By the time Christmas has been and gone I’ve worked out I will have made over 450 mince pies in some form or another. Thankfully not for my own consumption but made during the classes I was teaching and for friends and family. I usually make my own mincemeat, but this year due to some of my pupils being unable to come to classes due to illness I was left with nearly a kilogram of mincemeat to use up. To make shop bought mincemeat taste more like homemade mincemeat simply stir in a generous glug of sherry into the mincemeat. No one has to know.
Clementines and their satsuma cousins always remind me of Christmas. We still get them at the bottom of our stockings from my parents at the age of 30-something. As well as being scoffed while impatiently waiting for the rest of the family to get up to open presents they can also be used in pastry.
I like using this pastry recipe for mince pies as the addition of orange juice helps shorten the pastry and give it a subtle taste. I don’t sweeten the pastry with sugar because I think the mincemeat is sweet enough. If you wanted the pastry a bit sweeter you could add a small amount of icing sugar to the pastry.
You can top your mince pies with the traditional full covering of pastry, but I prefer to cover with stars. 1) because I think they look nicer 2) you get more mince pies out of your pastry.
Mince Pies with Clementine Pastry
Makes around 12 mince pies
- 200g plain flour
- 100g butter
- Zest of one clementine
- Juice of two clementines
- 200g mincemeat
- 1 egg, beaten
- Demerara sugar (granulated sugar will also work fine)
- Rub the butter into the flour until it has the consistency of breadcrumbs.
- Add the clementine juice 1 tbsp at a time until it forms a soft dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 min.
- Roll out the dough until 5mm thick. Using a 9cm diameter cutter, cut out rounds and press gently into a bun tin.
- Place a heaped tsp of the mincemeat on top of the dough
- Top the mincemeat with a pastry star. Brush the star with beaten egg then sprinkle with Demerara sugar.
- Bake at 180° for 15 minutes.