As Christmas approached, with some rapidity, minds turn evermore to what needs to be baked. Mince pies are always fairly close to the top of the list. Of course they are readily available in the UK in all the supermarkets. In fact it is claimed that 300 million are eaten in the UK over Christmas out of a total of 370 million annually.
I should explain, for those unfamiliar with mince pies that although the filling is called mincemeat there is no meat in the mixture. It is a sweet, fruity, filling.
I always prefer to make my own mince pies, even if I buy the mincemeat sometimes. I have posted recipes for them previously, which are on my blog and on my Youtube channel. However I decided to make some deep filled ones, which are what is usually sold in the supermarkets. For this I wanted to try to create a very tender and melt in the mouth shortcrust pastry. So this recipe is different from my earlier posts. However you can search my blog for the earlier recipes too, and for one on how to make mincemeat too.
This recipe is quite simple to make and I must say the pastry is so buttery and tender. It perfectly fits with the mincemeat, almost melting in the mouth.
Although I pressed my dough into the cases/muffin tin you could easily roll the pastry out if you found that easier. Personally as the pastry is soft I found it very easy to press into the cases and mould around the side and bottom.
I was very pleased indeed with how mine turned out. They taste so good. They will keep quite fresh for a few days in an airtight container and can also be freezed for later use if needed. Mine wont last long enough to be frozen, and I will have to make another batch closer to Christmas Day so we have some nice and fresh for then.
- 225g(2 sticks) softened unsalted butter
- 75g(6 tbsp) caster(or granulated) sugar
- 3 medium egg yolks(large in USA)
- 390g(3 cups) plain flour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 454g(1 2/3 cups or 1lb) mincemeat
- granulated sugar for sprinkling on top
- Place the butter and sugar into a large bowl and cream together until fully combined.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time and mix to combine.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine ( did these first three steps using my hand mixer, but by hand is easy too).
- Tip the salt and flour into the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until everything forms a smooth paste. As it starts to come together you can use a hand and squeeze the mixture to form into a dough paste.
- Form the paste into a disc and wrap in cling wrap and then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/375 F.
- If using aluminium cases place 12 into the holes of a muffin tin.
- Divide the paste dough into 2 pieces, 2/3 for one piece adn 1/3 for the other.
- Using the 2/3 piece divide into 12 equal pieces.
- Take each piece and roll into a ball, then put the ball into a case/muffin hole and use your fingers to press evenly up the side and on the bottom. (you could roll the ball into a 10 cm round instead if you wish).
- Take about 1 1/2 tbsp of mincemeat and place into each of the pastry lined cases.
- Take the remaining 1/3 of pastry and divide into 12 pieces.
- Flatten each piece into a 7 cm round and place onto the mincemeat filled cases, pressing down around the edges to seal with the pastry in the cases.
- Poke a hole into the centre of each pie.
- Sprinkle a little sugar on top of each one.
- Bake in the oven(in the muffin tin or or a baking tray if you wish) for 25 to 30 minutes until the top is a nice golden colour.
- Remove from the oven and all to cool before serving(they can be served warm if desired).