Battle of the Mince Pies

My sister and I have been making mince pies for as long as I remember.  As soon as Christmas decorations could be seen decking the halls of the shopping centres we would be tasked with making mince pies. I think it was a way for my mom to give us something to do and keep us out of trouble... There would be this assebly line of pastry rollers, cutters, mince spooners etc...
And so... in 2012... Megs and I, in good tradition, spent this weekend, making mince pies. We decided to make our own pastry this year, previously using store bought puff pastry. It was my first time making pastry and I must say it is a lot easier than I thought!

The recipe uses:
  • 340g flour
  • 220g butter
  • 55g icing sugar
  • 2 egg yolks.

As you can see, we used store bought fruit mince. This you will find in the baking aisle... If you ask for it, there is a good chance you will be directed to the fridge section. lol :)

A food processor is a good appliance to have for this?? There is a different short crust pastry recipe you can use if you are making it by hand but this one works best in a food processor.

The flour and icing sugar and butter go in first. The blades sort of mix the flour and butter together so you end up with a buttery crumby flour mixture. The eggs add the moisture and colour :) a tablespoon or two of water can be added. We did. :) Once the pastry is all combined you need to let it rest - the recipe says for at least an hour... We left it overnight. :)

The next day the fun began... and this is where the battle began. Megs and I differed in how the pies should look. I wanted to use my mini muffin tin... she had other ideas. The sibling cooperation that had existed thus far turned to rivalry as we were determined to prove whose pies would turn out best. :)
The process...
Roll out the pastry and cut out discs. The pastry is not the easiest to roll so be gentle. :)

From here, either lay them flat on a baking tray and place a spoon of fruit mince in the centre of each disk... or press them into a muffin/cupcake tray and spoon the mince into the little well.

Before closing with another pastry disk, use a little brush and paint a little egg and milk mixture round the edges. This helps to seal the two layers. More milk than egg. :) Cover with a pastry lid and prick holes into the top to allow for stream to escape.

Bake these in a 180ºC oven for about 20 min. As soon as you can start to smell the pies its usually a good indication that they are ready. If they are nice and brown on the top, take them out.
Dust with icing sugar and voila...
And... the results.
Meg's pies were yummy! and easy to get off the tray...
Mine were.... ummm... challenging! Because the short crust pastry is so crumbly and delicate, as soon as I tried to pry them out of the tin, they crumbled... the tops came off... disaster... I was about to loose the battle! Until, my knight in shining armour came to my rescue  :) My husband and all his logic simply tipped the mini muffin tin upside down and the mini pies came out without fuss!! hahah :)

So of course I think my mince pies were better! :) Deliciously yummy fruit mince in a biscuity base. mmmm. An anyway, anything dusted in icing sugar must be good! :)

I will say though that next time I might try make the pastry thinner, it was a little bit thick which means the pastry/mince ration was a little off. :)

wow, this has turned out to be quite a long post! hope you didn't have to take a break while reading! :)
Have fun making these Christmasy treats and look forward to more Christmas food related blogs as we get nearer to my favourite time of the year!
Love me :)


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