
- Half a clementine, finely chopped
For the Pastry
- 375g Plain flour
- 260g Unslated Butter; softened
- 120g Caster Sugar, extra for sprinkling
- 1 Egg, plus another for glazing (or use milk)
- Place the flour and butter in a bowl and rub together to a crumb consistency. Add the sugar and the egg, and mix together. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and fold until the pastry comes together, be careful not to over mix. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 10 mins.
- Scoop 400g mincemeat into a bowl and add the clementine, apple and zest.
- Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick. Using a round cutter (about 10cm), cut out 12 bases and place them into muffin trays. Put 11⁄2 tbsp mincemeat mixture into each. Brush the edge of each pie with a little beaten egg. Re-roll out the pastry to cut 7cm lids and press them on top to seal. Alternatively, cut a star or heart shape and place on top. Glaze with the rest of the egg, sprinkle with caster sugar, then make a small cut in the tops (if using full lids).
- Bake mince pies for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Leave to cool before releasing them from the muffin trays and dusting with icing sugar. Serve.
Don't they look pretty!
A Little Note...
You will have some pastry left over...
Make a simple Individual Apple Tart with the other half of the chopped apple.
Slice it thinly, place in layers on the pastry and sprinkle with sugar and nutmeg.
Bake 20 mins.
Tis the Season to be Jolly
Tra la la lala,
La la la la...