Difficulty: A wee bit harder
Time: 45 minutes + 15 minutes baking
Serves: makes 24
It wouldn’t be Christmas without mince pies. So far this year we’ve made about 4 batches and I think there is probably time for some more! We use a jar of mincemeat but you could make your own. Don’t be put off making your own pastry, it’s not as hard as you think, although you could use shop bought shortcrust pastry if you wanted.
If you can’t find a jar of mincemeat or just want to make your own, try this recipe from BBC Good Food.
375g (3 cups) plain flour
260g (1 1/6 cups) unsalted butter, softened
125g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 large egg, plus 1 beaten egg for glazing
800g jar mincemeat
Make the pastry
Get your toddler to weigh the flour (375g) out and put it in a large mixing bowl. Measure the butter (260g) and cut into small pieces before adding to your bowl.
Rub together until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Get your child to measure the sugar (125g) and add to the bowl. Crack the egg into the bowl.
Mix everything until it’s coming together then tip out onto a lightly floured surface. Fold until the pastry comes together – try not to over mix, as soon as it happily forms a ball you’re done. Wrap the pastry up in cling film and pop it in the fridge for 15+ minutes or so.
Pre-heat the oven to 220C/200 fan.
Make your mince pies
Lightly flour your work surface then get your toddler to help you roll the pastry out to 3mm thick.
When you’re rolling it out, be sure to turn it 90 degrees between turns – it helps to stop it sticking to your work surface, and also ensures you get an even thickness. When it gets a bit bigger, roll it round your rolling pin before rotating it to stop it tearing.
Use a round cutter (about 10cm) to cut out 24 bases and place them gently into muffin trays. Put a tbsp or so of mincemeat into each base.
Re-roll the pastry and either use another round cutter to cut some lids (7cm) or if you have stars like we do use them. I prefer using stars as they look nice and Christmassy and I also think it’s a nicer ratio of mince pie meat to pastry.
Get your toddler to crack an egg into a small dish. If you are using a full lid brush the edges of your mince pies with a little egg before placing the lids on and pressing them down to seal. You don’t need to worry about the egg at this point if you are using stars.
Use the egg to glaze the tops of the mince pies. If you are using a full lid, cut little slits in the middle.
Bake your mince pies
Bake them for 15-20 minutes. They’re ready when they are golden brown and bubbling.
Remove your tray from the oven. Cool the mince pies on a wire rack. I find it easier to remove the mince pies from the muffin tray before while they’re still hot.