On the 12 days leading up to Christmas Eve I’ll be sharing with you some of my favourite Christmas-based crafty activities from all over the internet. (Most of them will be – or have been – tried by yours truly!)
On The Fourth Craft of Christmas, I will share with you:
Today at my workplace (and that of many others I presume) it was Christmas Jumper Day – in collaboration with Save The Children’s campaign.
Something we like to do is hold semi-regular Cake Days, in which anybody willing can bake or buy tasty treats and bring them in. Anyone wishing to partake in the treats (let’s face it, everyone) donates a little money. It’s really nice – we earn a little money for charity – which one tends to vary – and everyone gets to eat cake and have a good day.
So when Christmas Jumper Day rolled around, we decided to combine the two and have a festive Jumper and Cake Day – to roaring success.
Right in the middle there you can see my cupcakes and mince pies – the topic of today’s post! (the mince pies, not the cupcakes, which besides red cases were not particularly festive).
This year I decided to start to try and make my own mince pies and since they’ve been going down so well, I wanted to share with you the recipe I have been using!
It’s a short and simple recipe from BBC Good Food by Mr Paul Hollywood himself. All credit goes there!
- 1 large jar mincemeat (about 600g)
- 2 satsuma, segmented
- 1 apple, finely chopped
- zest 1 lemon
- little icing sugar, for dusting
For the pastry:
- 375g plain flour
- 260g unsalted butter, softened
- 125g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 large egg, plus 1 beaten egg for glazing
- Mix flour and butter in a bowl and rub together to a crumb consistency. Add the sugar and the egg, and mix. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and fold until the pastry comes together, be careful not to over mix. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for 10 mins.
- Scoop the mincemeat into a bowl and add the satsumas, apple and zest. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick. Using a round cutter (about 10cm), cut out 16 bases and place them into muffin trays. Put 11⁄2 tbsp mincemeat mixture into each. Brush the edge of each pie with a little beaten egg.
- Re-roll out the pastry to cut 7cm lids and press them on top to seal. Glaze with the rest of the egg, sprinkle with caster sugar, then make a small cut in the tops
- Bake mince pies for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Leave to cool before releasing them from the muffin trays and dusting with icing sugar. Serve.
I love this recipe. It’s quite simple yet tastes fantastic – the pastry is great. Here’s a finished picture of a batch. They’re a bit informal (as Queen Berry would say) but I like to think that’s part of their charm. They still taste yummy!
Some small edits I do make if you fancied giving them a go yourself:
- Most bars of butter come in 250g. Now while the recipe calls for 260g, I tend to just use a whole 250g bar instead. (Which looks insane when you cube it and put it in the bowl! So much butter) I have not had any problems with this so far!
- I also chill it for longer than the recipe says. I read the comments which say the pastry is very wet and sticky, and to be controllable needs to chill for longer and I agree. I have been leaving it in the fridge for closer to 30/45 minutes. (In fact, for this batch I chilled it while I baked the batch of cupcakes and then continued with it – now that’s multitasking at it’s finest!)
- I have been using scalloped edged cutters to cut out the bases and lids to give them that little extra something.
It really is an easy recipe. Not only had I not made mince pies before, I’d not even made pastry before, so don’t be afraid to try it!
There’s nothing more Christmassy than a hot chocolate and a mince pie – I used to leave one out for Santa on Christmas eve and if they’re good enough for the big man himself they’re good enough for me!
Are mince pies a Christmas must-have for you? What do you and your family leave out for Santa Claus?