Mince Pies

How to make Mince Pies.

Ingredients:
For the filling:
250g mincemeat
For the pastry:
250g pack of cold butter, diced
400g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp mixed spice
150g golden caster sugar
Method:
Pre heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Sieve the flour and mixed spice into a large bowl (big enough for a small child to get their elbows in!).
Add the diced butter to the flour, mix well and rub between your fingers until it is the texture of breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar and squash together to form a kind of very dry dough – don’t be tempted to add any liquid. (I must warn you that you really will be tempted to add some!).
A lot of kneading and manipulation is required to ensure this very short pastry actually sticks together enough to be cut into shapes. Use a pastry cuter to cut circles to the size of your pie tray.
Another option in to manipulate the mixture into balls and then flatten them in your hands to form circular shapes that fit in your pie trays. These give the mince pies a lovely, rustic, homemade look.
Next, spoon the filling into the pies – try to be as neat as you can, as you don’t want to get any on the sides.
Use the methods above to make the tops for your pies. Adding a bit of water around the edges of your base helps the tops to stick. Add tops and press the edges together. Stab each pie top with a fork.
Put the tray in the oven and bake for 20 mins or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.
Sprinkle with icing sugar if desired.

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