I know it’s been a while since I have done a foodie blog, and I apologise, but things just got away from me.
As the title suggests, I’m bringing you a blog on mince pies. Now I’m not entirely sure if Blyton ever had her characters munching on mince pies, but as it’s nearly Christmas, and they’re the sort of thing I can imagine Blyton characters eating, I thought I would include them in this category.
So there are two steps to making mince pies, and I shall start by walking you through making the pastry cases.
Ingredients for the Pastry
8 0z of butter
1 lb of plain flour
8 oz of sugar
For an added taste I grated some orange zest and mixed it into the pastry.
This will make you a short crust pastry. For a vegan or dairy free option use dairy free or soya margarine.
- Sift the flour and sugar into your mixing bowl
- Add the butter and optional orange zest and quickly rub into the flour using your fingertips until the consistency of fine breadcrumbs, with no large lumps of margarine remaining
- Bring together to form a dough, adding water a teaspoon at a time if too dry, or adding flour if too wet
- Optional: chill for 30 minutes
Now I shall put up the instructions for making your own mincemeat, but I must admit I didn’t have much time so I just used shop bought – Waitrose own traditional mincemeat, though you can select any brand that takes your fancy!
- 3 oz bramley apples, cored and chopped small
- 6 oz mixed dried fruit
- 1 oz suet
- 2 oz soft dark brown sugar
- juice and grated zest of half an orange or lemon
- 1 level teaspoon of mixed ground spice
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch fresh grated nutmeg
- 1 small handfull whole almonds, chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
- Put all the ingredients apart from the brandy into a saucepan
- Cook on a low heat mixing frequently, until everything is soft and thoroughly combined
- Remove the pan from the heat allow the mixture to cool, stirring occasionally
- Once cold, mix thoroughly (optional: stir in the brandy at this point)
Construction of mince pies
You will need
- Round pastry cutter
- Enough bun tins to cook 30 pies
- Roll out your pastry to about 3mm (eighth of an inch) thickness. Be careful not to roll too thin or the cases won’t hold the mincemeat.
- Cut one large circle for the base, and a smaller one for the lid
- Place the base in a greased bun tin and use spoons of the mincemeat mixture to fill the cases.
- Put the lid on top and pinch around the edge to join it to the base
- Repeat until all your pastry and mincemeat is used up! If you have leftover pastry, why not use it to decorate the pies?
To cook you will need the oven to be on Gas Mark 6/ 200 degrees C (or for a fan oven 180 degrees).
20 minutes or so should be sufficient cooking time, but keep an eye on them and leave until they’re golden brown.
Remove from oven to cool – approximately five minutes before eating. And enjoy!
Recipe taken from http://mincepierecipes.com/vegan.