Favourite Festive Treat | The Christmas Edit

 Having only come home over the past week and being at work a fair bit, there has been a lot of festive baking and decorating in a very small amount of time! I'm about to share with you what is possibly my favourite festive recipe- Mince Pies. I'm not normally fussed about Christmas pudding or fruitcakes in general, but there is something about mince pies that I just LOVE. And these ones, with some inspiration from the good old Paul Hollywood, at just something else. 

What you'll need: 

- 12 hole muffin tin
- scales
- two bowls (one for the pastry and one for the filling) 
- teaspoon (to put the filling into the cases)
- Two pastry cutters (one roughly 3 inches, the other roughly 2 inches) 

For the Pastry: 
- 13 oz of plain flour
- 9oz of butter (roughly one block, I know- a lot, but trust me!)
- 4oz of caster sugar
- 1 egg

And, finally, for the filling:
- 400g of jarred mincemeat (yes, this may be cheating a bit but you can make your own if you like!)
- 2 tangerines or satsumas, zested and chopped (after you've peeled them, of course)
- 1 apple finely chopped

Right, now we've got that all sorted- let's get cracking! Obviously, you need to make sure you have clean hands and work surfaces, so if you haven't washed them and wiped them down, now is the time to do so! Also, if your oven takes a while to preheat, maybe do that now. If not, you can wait until you put the pastry in the fridge. 
I know making your own pastry may seem a little scary, and many of you may ask "why not just buy pre-made?", but trust me when I say this makes the most buttery, scrummy pastry ever. You need to put the flour, butter, sugar, egg and a little bit of cold water in a large mixing bowl and get stuck in (quite literally!). use your hands to help mush everything together, 'mush' being a very technical term obviously. 

 It's useful to have a small jug of cold water to hand in case you feel the mixture needs a little more help binding together. 
Once your pastry has come together to form a smooth ball, wrap it in cling film and stick it in the fridge while you get on with the filling. By doing this, you're making sure that the butter isn't going to melt. 
In a new, clean bowl, you want to chuck in your jar of mincemeat, along with an apple (cored, and chopped into small chunks) and the two satsumas or clementines. Bring together and set aside- wasn't that nice and easy?

Grab your pastry out of the fridge, dust your work surface (or pastry board if you have one) with some flour. You now need to roll out your pastry to roughly 3mm, that's probably the thickness of a 50p coin. Maybe... One thing I would seriously suggest is that you keep turning your pastry as you roll it out. As you turn it, dust a little more flour underneath so it doesn't stick to your surface and make it tricky when it comes to taking it off. With your cutters, cut out your 12 bases and 12 lids and place into your well-greased muffin tins (this will help when getting them out).  Fill your cases roughly 3/4 full, not all the way up and press the lids down firmly. Otherwise, they like to come off! Dust with a light coating of caster sugar to give a bit of colour and put in your oven to cook for about 15-20 minutes or until lovely and golden brown! 

To finish, add a little dusting of icing sugar (if you want them to look a lil' bit fancy), pop the kettle on and enjoy these scrummy festive treats with a good old cuppa! 
I hope you enjoyed baking one of my favourite festive treats, be sure to tag me in any photos of you baking/ eating them. And be sure to let me know if you would like more recipes! x  


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