Its Christmas and in our home, we spend a lot of the time baking and making yummy food for everyone who visits our family Christmas day and our hampers that we give as gifts.
These mince pies are just one of the many delicious bakes that we make and one that is special to us all. I mean, first of all Christmas is not one without the classic mince pie and how would we entice Santa down the chimney if there were not a mince pie and glass of milk waiting for him.
Also for us this is one of those bakes that allows the kids to get stuck in and fell the Christmas spirit, get excited and realise that it will soon be Christmas day, and we all know what that means…. PRESENTS.
So, these mince pies are the BEST and trust me when I say this. It was known and commented upon a few Christmases ago when one of my wife’s friends came over for food and festivities with their kids and she refused to eat mince pies as never really liked them and never seen the point to them. This day changed that, oh yes she now has these mince pies every Christmas and does as we do by getting the kids involved.
These mince pies have an extra fruit kick with the added apples, satsumas and apricots but what really brings them together is the almond essence. If you don’t have any to hand, they will taste just as good without but it is what makes these the best ever.
So, go on, get the kids involved, laugh as they get flour everywhere and make Santa’s day by giving him the best ever mince pie, as long as you don’t eat them all first.
Best Ever Mince Pies
For the pastry
- 225 g Unsalted Butter cold and cubed
- 350 g Plain Flour
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- 50 g icing sugar
- 1 Large egg yolk plus one lightly beaten for baking
- 2 tbsp. water
For the filling
- 410 g Jar of mince meat
- 1 Satsuma peeled and chopped
- 1 apple finely chopped
- 50 g Dried Apricots finely chopped
- ¼ tsp. Almond essence
- caster sugar for pre-baking
- icing sugar to serve
For the pastry
- Sift the flour and salt in to a large mixing bowl and then add the cubed butter. Mix between your fingers until it resembles bread crumbs.
- Add the sugar and briefly rub a little more. Add the egg yolk and water and gently combine. When it has almost all come together empty on to a work surface and knead gently until it comes to a smooth ball.
- Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
For the filling
- In a separate bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients together and refrigerate until the pastry is ready.
To make the mince pies
- Remove the pastry and filling from the fridge and pre-heat the oven to 180C.
- With a 12 hole Yorkshire pudding tin grease with a little butter and set aside. Dust your table top with flour and take the pastry from the Clingfilm and roll out to about 3mm or that of a pound coin. Cut out 12 discs using a cutter (I used an 8cm round) and 6 shapes for the tops. We used stars and Christmas trees.
- Place the discs into the greased tin, fill with a tbsp. of the filling and top with one of your shapes. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle generously with caster sugar.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes and golden brown. Remove and let cool for at least 20 minutes in the tin before taking out and finish cooling on a pastry wire.
- Serve dusted with icing sugar and a glass of milk for Santa.