Happy New Year to all my lovely shhdonttellhim followers!
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year. My Christmas break consisted of a mix of doing absolutely nothing alongside some lovely day trips to Chester, Cheshire Oaks, Liverpool, Ashbourne and Grasmere as well as a little bit of baking.
This post is probably a little late, but as I’m feeling sad that the Christmas holidays are over I figured that it might bring a little bit of the Christmas cheer back! I was planning to make mince pies in the run up to Christmas along with some Ecclefechan tarts but I have a love/hate relationship with mince pies so decided not to make them in the end.
I liken mince pies to the sweets and biscuits that no-one wants to eat. You know the type that look a bit dejected in the tin but you turn your nose up however, you always end up going back to the tin when there is nothing else left to eat and you need a sweet fix.
So with mince pies firmly at the back of my mind we decided to visit Ashbourne over the holidays and after browsing Waitrose to see what bargains we could find we soon moved on to Marks and Spencer’s where we came across some luxury mincemeat for £1 and so mince pies were back on the menu…
My pastry work tends to be a bit and miss so I decided to use a Paul Hollywood recipe as I always trust that his recipes will work out well and so it proved yet again. As I was feeling a bit lazy I ended up making the pastry in my food processor so after a few minutes the dough was ready to be brought together before being chilled for 10 minutes, which gave me enough time to wash everything up and put it away.
Regular readers will know that I always tend to tweak any recipes I use and this one was no different. However, I only made some minor changes in that I added some orange zest to the pastry. I also added some dried cranberries, but left out the diced apple. So once everything had been rolled out and filled it was time for them to go in the oven to bake.
After 20 minutes my pies were golden and bubbling and I just needed to wait for them to cool down before I could do a taste test. And boy they were worth waiting for as for once I got the pastry just right as it was both light and crisp, and the perfect accompaniment to the orange, nut and juicy mincemeat filling. I may just have changed my mind about mince pies so it’s a good job that we bought a second jar of mincemeat. The only dilemma is when to make them…mince pies in February anyone?
To make your own mince pies you can find the recipe here.