Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Mince Pies and finishing touches

The pressies are wrapped, the decorations (that are going to be done!!!) are up and I think I've done all the cooking prep I can until tomorrow night......and I've just finished a batch of mince pies....

I've never been a big fan of mince pies - the pastry always seemed to be like cardboard and the mincemeat a bit greasy and gritty..... that was until Mum gave me her pastry recipe and also jars of her homemade mincemeat.....now the house is filled with the warm rich smell of freshly baked mince pies and I am fighting the family off them so they can cool - just a little - before they are ready to eat...
So I am, in turn, going to pass it all on to you.......Happy Christmas.....don't say 'I never give you anything'!....

For the pastry....

Mum found this recipe in a Swedish cook book years ago. It's really rich and really 'short' - it does crumble everywhere but it tastes fantastic and that's what really matters....

You will need
8oz Plain flour
pinch salt
5oz Butter - really cold straight from the fridge
1oz Icing sugar
1 egg yolk
few drops lemon juice

Begin by rubbing the butter to the flour and salt. Do this quickly by hand ,or better still, in a mixer so you can keep the butter as cold as possible. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg yolk, icing sugar and lemon juice.
Add the egg mix to the flour and combine - it should all come together but if it's a bit dry add a few drops of chilled water.
Form into a ball,wrap in a freezer bag and chill for about half an hour in the fridge.

You are now ready to roll it out to make your mince pies.

I make up a triple quantity of the pastry mix - it keeps really well in the fridge and you can then whip-up a quick batch of pies in about half an hour...

For the mincemeat 

Truthfully, I thought Mum's mincemeat was her own recipe, one that she had adapted into perfection over the years - but on questioning I found out that she just follows Delia's recipe  It's really good so I recommend you follow her method too.

I cook my pies for about 20 to 25 minutes at 200C/Gas 6

To serve we have them with either brandy butter, Cornish clotted cream or some slithers of Stilton cheese - obviously not all together unless you're Andrew who does like to pile everything on top of them.....how he keeps his svelte figure I have no idea!!


 If I don't speak to you all until after Christmas I hope you have a wonderful time and that all your wishes and dreams come true.....

Lots of love