How to Bake the Perfect Mince Pies

The streets are littered with twinkling lights, Christmas music is everywhere and the scent of festive treats fills the air! Christmas is well and truly on its way.

 

There’s nothing more magical than an afternoon of Christmas baking, so we’re showing you how to bake the perfect mince pies. But be warned, you’ll be asked to bring these to every Christmas party from now on!

 

 

INGREDIENTS – makes 24 mince pies

 

For the mincemeat:

100g vegetable suet

100g Bramley apples, cubed

50g candied peel

200g sultanas and raisins

100g currants

50g glace cherries, chopped

75g demerara sugar

½ tsp mixed spice

½ tsp cinnamon

½ orange juice and zest

30ml brandy

 

For the pastry:

400g plain flour

100g unsalted butter

100g lard (if vegetarian switch for butter)

10-14 tsps water

 

 

Making your mincemeat couldn’t be easier, simply prepare all your ingredients and mix together in large bowl. Put this to one side while making the pastry, this helps all the flavours come together. Should you have any mincemeat leftovers, simply store them in sterilised jars (pop any old jam jars on a hot dishwasher cycle) and store in a cool dark place until you’re ready to bake your next batch!

 

For the pastry, weigh out your fat (butter and lard) and cut into small chunks with a butter knife. Add this into a large bowl with the flour and continue to cut into smaller chunks.

 

Once you can chop no longer, it’s time to rub the fat in by hand! The trick for light and crumbly pastry is to keep it as cold as possible. Therefore, when rubbing the butter in make sure to only use the tips of your fingers as the palms of your hands can melt the butter. Give your bowl a little shake to bring any larger pieces to the top! If you’re struggling to combine all of the fat, add another sprinkling of flour, this will make your pastry even more delicious but may make rolling out harder!

 

Once you’ve achieved a fine crumb with no visible signs of butter, add in your water while stirring with your butter knife. The pastry should start to come together, then use your hands to mould into one ball of dough. Set this in the fridge for at least 15 minutes – time for you to have a cuppa!

 

Pop your oven on to preheat at 180 degrees Celsius (fan).

Now let’s get rolling out your dough! Lightly dust your surface and rolling pin with flour to avoid the dough from sticking. Roll your dough to the thickness of a 10p and cut out 24 bases and lids. Grab your cupcake tray and gently press the bases into the moulds being careful not to break them.

 

Fill each pie with a teaspoon of mincemeat and place the lids on top. If there is a gap between the lids and the base, go ahead and apply a light milk wash. If your lids meet the edge, make sure to firstly gently pierce the top with a fork to allow the steam out.

Put the mince pies in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Once cooked, immediately take them out of the tray using a teaspoon. If left to cool any spilt mincemeat can solidify, making it very tricky to get them out! Leave on a cooling rack, dust with icing sugar and enjoy!

 

We’d love to see photos of your mince pies, so make sure to tag them on social media with #MustBeCathKidston! And make sure to shop our wonderful Christmas home collection to make your bakes that bit more magical.