Who ate all the pies?

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My December summed up thus far:

  • Number of Christmas shopping excursions to Central London: 6
  • No. of lunches in Central London with friends/husband involving illicit lunchtime wine drinking: 6
  • No. of times returned home from Central London shopping trips empty-handed: 6 (nothing to do with the wine, natch)
  • Alcohol free days: 2 (secretly quite pleased with self for achieving this)
  • Pounds (lbs) gained: 4
  • Pounds (Sterling) spent on crap presents purely for my own amusement: approx £100 (see some fine examples below)
  • Percentage of presents still left to buy: 85
  • New favourite seasonally appropriate snack: deep fried brussel sprouts (who knew?)
  • No. of sulks over being left with the mini bounty (or worse the creme egg twisted) in the advent calendar: 6 (but ate them anyway)
  • No. of mince pies “tested” for the sake of the recipe below: 3, 4, 5
  • Projected weight gain by end of festive period, based on current levels of consumption: 14 lbs (if I’m lucky)

Easy mini mince pies

The 9yo told me yesterday that I need to make at least 30 of these for his Christmas party tomorrow, so in true Christmas spirit, I thought I would share the joy that is mince pie making with you.

Makes about 50

You will need a 24 hole mini muffin tin.

  • 350g plain flour
  • 225g cold butter, coarsely grated
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • grated zest of 1 orange or 2 clementines
  • pinch salt
  • 2 x 300g jars of mincemeat (I add a handful of dried cranberries and some orange and lemon zest to shop-bought stuff so I can pretend I made it myself)
  • egg to glaze
  • icing sugar to prettify
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan).
  2. Rub the flour and butter together until it resembles breadcrumbs (or use a food processor).
  3. Add the sugar, zest, salt and egg and combine into a dough and give it a brief knead.
  4. Cut the dough in half, wrap one piece in clingfilm and leave in the fridge until you are ready to use it (unless you have two mini muffin tins you will be making these in batches).
  5. Roll the other half of the dough out on a floured work surface until the thickness of a pound coin.
  6. Using a 6cm diameter cutter, cut out 24 rounds and push them into the holes in the tin. Patch up any holes in the pastry with the excess dough.
  7. Put 1 tsp of mincemeat in each pastry shell.
  8. Roll up the excess dough into a ball and re-roll to the same thickness as before.
  9. Using a small star cutter, cut out 24 stars, place them on the top of each pie, brush with egg wash and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.IMG_2522
  10. Leave to cool in tin for about 10 mins before carefully prising them out of the tin with the tip of a knife (shove any that collapse straight in mouth). Cool completely on a wire rack and dust, using a sieve or tea strainer, with icing sugar.
  11. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and mincemeat. You may even have enough left over to do another half tray as well.
  12. Alternatively, you could get a life (by you I mean me of course) and go buy a stack from Sainsbury’s.

Recipe adapted from one found years ago on the BBC Good Food website.

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