Saturday, December 12, 2009

Have a holiday party to go to and no time to make anything?

In my case it's a lack of skill and attention that led me to learn how to make Mince Pies.  They are very simple to make and don't take long either.  So here you go, something for workmates, neighbors, relatives, or yourself - a little something to put you in the holiday frame of mind.

Here we go, Mince Pies:

You need flour, sugar, milk, rolling pin, two different sized glasses, teaspoon, anti-stick method [I use Pam, but anything will do], muffin tray for mini muffins [bite size :-)], pastry for pies [I use Pillsbury, yup, told you it was easy], and Mincemeat. 

This comes in basic mincemeat and the other is with Brandy and Rum.  I've used both, but the latter is my favorite - can't taste it, but it does add a little unique flavor to the mix. 

Now, like there are recipes for the pastry, there is help around the next for making your own mincemeat.  Good on you for going there, but I get the Crosse & Blackwell.  You'll find it in your local supermarket in the "baking aisle" or in the "holiday aisle".  There are other brands, but after ten years of making these, C&B is my preferred brand.

Throw a bit of flour on your counter, roll out the pastry, not too much, but some.  Now take the larger glass and cut out your bases.  After making sure your tin is sticky proofed, gently push the pastry disk down into the muffin holes.  Gently.  Don't press the pastry to the sides and don't leave anything poking up, should be flush.

Next, use your teaspoon, put a dollop of mincemeat into the pastry cup, making sure you don't overfill.  When all the holes are filled, use your smaller glass, cut out the tops, and lay them on top.  You may have to put scraps together in a ball and roll it out again, but that's fine.

The last thing you do before cooking them is have a small bit of milk in a dish, dip two fingers into it, and gently [again with the gently] paint the top.  Now you're ready to cook them.

Cook at 425, middle of the oven, for about 15 minutes.

When you pull them out, they will be seriously hot - especially the mix - give them a couple minutes [no more] to cool down.  Using a knife tip, release the mince pie from the cup and place them on a cooling rack.  When you have them all there, add a pinch of sugar to each top, and there you go:  Mince Pies.

They taste great whilst still warm and with brandy butter on them, but they are good any way you can get them.  You'll often find Hard Sauce by C&B being sold beside the Mincemeat, as well as Plum Pudding, which the hard sauce can also be used on - well, after you've lit it up that is - but that's another thing.


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