Meg's Mince Pies

Christmas is coming, it’s time for Meg’s Mince Pies

It isn’t a secret that I love a mince pie! It just wouldn’t be Christmas without them and so here I am sharing my ultimate mince pie recipe for not just one, but two options that are totally worth the effort. If you want to get ahead, you can make the orange short-crust pastry ahead and pop it in the freezer ready to defrost and prepare pies later – just one word of warning, two dozen will not be enough! You will also need a large jar of mincemeat, don’t forget you can make this your own by adding fresh apple/cranberries/brandy.

For the shortcrust pastry;

350g Plain Flour

150g Butter

1 large Orange, zest and juice

A little cold water 

For frangipane;

50g Butter 

50g Caster sugar

2 Eggs

50g Ground Almonds

Begin by weighing the pastry ingredients. Cube the cold butter into the flour and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the orange zest and then the orange juice. Bring the dough together, you may need a splash of cold water if the mix seems dry. Shape the dough into a flattened circle and wrap in clingfilm then refrigerate allowing the dough to rest for 30 minutes (this is the point to freeze pastry for later if you like).

While the dough is resting, make the frangipane by beating together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs gradually beating them into the mixture and finally fold in the ground almonds.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Prepare the mince pie tins lightly greasing each indent, I use the paper from around the butter pat to coat each dimple. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work top. Carefully cut the discs, one larger for the base, one smaller for the top, cutting as closely together as you can to use as much pastry as possible in one ‘rolling’.

Gently lay the bases in the greased mince pie tin. Use a teaspoon to measure mincemeat into each base taking care to drop centrally into each one. To make a lidded mince pie pick up the lid in one hand and wash with milk using a pastry brush. Lay the lid over the mincemeat (milked side down) a quickly seal with a gentle press to either side.

Now wash the top of the pie with milk and use a fork to pierce steam holes in the lid. Or drop a teaspoon of the frangipane mix on top of the tart. Add a few sliced almonds for decoration if you like.

Bake the mince pies in the oven for 15 minutes. They are ready when they are just starting to colour. Carefully loosen from the tin while warm and leave to cool on a rack. Repeat the above for a second batch, you always need more than you think!

Ingredients for making mince pies, butter, flour, orange, mincemeat