Every single Christmas Mummy Swan makes mince pies, from scratch. Please do not get Mummy envy and steal her away from us.
It’s a very long and drawn out process; the mincemeat is made in October and put away to mingle and become delicious for a few months before, on a cold December weekend, thousands of mince pies appear, feeding the Swan family & their friends/neighbours/random passers-by well into the new year.
Mummy uses Delia Smith’s Christmas mincemeat recipe from her 2003 cookbook however, it’s also online here: http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/main-ingredient/mincemeat/home-made-christmas-mincemeat.html
Doesn’t it look glorious! It tastes better than it smells!
If you don’t have the time or patience or actually just can’t be bothered to make mincemeat (I wouldn’t blame you, there is about a thousand ingredients and it takes forever) then just buy a jar of good quality mincemeat (think Waitrose) and that’ll do. If you do decide to make your own then it can be done the day before, so you could make it today, make your mince pies tomorrow and wow everyone with your Christmassy domestic god(ess)ness.
I tried for the very first time to make my own pastry today. This involved several phone calls to mum asking about ingredients (there are 3: flour, lard and water) and what to do. Why isn’t it rubbing in properly!? etc.
Anyway, to make 12 mince pies you will need:
A jar of mincemeat.
For the pastry,
225g plain flour + extra for rolling
a splash of cold water.
Your flour and lard needs to be in a nice big mixing bowl. When the lard is soft enough to mix, run your fingers under cold water (cold hands make better pastry because the lard doesn’t melt) and rub together your flour and lard until it makes a breadcrumb-like texture.
Add the water a little at a time and bring the mixture together with a knife. Once it’s come together, flour your hands and get in there to bring your pastry together into a ball.
Leave it to rest for 30minutes if you like a-la GBBO but really, I’m not sure it makes a difference.
Chop your pastry in half and roll out one half until it’s about 1cm thick-ish. No need to get a ruler out. Use a pastry cutter or, if you’re like me and don’t own one, use a wine glass. Pop your pastry circles in a cupcake tin and press them down gently into the corners.
A heaped teaspoon of mincemeat is enough for each pie. Then top it with whatever Christmassy shape you like. Mummy puts lids on hers (to do this cut a smaller circle and pop it on top, do NOT forget to poke a hole in the top or your mince pies will explode. I am not kidding). We put stars on ours because Chris stole a star cutter from his mum and it looks Christmassy.
Your pies will need to go in a 200º oven for 15-20minutes – until the pastry is nearly-golden and crispy.
Once they’re cooled, dust with icing sugar.
Enjoy with a glass of port or a cup of tea.