You can almost taste those mince pies looking at the picture above! Click on it for a larger version and you'll understand that they are so very, very tasty.
Mince pies originally contained minced meat as their name implies. They date back to the mid 1500s as a traditional Christmas snack. The Victorians weren't so keen on the meat content so they changed the recipe to use a sweet filling now know as mincemeat.
It is possible to make your own mincemeat but it's really not worth it considering the price and quality of shop bought mincemeat. Price though is important, so buy a good quality version if you want the best results.
375g Ready rolled shortcrust pastry
200g / 7oz mincemeat
A lightly whisked egg
Small amount of icing sugar
There are loads of different sizes of bun tins, all suitable for different cakes and small pies. The ideal size for a mince pie is about 1½cm / ¾in deep by about 6½cm / 2¾in wide at the top. The exact size is not crucial but some bun tines are definitely too large for mince pies.
You will need two pastry cutters, one larger cutter for the base and another slightly smaller one for the top. The exact size will depend on the size of your bun tin.
Turn the oven on, setting it to 200°C / Fan 180°C / 400°F / Gas 6
Unroll the shortcrust pastry onto a flat surface.STEP 2
Using the larger of the two pastry cutters, cut out the base for five of the mince pies. Don't do it for all 10 at the moment in case there is not enough pastry. Line the holes of the bun tin with the pastry cut out above.STEP 3
Add a heaped teaspoon of the Mincemeat to each mince pie base. Don't add more because it will rise up and dribble out during cooking spoiling the appearance of the mince pies.STEP 4
Brush the edge of each of the mince pie bases with a light coating of egg.
If you don't have a brush just dip your fingers in the whisked milk and run them round the edges. The purpose of this is to help the the base and top of the pie stick together.STEP 5
Cut out the tops of the mince pies with the smaller pastry cutter and place them on the top of the filled mince pies. Firm down the edges lightly to ensure top and bottom are firmly connected. Brush the top of the pies with milk to help give them a golden colour when cooked.
Mince pies being covered with shortcrust pastry
Cut a small hole in the top of each mince pie with a knife. This will help stop the filling from forcing itself out through the edges.
It also helps to stop the shortcrust from becoming wet. Repeat the above process for the remaining mince pies.STEP 7
Cook the mince pies in the pre-heated oven. They should take 20 to 25 minutes to cook but check them after 15 minutes. They are cooked when the pastry is a light golden brown. Do not open the oven for the first 15 minutes.
Take the cooked mince pies from the oven and dust them with a little icing sugar. They are delicious hot or cold and will keep for three or four days.