Homemade mince pies

Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON
Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON

The ‘Festive Flair’ themed cookery class enjoyed these wonderful homemade mince pies (and a glass of mulled apple juice) as a treat when they arrived at the Carrick YMCA Scratch Cookery Class on a frosty evening last week.

They were so popular that the ‘Step Up’ group also had a go and made no less than 96 of them-all with homemade pastry that just melts in your mouth… they took them along to the Carrick YMCA carol service and all 96 of them disappeared in seconds!

Mince Pies

375g plain flour

260g unsalted butter, softened

125g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

1 large egg, plus 1 beaten egg for glazing

1 jar mincemeat

caster sugar to sprinkle

icing sugar to dust

Make the pastry:

1. Sieve the flour from a height into a large bowl. Using your finger tips, work the cubes of butter into the flour and sugar by rubbing your thumbs against your fingers until you end up with a fine, crumbly mixture.

2. Add the egg and caster sugar to mixture and gently work it together till you have a ball of dough. Flour it lightly. Don’t work pastry too much at this stage or it will become elastic and chewy, not crumbly and short. Flour your work surface and place the dough on top. Very lightly knead it into a round, flour it lightly, wrap it in cling film and put it into the fridge to rest for at least 10 minutes.

3. Heat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Roll out the pastry to 3 mm thick. Using a round cutter (about 10cm) cut out 12 bases and place them into a lightly greased muffin tray.

4. Put 1 tbsp mincemeat mixture into each base. Brush the edge of each pie with a little beaten egg. Re-roll the pastry to cut 12 lids and press them on top to seal. Glaze with the rest of the egg and sprinkle with caster sugar. Then make a small cut in the top of each one or prick with a fork.Bake for 15-20 minutes until light golden. Cool slightly in trays and then lift out onto a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar to serve.