I made my first batch of mince pies yesterday, the smell in the kitchen really made me feel Christmas-y! I use a Ballymaloe recipe for the pastry, it’s a rich pastry – it uses a lot more butter than normal and an egg to bind.
I have pastry tips and step by step pictures after the cut!
When making pastry it’s important to keep everything really cold. Keeping the butter as cold as possible means your pastry will be less tough. That’s also why you chill the pastry so many times before baking. The colder the pastry the less likely it will shrink during baking. Similarly try not to handle the dough too much. Over handling the pastry will break down the gluten in the flour and melt the butter – making the pastry tough and difficult to roll.
The recipe I use is very rich – it has a lot of fat in it, so it needs a lot less liquid to bind it together. Adding liquids to the pastry will make it easier to bring together. But it will make the finished pastry tougher and can cause shrinkage. Less liquids make it more difficult to work with, but the finished pastry is so much tastier!
I used my Homemade Mincemeat to fill my mince pies! Homemade is definitely the only mince meat I’ll use from now on! So much tastier!!