Mince Pie Monday

1 December 2014

Mince pies are my festive weakness. I have a strict rule that mince pies must only be eaten in the month of December. Today, being the 1st of December, sees that invisible (tinseled) bar lifted.
Joy of joys - Mince Pie Monday is here!

I made these mince pies over the weekend to store in the freeze ahead of the festive season. Naturally half a dozen have been put aside for quality control testing. It's the right and responsible thing to do if you intend serving any to guests over the festive proceedings.

Mince Pies

Makes approx 16

200g mincemeat (buy the best you can)
50g dark chocolate chips
250g cold butter, diced
400g plain flour
½ tsp mixed spice
150g golden caster sugar
1 egg, beaten to glaze
icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 200℃ / 180℃ fan / gas 6

Mix the mincemeat and chocolate chips together in a bowl and set to one side.

To make the pastry, tip the butter into a bowl with the flour and spice. Rub together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and squidge together to make a pastry dough. Don't be tempted to add any liquid - it will come together eventually, I promise.

Once you've formed your pastry into a ball, place it onto a floured surface and halve it. Take one of the halves and roll it out and using a circular cutter, cut out as many rounds as the dough will give you and line a shallow tart tin. Spoon your mincemeat filling into the pies.

Take your second ball of pastry, roll it out and cut rounds as before. Using a pastry brush or your finger, lightly wet the underside edge of the circles and place them on top of your pies. When all your pies have their tops on, brush with some beaten egg.

Place in the oven and cook for approx 20 mins or until golden. Remove the tins from the oven and cool a little before carefully easing the pies out of their individual compartments and leaving them to cool further on a cooling rack. To serve, lightly dusted with some sifted icing sugar.

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