By the time Christmas has been and gone I’ve worked out I will have made over 450 mince pies in some form or another. Thankfully not for my own consumption but made during the classes I was teaching and for friends and family. I usually make my own mincemeat, but this year due to some of my pupils being unable to come to classes due to illness I was left with nearly a kilogram of mincemeat to use up. To make shop bought mincemeat taste more like homemade mincemeat simply stir in a generous glug of sherry into the mincemeat. No one has to know.
I like using this pastry recipe for mince pies as the addition of orange juice helps shorten the pastry and give it a subtle taste. I don’t sweeten the pastry with sugar because I think the mincemeat is sweet enough. If you wanted the pastry a bit sweeter you could add a small amount of icing sugar to the pastry.
You can top your mince pies with the traditional full covering of pastry, but I prefer to cover with stars. 1) because I think they look nicer 2) you get more mince pies out of your pastry.
Makes around 12 mince pies
200g plain flour
1 egg, beaten
Demerara sugar (granulated sugar will also work fine)
1) rub the butter into the flour until it has the consistency of breadcrumbs.
2) Add the orange juice 1 tbsp at a time until it forms a soft dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 min.
3) Roll out the dough until 5mm thick. Using a 9cm diameter cutter, cut out rounds and press gently into a bun tin.
4) Place a heaped tsp of the mincemeat on top of the dough
5) Top the mincemeat with a pastry star. Brush the star with beaten egg then sprinkle with Demerara sugar.
6) Bake at 180° for 15 minutes.