It’s that time of year again, and I thought that my 30th Christmas on this planet, combined with the work Secret Santa yesterday, warranted a first attempt at making mince pies. After scouring my Christmas recipe book and finding nothing overly helpful (how can you have a Christmas recipe book that doesn’t include mince pies??) I resorted to Google and quickly found this – they really are as easy to make as the title suggests (if you ignore my hands’ tendency to cramp whenever I have to rub in butter and flour, anyway) and were bloomin’ lovely, if I do say so myself!
I’d originally intended to use pastry cutters to make the pie cases and lids but found it much easier in the end to just do as the recipe says – pick small chunks of dough from the main ball, flatten them with your hands (holding the dough in one hand and squishing it with the bit of palm nearest the thumb of my other hand to make a slight dome worked quite well as methods go), and press them into the holes/cups/whatever-they’re-called of your tins. The net result of this is that they looked very homemade (ie: a bit messy) but the pastry tasted amazing and, whilst adding egg to the pastry dough would no doubt have made it possible to roll it out and use afore-mentioned cutters, resulting in prettier pies, I’ll take taste over looks any day.
I did amend the recipe slightly by sprinkling golden caster sugar over the pies before putting them in the oven, which gave the tops a nice extra bit of crunchiness. I also used the best mincemeat I could find – I can highly recommend both Robertson’s Classic and Tesco Finest in this department; I used the former, but have sampled the latter, and both are very yummy indeed!