Christmas is coming way too fast don’t you think? I have this long list of things that I wanted to make before Christmas and while I am slowly working my way down the list, there still seems so many things to do… There are also quite a few I have done but haven’t got to blog about yet as its hard to find the time to sit down and type it all out. Yes, yes, First World Problems.
Anyway, back to the task at hand. Last week I made the fruit mince for my mince pies. Boy did it smell like Christmas as I lifted the lid to stir it everyday. I seriously could have just put my spoon in and eaten it all up.
This week, I made the pastry and my first batch of mince pies. They were absolutely delicious, even if the pastry was a little on the crumbly side. I still have at least half of the fruit mince left so I will be baking another batch this weekend, just in time for Christmas.
In terms of how it went, I think I worked the pastry a little bit too much and that it is why it was a bit crumbly. Actually this was the advice from my brother. He claims he knows it from all of his baking experience but we know the truth – he heard it on MasterChef! So this weekend I will try not to play around with it so much. I don’t think it affects the taste, just the portability.
Below is the ingredients for the pastry. The how to section includes the information on making the pies using your prepared fruit mince (with thanks to Margaret Fulton, The Age and Pete’s mum).
What you need… for 24 small tarts
- 160g softened butter
- 125g icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 250g plain flour
- 2 egg yolks
- a little milk for glazing tops of pies
The how to…
1) In a food processor, blend together the butter, sugar and essence.
2) Add in the flour and pulse until crumbly.
3) Pulse in the egg yolks.
4) Tip the mixture out onto your bench and knead (very briefly) until it forms a dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5) Grease your patty tins (I used a muffin tin as I didn’t have a patty tin) and heat your oven to 180 degrees.
6) Quarter your pastry dough and roll it out until it is about 3 – 5mm thick. Cut out rounds in two sizes (a larger one for the base and a smaller one for the top).
7) Line the patty tin with the larger circles and then moisten the edges with a little milk.
8) Add a tablespoon of fruit mince to each circle. Place the smaller pastry circle on top and press down on the edges to seal. Make a small cross or slit in the top of each pie.
9) Brush the top of each mince pie with a little milk.
10) Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until pale brown.
11) Dust with icing sugar and try your hardest not to eat the whole lot!