So festive baking has finally begun with a batch of these little starry mince pies.
I postponed the entrance of any Christmas spirit into mine, and hence my family’s, life, until my PhD viva was done and dusted (which it was last week – hooray!). To be quite honest I hadn’t really considered life post-viva, let alone Christmas, so am rather feeling like the whole thing has crept up on me somewhat , which is turning out to be quite lovely as it seems my festive spirit/post-PhD high looks to peak at precisely the right time. However, this does mean that my festive planning, baking and present buying has also been delayed. The planning side is easy to rectify (i.e. start having a social life again, a phenomenon I am realising my life seriously lacked over the past 12 months), present buying was a doddle (I have just two people to buy for), however, baking-wise, I need to up the ante over the next few days.
Starting slowly, and with friends staying for the weekend, I made a batch of these little starry mince pies. I didn’t make my mincemeat, I just didn’t get round to it, but made half with Robertson’s mincemeat and half with Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference mincemeat with cassis (the latter was a particular hit and would definitely recommend). Pastry-wise I used a sweet pâte brisée recipe (detailed below) and have half in the freezer, ready to go for any mince pie requiring crisis that may emerge and once assembled, baked them for about 20 minutes at 160˚C (fan).
200g plain flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp icing sugar
100g cold butter
1 tsp lemon juice
1-2tbsp iced water
- Mix together the flour, sugar and salt, add the diced butter.
- Mix to create a breadcrumb texture (with the flat beater of the KA this took about two minutes on speed 2, though can also easily be done with a food processor or your fair hands).
- Add in the lemon juice, beaten egg and water.
- Continue to knead (again, with the flat beater, processor or hands) until you form a smooth dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and give a little knead before shaping it into a ball and popping it in a freezer bag or clingfilm and chilling for at least 30 minutes.