I love Christmas, it's such a happy time of year in my house. Everybody heads to my mum and dad's house, we batten down the hatched, gifts are exchanged, we have some much needed 'us' time... and the food is to die for. My favourite festive treat is, and has always been, mince pies. My grandma is an expert baker, but she's taken her foot off the gas since her 90th birthday (I think she's earned a break!) and my mum has been rushed off her feet with work and the stress of having a new kitchen fitted... I was mortified to learn that Morrison's had been supplying the household with mince pies in my absence... But I'm back now, so not on my watch! There were 2 jars of mincemeat left hopefully on the side (I think someone was secretly hoping I'd make some!) I put on my apron and some Christmas songs and got to work. I've been making these ever since I was tiny; they're the perfect rustic mince pies I can't tell you how happy I am to be sharing this special recipe with you today! The recipe makes 24 lovely medium-sized pies.
350g / 12oz Plain Flour (plus a little extra for flourinf your board and rolling pin)
225g / 8oz Butter
A few splashes of water
1 medium cutter
1 small cutter (I used a Christmas star)
2 Yorkshire pudding trays
1. Preheat the oven to 200c. Sieve the flour in to a bowl and add the butter. Rub until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
2. Add just enough water to bind the mixture together in to a ball.
3. Divide the mixture in two. Transfer one of the balls on to a floured surface and flour a rolling pin. Roll out to about 5mm thick and cut as many circles as you can get out.
Repeat with any pastry left over and line your Yorkshire trays.
4. Repeat with ball 2. But this time use your smaller cutter (or star), and reserve the pastry shapes.
5. Put a teaspoon of mincemeat in each case; try not to overfill, but don't worry about it too much (I like when the mincemeat drizzles down the sides in the cooking process because it looks more rustic!) brush the sides with a little milk and pop the tops on. Brush the tops with more milk.
6. Cook for 25 minutes or until the pies are golden brown. (If like me you're using an Aga, put the tray on the floor of the roasting oven).
Let the pies cool a little before letting everybody tuck in. Enjoy with a glass of mulled wine... or why not try a sherry?! Which I have discovered is quite delicious, and making a comeback in the fashionable drinks stakes; you heard it here first!
Seasons eatings everybody!