Mince Pies

We don’t normally bake mince pies, it’s always been easier to just buy them in. But since we started baking properly, buying in something like mince pies would seem wrong. Originally we weren’t going to do any this year, but as we had some friends coming round just after Christmas, it was the ideal opportunity to make some. I would probably have just used the recipe in the Good Housekeeping Cookery Book, but as we’d just watched The Great British Bake Off Christmas Masterclass, I had to have a go at Paul Hollywood’s recipe, they looked delicious!

I broke out the Preserves: River Cottage Handbook No.2 as I knew it had a mincemeat recipe in it. What I didn’t realise though, was that you’re supposed to mature mince meat for eight weeks, so that idea went out the window and instead we used a massive jar from the supermarket. I’ll need to get my act together in the Autumn and make my own, as Plum and russet mincemeat sounds really, really nice.

Making the pastry was easy, it came together well and was popped into the fridge to rest for an hour. It was at this point that things started to go pear shaped. I rolled the pastry out between layers of baking paper, simply because our cling film isn’t wide enough. I need to buy wider cling film, as it starts off OK, but then rapidly goes down hill and starts to stick and crinkle the paper. I managed to get it to a decent size, but it was way, way too thick. I should have stopped and made it thinner, but I carried on regardless.

Now, I’ve mentioned before that our oven is on the blink, we still didn’t realise this when I cooked these though. So after the allotted cooking time was up, they came out, were inspected and rapidly put back into the oven again as they were obviously undercooked. Even after a further fifteen minutes in the oven, they were still looking a bit anaemic and underdone. As you can see from the photos, they didn’t all make it out of the muffin tray on one piece

While they may have had a bit of a soggy bottom, the majority of the pastry was cooked and they were very tasty. I’ll definitely do these again, but I’ll make the pastry thinner and make sure the oven’s working first.

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