I've been busy busy with this heavy workload, etc... second assignment completed and now it's time to embrace the festive season!
To start it off, Papa Wood let me join in with the annual Mince Pie baking this year.
This also means that I learnt how to make my first ever sweet shortcrust pastry (the trick is cold hands!).
450g Plain Flour
3tbsp Ground Almonds (Optional)
Pinch of Salt
50g Icing Sugar
2 Egg Yolks
4tbsp Iced Water
Beaten Egg to Glaze
Icing Sugar to Dust (Optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
2. Sift flour, ground almonds and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until you have what resembles fine crumbs. Mix in the icing sugar.
3. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and stir in the egg yolks.
4. Gradually stir in enough water to make a soft but not too sticky dough.
5. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for an hour.
6. Roll out two thirds of the dough and cut out rounds using a 6cm fluted cutter. Use these to line yorkshire pudding/cupcake/muffin trays to make the base of the mince pie (you should get around 30).
7. Fill the pies with mincemeat (be careful not to stuff them, a heaped teaspoon should do).
8. Re-roll the rest of the pastry and either cut it into rounds with 5cm fluted cutter or get creative and make patterns or designs with the pastry. Place on top of the pie.
9. Make sure the pies are sealed with pastry and then prick two air holes in the top of each pie. Glaze with the beaten egg and then place them in the oven for 20 minutes or until pale golden brown.
10. Dust with icing sugar and serve hot with brandy butter, ice cream or cream.
This is a recipe that has been adapted from the 'Family Circle' magazine from December 1989 (it's older than me!). It's the recipe we've always used and always will continue to use.
I hope you enjoy them!