This has got to be one of the best Christmas treats ever and I have had them homemade as far back as I can remember! They are one thing I love coming back to the family home for, over the festive period. I have even had my Brother in Canada asking me to get this recipe on my blog.
This is an original family recipe and one that I think is personally better than the rest but then I may be slightly biased! I asked my mum for some background on them and this is what she told me…
This is my recipe for mince pies, everyone has their own I feel, but these freeze well and my family seem to like them. In fact when my eldest son (me) was at primary school he used to take one for break. This led to me making them for his form teacher too!
You do need a light hand for pastry or make it in a mixer but watch it carefully as it should not be over-mixed. I use my homemade mincemeat that I make with the apples from the garden, but if you use shop-bought mincemeat add a little brandy or rum to it as it adds a certain something to the pies.
I make the pastry with what flour I have in the cupboard – plain, self-raising or a mixture of both. The amounts shown below can be doubled in quantity or even halved.
9ozs/260g Butter (margarine or half white fat half butter can be used)
1 Egg (either the whole egg can be used or just the yolk)
Preheat oven to 200C/400F Gas 6 or 180C Fan Oven.
1 Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. If using a mixer do not over mix.
2 Add the egg and some water; continue mixing until the mixture comes together. If you only use the egg the pastry will be more difficult to work with but that is ok.
3 Remove from the bowl, wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for ½/1 hour.
4 Place onto a floured board, roll out thinly and cut out rounds to fit your tins.
5 Fill with the mincemeat and dampen the edges of the lids with water and press them lightly on top.
6 Brush with either beaten egg, milk or a mixture of both and cut a slit in the top. This can be with a knife or scissors. I am a bit of a traditionalist and put a cross.
7 Bake in the oven for 20/30 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire tray.
8 Serve warm sprinkled with icing sugar and cream or brandy butter.
9 If freezing I find it is better to freeze the mince-pies uncooked. Freeze in the tin, and when frozen remove from the tin and put into a freezer bag. To cook, remove from the freezer put back into the tin, allow to defrost, brush with an egg mixture and cook as before.
If allergic to either eggs or milk just leave them out.
NB I will post my recipe for homemade mincemeat at a later date.