Mince Pies
13th Dec 2012

Palmers Favourite Christmas Recipes – 3

Home-made mince pies are so much more delicious than shop-bought so why not try this simple recipe and see for yourself?

Food Processor
Roomy Bowl
Rolling Pin
Pastry cutters - 1 Large, 1 Medium
Bun Tin

For The Short Crust Pastry:
225g Plain Flour
50g Soft (Stork) Margarine
50g Lard
Pinch Of Salt
For The Filling:
225g Made Mincemeat
1 Tablespoon Brandy (Optional)

To make the pastry, sieve flour into a bowl then tip into food processor. Add margarine and lard cut into small pieces and the salt. Process the mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, which is reached very quickly. Run the cold tap then using a pouring jug, slowly drizzle very cold water into the processor with the motor running until the pastry just begins to form a dough. Tip: Do not add too much water or beat too long or your pastry will be tough. Knead lightly and form into a ball then wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 15- 20 minutes.

Alternatively, you can make the pastry by hand, rubbing in the fat and flour with light finger tips, lifting well and handling as little as possible. Add the cold water very slowly while turning the mixture over with your hands until it knits together. The drier the pastry, the lighter it will be.

Meanwhile tip mincemeat into a bowl and add brandy if desired. Preheat the oven to 175°C.

Roll out the chilled pastry very thinly then using the larger cutter, cut out circles to line the bun tin. Add a good teaspoonful of mincemeat to each circle. Wet the edge of the pastry with cold water ready to seal the smaller circles for the lids. Cut the small circles and place gently on the bases, pressing lightly around the edges to seal in the filling. Make a slit in the top of each one with a sharp knife.

Pop in the hot oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until the pastry is firm but not too brown. Lift each mince pie carefully using a knife and cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with sifted icing sugar and store in an air tight tin in a cool place. These deliciously festive treats will last for around 2 weeks - perfect for the Christmas period.

Gently reheat when required and serve with a dollop of fresh cream, crème fraîche or brandy butter. Simply delicious!

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