On the fourth day of Christmas…Mince Pies

Some people may say I’m late to the mince pie party. To those people I say; pah. Over the twelve days of Christmas, to ensure good luck through the twelve months of the coming year,  you should eat twelve mince pies at twelve different houses. So on this, the fourth (or fifth) day of Christmas,  the need for mince pies is greater than ever.

I don’t mess around with mince pies and this is the recipe I always use. Rub together 225g of butter and 350g of plain flour. Use of the parents’ retro weighing scales to weigh these out is optional.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStir through 100g of caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Squash the crumbs together to make a dough, there’s no need to add any more liquid.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPinch off a Ferrero Rocher sized piece of pastry, roll into a ball and squash flat into a shallow muffin tin/well blackened Yorkshire pudding tray. Then add a teaspoon of mincemeat to each.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow pinch off a slightly smaller ball and roll it flat to make a lid. Then squash the edges together to seal. Brush the tops with a beaten egg and then bake for 20 minutes at 180C. It’s important to leave them to cool in the tin for at least 5 minutes before you try and lever them out. They should then come out cleanly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis recipe makes a very shortbready pie which is heavy on the pastry. Squash the pastry thinner if  you’d rather more filling. They’re delicious served warm with cream or leftover rum butter.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor a, very minor, twist, sprinkle demerara sugar and cinammon over the top of the beaten egg before baking for a sparkly finish.

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