THE LINK ABOVE WILL TAKE YOU STRAIGHT TO THE RECIPE
This is a guide to make mince pies at home and I will show you how to make the short crust cases, fill them and bake to perfection. The mincemeat (filling) can be anything you like. Either homemade or store bought.
Every family and/or region has their own version of fruit mince , so feel free to use your own version. I sometimes buy a good quality mincemeat and then add my own twist to it! My favorite additions are orange zest, citrus peel, candied ginger and cranberry jam.
However, I will link a recipe I use, just incase you wanted to give it a try. In my recipe I use cranberry jam (because I always have homemade cranberry jam during this time of the year) and orange zest and peel. I just love the citrus hint in my mince pies. Also I leave my dried fruit whole, as I like chunky mincemeat, but feel free to chop up the dried fruit.
The sweet short crust is something I have been using all along to make tart cases. This is foolproof and bakes into a very beautiful golden biscuit like texture.
All you need are these simple ingredients. Place flour, powdered sugar a pinch of salt in a food processor. Pulse to mix and add the cold butter cubes and process to bread crumb stage. Simply add the egg and process just until dough comes together in to small chunks or pebbles. Use a drop of water only if necessary.
If you don’t have powdered sugar, grind the castor sugar until fine and use that
Bring the half mixed dough on to a floured surface and fuse together into a block using your hands.
Do not knead this dough. Just squeeze and press. Kneading will cause too much gluten development and the pastry will not be crumbly(short)
Try to get it as smooth as possible and slightly flatten it. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 20-30 minutes. This will allow the gluten to relax and also the dough will firm up a bit.
You can make this several days ahead and keep refrigerated. Make sure to thaw it slightly before rolling out.
Prepare your tart molds. I’m using these metal ones. Grease lightly and wipe off excess and set aside.
Alternatively you can use;
– a mini cupcake tray
– disposable foil cases (no need to grease these)
– mini tart tray
When you are ready to roll out, bring the chilled dough on to a floured surface. If the dough is too hard, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes until soft enough.
I always roll on silicon mats. This makes releasing the dough so much easier.
Roll out to desired thickness. I like mine thinner so I roll out to about 3mm thickness. You can go thicker if you prefer.
Use a cookie cutter to cut out circles and line the molds.
This dough is enough to make about 12 pies.
Gather the leftover pastry/trimmings and press together to form a slab, warp and refrigerate. Use this to cut out lids for the pies later.
Line the molds with the pastry. Press lightly using fingers to make sure the shape is retained. I like to stamp using another mold.
Once done place these in the refrigerator stop the dough going too soft
Preheat the oven to 400°F in the mean time. If you have a pizza stone use that to create extra heat from the bottom. This is helpful if using cupcake/tart trays
Fill the cases with mincemeat. Do not overfill, leave some room to expand. The filling swell as it boils in the oven and may overflow if you try to squeeze in too much.
Roll out the leftover pastry dough and cut out shapes to go on top.
You can do;
– start shape
– a circle with a fluted rim
– a circle with a mini whole/start in the center cut out etc.
I’m using two rectangular shapes to make a star shape. Press the pieces together to stick and place on the mince pie.
You can be creative and use any design you prefer. I like to show off the filling.
You can cover the top entirely or use a lattice pattern instead.
Arrange all the pies on a tray leaving space around so the heat can get to every corner.
Beat an egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush the tops lightly.
This will help brown the top nicely and also adds a shine.
Sprinkle some raw granulated sugar. This adds both texture and nice festive bling.
Bake the pies in a 400 °F oven for 20-25 minutes or until nice and golden. Once baked remove from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool.
Every oven is different so you might need to adjust temp. and baking time.
Pastry should be nice and golden. I usually take one case off and test if the bottom has baked, to make sure.
If not I give it some extra time in the oven. If the tops are baked, tent the pies with a foil.
When cool enough to handle, slide off the pies. If you baked them in disposable foil cases, you can leave them in them until serving time.
Once demolded, cool the pies completely before you store them.
These can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for several days