Hi guys, it’s day 19 of blogmas and it is now just under a week until Christmas day. I am getting pretty excited :). My sister is coming home tomorrow evening and that means we can decorate the Christmas tree on Wednesday, which I am very happy about. Today I thought I would share some baking with you all as we made our first batch of mince pies over the weekend. I personally love baking and I thought this would be a festive post to get you ready for Christmas :). This is my first baking post so please bear with me, as I am still unsure about how to structure this. Now I don’t actually like mince pies (I hate raisins) but I love baking them – I always make them with my mum and sister. Since my sister’s not down yet, I made the first batch with my mum. We have always used the Josceline Dimbleby recipe for orange pastry, if you are interested. Let’s get baking :).
A lot of pastry recipes will use the half to half method (half flour, half fat) but this uses 3/4 fat. Basically this is a high fat content recipe, which does mean it’s a little bit of extra work. We have been making these mince pies for years now and I have always disliked making the pastry. I think I partly dislike the sticky fingers you get. Anyway you basically want to work this mixture through your fingers. Those are my mum’s hands if you are wondering :).
This can take some time, but it is best to be patient with it. Once you’ve worked the majority of the butter and lard into the flour, it is time to add in the orange peel and mix it in. Then we add in the orange juice – small amounts at a time. As you can see in the picture we use a knife to mix at this point. You may not need to add all of the orange juice as you don’t want to pastry wet. I am hoping the pictures are showing the process well enough for you guys to see exactly what is going on. Once you have the pastry all together in a ball, cut it in half and put both in the fridge for half an hour. Now we get to the stage of actually making the mince pies.
I tried to lay out all of the ingredients and equipment, but I am now realising I forgot to show the cutters in above picture. Ah well, just know that we do use them :). Anyway I started to butter the tins ready for the mince pies, while my mum started rolling out the pastry. After I’d finished I then moved on to the mascarpone (Italian soft cheese), which we add sugar to. We don’t have a set amount of sugar we put in – we just do it to taste.
Once the pastry is in the tins, we start filling them – first with the homemade mince meat (a Delia recipe) and then with the mascarpone. After that I dip my finger in the mug of water and run it along the edges of the pastry, as well as on one side of the pastry lids. You can see in the picture I then place it in some sugar. You can now place the lid on top of the mince pies – slightly pushing down to make sure they are sealed. The final step is to pierce them but make sure you don’t go all the way through with the knife :). It is now time to put them in the oven. Now the recipe says around 15 -20 minutes but we actually put them in for 12 and they were all ready. Before taking them out of the tins, we leave them for a little while to cool down – this makes it easier to take them out.
Above is what they look like when they are freshly out of the oven :). I hope this post made sense to you guys, as I am still trying to figure out how to structure posts like this. Anyway I am sure this won’t be the last batch of mince pies we make in our household – we will definitely be making another batch once my sister is down. Do you guys like mince pies? Or do you dislike them, like me? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.