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!


  1. Yay! So glad you are enjoying the Christmas season. What a perfect way to celebrate. I love mince pies. They are a classic!

  2. I really must try and make mincemeat! I've never tried before. That pastry sounds intriguing- I'm off to check it out!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours Dom!

  3. Is the Dan Lepard tip/recipe in his book? I want that book so badly. These look so light, crisp and delicious. Am making my mum's mince pies recipe later this week, will post if I get time. Happy holidays!

  4. I didn't actually know mincemeat was made from fruit (an not meat) until I was 13! Oh dear :S Your ones look great, I really like the deep filled texture :) Merry Christmas!

  5. Dom! An urgent question! Do you think this pastry crust would hold up if I rolled it and cut rounds to to fill with the mincemeat (filled cookie-fashion) ? I, too, made my own mincemeat and want small bites to offer folks ... thanks!

  6. You are so right, mince pies using homemade mincemeat, in homemade pastry, baked in your own kitchen are by far and away the very best. I've just found the pastry in the book and I was planning to bake another batch of pies later today! I know there is cream cheese in the fridge and ground almonds in the cupboard. So as soon as I have walked the dog, I will set to and make the pastry. Yippee!

  7. @ Susan It's very crumbly Susan so I'm not sure it would turn into wheels (if that's what you mean??) You could use more milk to make a more robust pasrty maybe and chill it for longer. xx

    @Katie -yes recipe in the book... go and buy it, it will change your life!

  8. AT LAST! Dom is enjoying the FESTIVE season, he is scattering glitter and mince pies wherever he goes and life is FUN and GOOD! WONDERFUL looking Mint Spies Dom, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  9. Pleased to hear you getting into the Christmas mood, and wish I had some of your mince pies handy. I am a big fan of using cream cheese in pastry too! X

  10. Don't you think the tingly feeling might have something to do with the Whisky Mincemeat??

  11. Did wonder myself if you'd been on the cooking sherry for a minute there Dom! Lovely looking mince pies. I'm going to try your mincemeat recipe next year!

  12. I love the sound of that pastry. Ah, the Joy of Christmas, that book always gave me a tingly feeling all over and made me warm from head to toe. No, hang on, my mistake, that was the Joy of something else entirely.

  13. Oh, those look lovely, Dom! I had my first minced pie about 2 years ago, if you can believe that. I wish I had tried yours instead!!

  14. Okay! Thanks, dearie! I'll let you know how things turn out ... on the list for tomorrow's bake time ... so excited! Kids are coming home, presents are getting wrapped, the reinforcements (hic!) are getting laid aside, and the family activities are getting planned! Wahoo!

  15. Exquisite little pies! Dan really is a master of his craft, and makes this sort of thing so achievable. Good luck with the contest, too.

  16. Dom you are relaxed now that's why you are enjoying the Christmas spirit yay! I put cream cheese in the filling with the mincemeat but the next batch (of which there will be several) I must try it in the pastry ooh lovely and rich. Can't be tempted until the Red Dress Diet is finished though - only 4 more days to go.

  17. Love mince pies, especially home made ones like yours! I can almost, almost smell them from here. They look beautiful Dom.

  18. Isn't it great when you can take a moment to stop and appreciate Christmas. There's nothing more Christmassy smelling than mince pies. GG

  19. Something i have never done is make my own mince pies! the M&S ones are just so yummy! You make it sound easy though and yours really do look delicious so as I'm not too late I think I may just have to make a batch intime for the christmas eve. Thank you!

  20. You just can;t beat home made mince meat made into home made mince pies. Perfect looking examples Dom.

  21. They look lovely Dom. Glad to hear you're finally feeling festive and ready to enjoy the season!

    I must turn my hand to pastry at some point - I might get addicted though!

  22. This is about the first year I've not made mince pies :(

    Yours look perfect and well filled with the mincemeat! Am intrigued by the cottage cheese!

  23. I would NEVER have thought of adding cottage cheese to pastry - almost in danger of becoming ever so slightly healthy Dom!!!!!

    P.S. Phil you are sooooo Bold!!!!

  24. Dom your mince pies look wonderful - so much better than mine. And it's so true about the mincemeat. Even CT, mince pie hater that he is, wolfed down a few of mine this year. Might have to make some more using your pastry. Glad to hear you're relaxing a bit now as evidenced by using a Dan Lepard recipe ;-)


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