For the Pastry
- 400 g plain flour
- 230 g butter (or an equal mix of butter and lard, cubed)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 egg (beaten with cold water, as needed to bind the pastry)
- For the Pie
- 1 jar of mincemeat ( or you can try making your own homemade mincemeat)
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
Notes on Making the Pastry
Christmas is a busy time, so I recommend making your pastry by food processor as it makes short work of the pastry. If you have the time, then fine, make the pastry by hand, which is always a lovely thing to do but remember to work quickly and lightly and to keep all your ingredients cool.
Hand-Made Shortcrust Pastry:
- Sift in the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and salt. Rub the mixture lightly between your fingers, lifting as you rub to add a little air for a light pastry. All done when the mix resembles sand.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of very cold water to the egg and beat it together. Add the egg mixture little by little, mixing with a knife between additions with a cold knife. Do not over mix the dough comes together fairly quickly. Stop adding egg once the pastry binds together.
- Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 15 minutes in the fridge.
Machine-Made Shortcrust Pastry:
- Place the flour, butter and salt into the bowl of the processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. In a small bowl, add a couple of tablespoons of very cold water to the egg and beat it together.
- With the motor running, add the egg mixture a little at a time, stopping the moment the pastry binds together.
- Tip the pastry onto the work surface and lightly bring it together and wrap it in clingfilm and rest for 15 minutes in the fridge.
Assemble the traditional mince pies:
Preheat the oven to 200°C
- Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin or bun tin.
- Sprinkle your worktop lightly with a little flour, roll out 2/3 of the pastry to 3mm thick, then cut circles to fit your tin and line with the pastry.
- Roll out the remaining pastry to the same thickness and cut smaller circles for lids, or cut out stars or other fancy shapes as you wish.
- Pop a generous teaspoon into each pie and pop on a lid; there is no need to wet the pastry as the mincemeat is sticky and will hold the lid in place. If you have covered the tart entirely with pastry, snip a small cross into the centre of each lid to release any steam.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 mins (15 mins if making canapé-sized ones), or until golden brown. Leave to cool for five minutes, then lift from the tin and cool on a baking rack. Store in an airtight tin.