One of my favourite things about Christmas is the food - the whole month of December is just one big indulgence, and it's also the perfect excuse to get in the kitchen and start baking. I never used to like mince pies, but started to eat them a couple of years ago, so this year it seemed like a good idea to try making my own. When I say 'making' really I mean 'assembling', because I've used shop bought ready rolled pastry and shop bought mincemeat - you can make both yourself, but for my first attempt at mince pies, I thought I'd keep it simple!
All you need to make these cute little mince pies is a jar of mincemeat - the boozier the better (I used Asda's Extra Special brandy and port mincemeat), two packs of ready rolled short crust pastry, icing sugar and caster sugar. You'll also need some small cookie cutters and a mini cupcake pan or cake pop pan.
Start out by unrolling your pack of pastry and cutting out circle shapes for the base of your mince pies. As these are mini, bite-sized mince pies the only kind of pan I had which was small enough was this cake pop silicone mould - the pies don't get a flat bottom, but other than that this worked perfectly.
Put the bases you've cut out into your tray and then add a teaspoon of mincemeat to each one. Next you need to cut out the lids for your pies - I used Christmassy star and tree shapes. Once the lids are cut out, wet one side with a little bit of water to help it stick and then place once on top of each mini pie. I poked and tucked the edges in a little but to help them stick in place.
Once assembled, sprinkle the tops of the pies with a little caster sugar and then put them into an oven pre-heated to 200 degrees for about 15 minutes or until they turn nicely golden on top.
Lastly, once the mini pies are cooked and cooled, sieve some icing sugar on top to give them a snowy, festive finish. Super easy!
I can't believe I've not tried making my own mince pies before - these were so easy and really yummy too. Maybe next year I'll attempt making my own pastry!