Mince pies

(41 Posts)
foofooyeah Wed 28-Nov-12 09:27:51

Sorry if this has already been covered. Complete novice baker here but want to make some mince pies.
I fancy doing some pretty ones with stars on top - and how long will they keep once cooked?

Does anyone have a easy recipe for how to make please, and what basic equipment I will need, and best place to buy it (very reasonably). Only equipment I have is a bowl and sharp knife!

racingheart Wed 28-Nov-12 11:20:52

Go for ready made shortcrust pastry and a good brand of mincemeat in a jar. I sometimes stir extra powdered cinnamon, finely chopped almonds and a bit of OJ or brandy into the jar of mince to give it more flavour.

You'll need a rolling pin and a star shaped cutter, a fairy cake baking tray and some plain flour for rolling out, some plain (not olive!) cooking oil. A pastry brush is optional. Icing sugar and powdered cinnamon are good too. If you can't find a star cutter, make a template on card that fits the size of your baking tray moulds, and cut out the pastry round it with a sharp knife.

Preheat the oven. Rub a tiny amount of oil into each fairy cake shape in the baking tray. It should just glisten, not look oily. This helps the pies not to stick.

The pastry needs to be room temperature. Make sure if it was frozen that it's fully defrosted.

On a very very clean kitchen surface sprinkle plenty of plain flour. Put the pastry on top. Shape it gently in your hands, just to get it softer. Dust the rolling pin with flour (if you don't have one you can use a smooth glass bottle (washed out and emptied wine bottle is ideal!) Then roll out the pastry until it's about .5cm thick. Use an upturned wine glass to cut discs from it if you don't have a pastry cutter. Put one disc into each hollow and press it down gently. Spoon a heaped teaspoon of mince into each case then top with a pastry star.

You can glaze them by brushing a tiny bit of milk onto the star if you want, or bake plain then dust with a mix of icing sugar and cinnamon.
Bake for about 10-12 mins, then check. They may need more or less. It's good to bake them lightly then warm them up before serving. Cool before serving as the mincemeat can get scalding hot.

WholeLottaRosie Wed 28-Nov-12 17:09:15

You can freeze them but they keep okay in an airtight tin for quite a while. I recently bought a nice mince pie tin on eBay, think it was about £6, you can just use an ordinary 12-hole cake tin but this one has rounded bottoms not flat.

foofooyeah Thu 29-Nov-12 14:08:18

Thanks for the advice. Like the idea of adding extra ingredients to mincemeat, especially brandy!

I do quite fancy trying my hand at making the pastry as well. Any top tips please ?

flatpackhamster Thu 29-Nov-12 18:21:57

If you're not making your own mincemeat (something to consider for another year, since it's a doddle and keeps for ever (I'm using up my last jar of 2008 mincemeat this year)), then adding stuff to bought mincemeat really helps the flavour. Definitely brandy, orange juice, spices, some lemon or orange zest, all help the flavour and make it more personal.

You'll want a rich shortcrust pastry for this. Lots of recipes on the internet. The 'shorter' the pastry is, the crumblier it is. If it's too short then the mince pie will crumble in the eater's hand, not short enough and it'll be horrible.

The less you handle that pastry while you're working on it (mixing, rolling, cutting), the better it will be. And it's worth running your hands under very cold water for a minute (and then drying them off) before you start.

Finally, and this is probably obvious - check to make sure your mince pie cutting tools are the right size for the tin that you're going to bake your mince pies in. The first time I made them my cutters were too small, so I ended up with mince pies stuck in the bottom of the tin. I had to lever them out with a sharp knife, and they'd got stuck when the mincemeat bubbled out of the pies and glued them to the tin. I got maybe 3 decent mince pies out of that first batch.

nannycook Thu 29-Nov-12 22:12:54

Foofoo, last night i made mince pies using a fab recipe a friend gave me 20yrs ago, they are gorgeous,it isnt pastry as such but shortcake,cant roll it out just pat it, it uses plain flour,cornflour,caster sugar,butter,yolk of an egg and lemon zest,delish!

lolalotta Fri 30-Nov-12 06:32:55

Any chance you could post the recipe nannycook??? grin

nannycook Fri 30-Nov-12 12:51:29

Lola,i'm in work at more but as soon as i get home i' ll post it to you. You'll never make mince pies using ordinary pastry again. Lush.x

bacon Fri 30-Nov-12 17:00:16

Gorden Ramseys - This one I make every year - fantastic pastry and looks pretty too.

www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3036/cranberry-mince-pies

Ive never made my own mincemeat but you can use luxury brands which are great and add a touch more brandy and extra cranberries.

notcitrus Fri 30-Nov-12 17:37:10

Stars on top are good as you don't need to worry about mincemeat bubbling over as with closed pies. My mum always mixed jar mincemeat half and half with chopped Bramley apple, so they weren't so sticky and cloying.

You can get all-butter ready-made pastry which is worth it. If you make your own keep the butter and water and implements as cold as you can.

lolalotta Fri 30-Nov-12 18:58:33

nannycook they sound amazing, can't wait to try them! grin

nannycook Fri 30-Nov-12 22:32:39

lola just finished putting the tree up.

ok, this recipe was given to me over 20 yrs ago and i've used it ever since.
You can double it, halve it, but be warned cos it rich it wont make many, this amount makes about 16-17 well it did the other day, needless to say i have diddly squat left.
10ozs plain flour.
2ozs of cornflour
8ozs soft butter ( i used flora buttery)
2ozs caster sugar
1 egg yolk
zest of 1 lemon

Cream marg/butter with the zest till nice and soft,
add sugar beat in, add sifted flours and yolk, pull together with your hands, lightly flour work top, you may not be able to roll this out, i didnt anyway, just pat out and cut out into rounds, add mincemeat cover with smaller tops, no need to egg wash as this is more like shortcake, cook on 180/ 0r 160 fan oven or about 4-5 gas for only 12-15 mins this you may have to judge yourself. then sit back with a cuppa and relax with one or two and enjoy.

lolalotta Sat 01-Dec-12 07:30:25

Morning nannycook! Thank you soooooo much for the recipe, can't wait to try them!!! Busy all weekend, so it will probably be Monday morning now...going to get the supplied in before then! grin
Hope your tree looks pretty, we are hoping to buy ours tomorrow! smile
I will let you know how I get on!
BTW, how thick should the pastry be when patted out? xxx

BrianButterfield Sat 01-Dec-12 07:37:38

I like my pastry quite thick - about the thickness of a pound coin.

I never fuss with my mincemeat, just buy a quality brand. A Finest supermarket one, or the Robertson's one is very nice. And I prefer a plain shortcrust with icing sugar on top over a biscuity pastry but that's really a matter of individual taste. Do a few batches and decide for yourself!

nannycook Sat 01-Dec-12 12:30:13

Morning lola, as Brian said its up to the individual, try them and if they're not what you what then try something else,dont think you'll be dissappointed tho. Again thickness is up to you. If you make them to thin they will be to crunchy i guess.

foofooyeah Sun 02-Dec-12 08:41:58

Thanks everyone for your suggestions/

Im getting quite excited at making these now - think I shall experiment with some shop bought, some home mads and nannys recipe, and do a comparison at the end.
Its going to be a mincemeat bonanza!

nannycook Sun 02-Dec-12 14:42:44

Lola i'm gonna make some more later tonight, and to be really really bad i bought some madaghastan vallina cream from Sainsburys, so so so naughty.

nannycook Sun 02-Dec-12 14:44:24

I also used Robertsons mincemeat wuth is very nice by the way.

DingDongKethryverilyonHigh Sun 02-Dec-12 15:59:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nannycook Sun 02-Dec-12 18:18:48

Dindong, dont blame you. When i take things to work i'm amazed that one mouthfull and its gone and its taken me bloody hrs to bake, grrr!

Mincemeat a stupid easy to make and as already said last forever plus you can put in whatever your favourite things are.

Just keep an eye on them as its easy to go from almost to over dine

lolalotta Sun 02-Dec-12 19:11:55

nannycook, we went to Waitrose today and got everything in we need, so looking forward to giving these a go tomorrow morning...not sure how straight forward that's going to be with a 2 year old little helper but should be fun! grin
Sound lush with the ice cream!!!!! smile

DingDongKethryverilyonHigh Sun 02-Dec-12 19:35:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lolalotta Sun 02-Dec-12 19:40:31

Oh no I got Waitrose mincemeat!!!!

lolalotta Sun 02-Dec-12 19:41:34

BTW, have any of you tried freezing these uncooked? I have read it can work very well....

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