MinceMy kitchen smells just like Christmas today, I have been making mince pies and ginger biscuits today.  For the mince pies I made my own pastry and I made Rough puff Pastry.  You can use bought pastry and you can use shortcrust or flaky or puff it is all a matter of taste.  For the home-made pastry you will need:

8 oz Plain flour
5 oz Butter
a pinch of salt
cold water to mix

With normal shortcrust pastry you rub the fat into flour but with the rough puff you just need to cut the butter up into small pieces and mix, with a knife, into the flour and salt.  Mix to a stiff dough with the cold water.  Roll out on a floured surface into a narrow strip.  Fold the pastry into three, turn a quarter turn so one of the open ends is towards you and roll out again.  Do this three times and then leave to rest for 15 mins.

mince piesFor the mince pies you will need:

8 oz pastry
Mincemeat
beaten egg
icing sugar

Heat the oven to 230 C, 450 f, gas mark 8

Grease some patty tins, I use a tray that holds 12 pies.  Roll out the pastry quite thinly and cut out 12 large rounds and 12 smaller ones.  (Re-rolling the trimmings)  Line each patty section with a large round of pastry and place a teaspoon of mincemeatmincepie into each then brush the edges with beaten egg and place the small round of pastry on top.  Cut a slit or two in the top and brush the top with the beaten egg.  Bake for 15 mins.  Cool on a wire rack and then dust with icing sugar.  Serve hot or cold with or without brandy butter.  However you serve them, enjoy them.

~JB

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