This was my first proper attempt at making some mince pies (instead of cheating by buying the best you can get at the supermarket) – what a pleasant surprise – not too much trouble and tasting delicious.
The pastry is homemade but the filling is bought mincemeat with stuff added to liven it up. I used Tesco Finest Mincemeat which was full of flavour – definitely worth a try. My first attempt involved rubbing the butter into the flour with my hands but this was far too gooey so I got the food processor out and had much more success. Note that the pastry needs to chill for at least 3 hours.
This makes about 40 mini mince pies although the filling is enough for the same again but if you are buying a jar of mincemeat you may as well make a full quantity of filling and knock up two batches for the freezer.
I used a silicone baking tray which has 15 holes 5.5cm in diameter but you can use whatever you have – just remember to butter if not silicone.
The Best Mini Mince Pies
- 165g plain flour
- 25g ground almonds
- 120g chilled unsalted butter chopped
- 55g caster sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 1 egg for brushing
- icing suger for sprinkling
- 410g jar ready made mincemeat
- 1 bramley apple
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tangerines or small oranges
- Start by making the pastry as it needs to chill for 3 hours before you can use it. Sieve your flour into a bowl then tip in to the food processor with both the ground almonds and the cubed butter. Pulse until smooth like breadcrumbs then tip back into the bowl and add the sugar and egg. Stir a bit with a wooden spoon to combine all, then get your hands in and manipulate into a dough. Don’t be scared if a bit squidgy. Roll into a ball, wrap in cling-film and chill for 3 – 4 hours.
- Meanwhile make the filling which is very simple. Chop your cooking apple and segmented orange into little chunks, chop your lemon zest and add all three to your mincemeat and mix. You can keep this for 2-3 days if needed but it will be OK after 3 hours festering.
- Now time to make the pastry. You need your surface to be well floured or your pastry will stick and disaster will set in! Roll it out nice and thin – 2-3mm and start cutting. I used a 6cm cutter for the bottoms and a 5.5cm cutter for the top.
- Cut your bottoms and carefully place in your mould. Put a teaspoon of filling in and pop your top on. Try to secure the top to the bottom using your egg-wash so that it doesn’t spill out when cooking.