Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Star-Topped Mince Pies

You can't beat home-made mince pies, especially mince pies made with your own home-made mincemeat! I tend to shy away from pastry but this recipe is seriously easy and I make these year after year. I made these gorgeous mince pies especially for Sunday when we had family and friends over to celebrate the festive season. As always they went down a treat and everyone loved them. This is definitely another recipe that will feature again in my house this month.

Star-Topped Mince Pies

240g/8oz plain flour
60g/2oz vegetable shortening
60g/2oz cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 orange, juice only
pinch salt
350g/12oz mincemeat
icing sugar, for dusting

You will need a miniature tart tray, each indent 4.5cm/1¾in diameter, a 5.5cm/2¼in round fluted biscuit cutter and a 4cm/1½in star-shaped pastry cutter.
Sift the flour into a shallow freezer-proof bowl, then add small mounds of vegetable shortening. Add the butter, shake to cover it, then place into the freezer to chill for 20 minutes. (This will make the pastry tender and flaky.)

Mix the orange juice and salt in a separate bowl. Cover and leave in the fridge to chill.

After the 20 minutes, empty the chilled flour and shortening mixture into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to make porridge-like crumbs. Gradually add the chilled salted orange juice, pulsing until the mixture is just coming together as a dough. Stop just before it comes together (even if some orange juice is left). If all the juice is used up before the dough has begun to come together, add some iced water.

Turn the mixture out onto a clean, floured work surface and, using your hands, knead the mixture to form a dough. Divide and shape into three equal-sized discs (you’ll need to make the mince pies in three separate batches of 12, unless you’ve got enough tart tins to make all 36 pies at once).Wrap each disc in cling film and place into the fridge to rest for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.

Remove a pastry disc from the fridge and roll out on a floured work surface thinly, but so that it will be sturdy enough to support the dense mincemeat filling. Using a fluted pastry cutter, cut out 12 circles a little wider than the moulds in the tart tins. Press the circles gently into the moulds. Place a teaspoon of mincemeat into each pastry case. Reroll any remaining dough to a similar thickness, then using a star-shaped cutter, cut out 12 stars and place each lightly onto the mincemeat filling.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown. Keep an eye on them as they don’t take very long to cook.

Remove from the oven, prising out the little pies straight away and placing onto a wire rack to cool. Allow the empty tray to cool down before repeating the steps. Repeat until you have made 36 mince pies.

Dust the mince pies with icing sugar and serve.


Jacqueline Meldrum said...

So much better than shop bought. They look divine!

The Caked Crusader said...

I shall be making thoroughly home made mince pies in the next few days and they'll look like yours - I love a star topping!
Happy Christmas to you and your family

Gloria Baker said...

I adore mince pies María and these are delicious:)
A very Happy Christmas María:)

Anna's kitchen table said...

Maria they look gorgeous! Can't believe I've never made my own mincemeat.

Sandra said...

I just love your food blog which I discovered this morning! Thank you so much for sharing so many delicious recipes. I saw Nigella on TV yesterday preparing her cranberry mincemeat star-topped mincepies and I got the recipe off the BBC Food site. I'm so happy to see your mince pies here and will be trying out your mincemeat cupcakes for the New Year.
Well done for your beautiful blog. I will be back!

Chele said...

There is something that sucks me in every time with star topped mince pies, they always look like so much fun and delicious to boot!

Maggie said...

These look so good Maria and very pretty too.

Choclette said...

These look really pretty Maria. I made my first ever mince pies this year and made my own mincemeat too. They don't look half as good as yours, but they tasted fantastic.

Wishing you a very Happy Christmas

Care Bear said...

So pretty! Happy Christmas Maria!

Caroline said...

They look lovely - very festive!