What is a Christmas without mince pies? It's a sort of tradition in my family that we homebake at least one batch. a task usually undertaken by my little sister. This year though, in the spirit of blogmas and giving my sister a break as she tackles her essays, I thought I'd make some. 

I used the BBC good food recipe found here, an easy one that only takes an hour to make, including prep and cooking. There aren't a lot of ingredients required, hopefully all of which are in your kitchens around this time of year. 

Ingredients:

filling -
1 large jar of mincemeat (about 600g)
2 satsumas, segmented
1 apple, finely chopped
zest of one lemon

pastry -
375g plain flour
260g unsalted butter, (preferably softened)
125g caster sugar
1 large egg  +  1 beaten egg for glaze

a little icing sugar for dusting



Method:

- In the same bowl, rub together the flour and butter together to a crumb consistency.
- Add the sugar and egg, and mix together. 
- On a lightly floured surface, tip the pastry out and fold until it comes together. Be careful not to overmix.  -- I tend to do this step on a bit of floured greaseproof paper so that the flour is contained and it's not as messy, my pastry was a bit sticky to start.
- Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes



- In another bowl, scoop out the mincemeat and add the apple, lemon zest and satuma


- Heat the oven to 220 degrees C/ 200 degrees C fan/ gas mark 7.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out to 3mm thick
- Using a round cutter, about 10cm, cut out 16 bases and place them into a muffin case
- Put about 1  1/2  tablespoons of mincemeat mix into each base, or however much you like, really
- Brush each pie edge with a little beaten egg
- Re-roll out the pastry and cut out lids with a slightly smaller cutter. We had stars and flowers, so I used these to cut out my lids.
- Press the lids on top of the cases to seal
- Glaze with a little egg, sprinkle with caster sugar and make a small cut in the top


- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
- Leave to cool before releasing them from the trays
- Dust with icing sugar & serve





They're definitely not perfect, and I think I'll use a little less lemon zest next time, but they came out really well, if I do say so myself! My family def agrees - they're already almost half gone, and they've been out of the oven for about three hours. 

What do you think? Are you guys more in favour of home baked or store bought mince pies? Or are they just not your thing at all?


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