Tuesday, 20 December 2011

mince pies


... something odd is happening to me... I have a tingly feeling all over... I go outside and the crisp cold air wraps me in its icy grip... but I don't feel the cold... I feel warm from head to toe and as I breath out, the air turns to glitter and covers my path in fairy dust... I hear bells jingle as the last of the leaves rattle together on the trees... could this be the JOY OF CHRISTMAS...?

... the aroma of baking mince pies has filled the house with its heady scent and as though it has triggered something in the deepest, darkest recess of my mind, I finally feel in the Christmas Spirit... all our events have at last finished for this year... now is the time for me to relax and enjoy the nothingness of it all...


... I made mince pies last year but they weren't a patch on these... I've heard it said up and down the land that once you make your own mincemeat you'll never go back to shop bought... and it is most definitely true... nothing beats it... this pastry is also utter perfection and I have to nod to the wonderful Dan Lepard for this one... it calls for cream cheese to be added into the pastry mix and although I used cottage cheese instead of cream cheese, it really is a most excellent and complimentary pastry...


My Mince Pies
i'm entering the top picture into Jac's No Crouton's Required who's theme this month is Festive Photo's... and I really do feel festive when looking at its pure Christmassy essence... I hope she likes it.

for the filling
I urge you to make your own... check out my very simple whisky mincemeat

for the pastry
300g plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
112g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter
100g full fat cream cheese (I used cottage cheese which was excellent)
75g ground almonds
1 egg yolk
a little milk to bind

- sift the flour baking powder and sugar into a bowl, add the butter and rub until it resembles breadcrumbs

- add the cream cheese, ground almonds and egg yolk, take a knife and mix until it comes together into a dough, you may need to add a little milk here, as I did.

- chill the dough for at least 30 mins before rolling out.

- use a fluted cutter larger than the holes in the pie tray and cut out as many as you need, remembering to leave enough pastry for the lids.

- bake at 180C for roughly 20mins or until the pastry is golden.

eat and of course enjoy!

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