Mince/fruit pies pastie style

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Mince pies are a popular, heart-warming, slightly spicy, hot dessert for the winter months.
Fruit pies, or a mixture of both, can be made the same way.
This recipe requires shortcrust pastry, as presented elsewhere in this blog.

This is a simple and quick way of preparing unusual, plump and satisfying pies.
They can be served hot or cold, plain or with custard or yoghurt and work well as a teatime snack.
Consistent with the philosophy of healthy and economic food, this recipe contains a minimum variety of ingredients: inexpensively sourced, with no added salt or artificial additives, and no hydrogenated or otherwise adulterated items.


Watch the video

Preparing the pie video on Youtube
Watch the video

The cooked result video on Youtube

Mise en place

Before starting, make sure you have everything you need ready, as listed below. That includes: the ingredients; utensils; cookware etc The quantities of ingredients can be multiplied in proportion to the example given here, or adjusted according to need, availability or taste.

Ingredients

  • Shortcrust pastry: I find that about 80g is enough for each good-sized individual mince pie.
  • Contents – see the list of options below. They can be mixed as you like.
  • Flour, plain white: A small quantity to sprinkle when rolling out the pastry and for the baking tray.
  • Water: A small amount to wet the edge of the pastry to help it seal when folded.

Optional ingredients

  • Mincemeat. You can buy it ready-made from supermarkets.
  • Dried fruit. Sultanas are my favourite.
  • Poached apple. You can buy it in tins but I prefer to make my own.
  • A little white or dark rum adds body to the mincemeat if added to the jar in advance. Only a little is necessary (best to put more in a glass if that’s what you want!)
  • Custard, cream or yoghurt to serve.

Utensils etc

  • A clean worktop.
  • Teapoon to measure the filling.
  • Clean hands.
  • Rolling pin.
  • Spatula to trim untidy edges and transfer to baking tray.
  • Baking tray large enough to carry the pies for baking.
  • Oven preheated to about 220 degrees, or halogen equivalent.

Preparing the pastie

  • Sprinkle a little flour on the worktop and roll out the portion of pastry to about the size of a saucer. Smear the pastry into the flour on both sides to stop the roller sticking.
  • Place two teaspoons of mincemeat/fruit contents across the pastry, slightly to one side of the halfway fold line.
  • Make sure the contents are dry or well drained so they do not wet the pastry as that may make it soggy.
  • Slightly wet the edge of the pastry all round. Just enough to make it slippery. I use a finger dipped in water or fruit juice so I can feel when it is just right.
  • Carefully fold the pastry across the middle to make a semicircle, like a pastie. Adjust the contents to avoid a big lump in the middle, but keep them well away from the edge.
  • Using fingertips crimp the circular edge to make the pastry seal. Squeeze the edge inwards towards the centre slightly so it doesn’t become thin and weak as you crimp it.
  • Prepare the baking tray with a sprinkling of flour and very gently slide the mince pie onto it (use a spatula and/or broad-bladed knife to lift it off the worktop if necessary).
  • Collect as many pies as you need (or will fit on the tray) and place in the oven as soon as you can. If you put poached apple in the pies the liquid may soften the pastry if they are left for more than a few minutes before baking.
  • Bake at about 220 degrees until it begins to turn golden brown. About 15-20 minutes in a fan oven or halogen oven.

What next

Mince/fruit pies are a treat all the year round. They can be served hot or cold, on their own or with custard, thick cream or yoghurt.

Trimmings

When you roll out pastry you may take trimmings from any untidy edges. These can be put back into the main ball of dough, or collected separately to make small items such as mini-pasties or canapes.

Note on preserving

Pies can be kept in the ‘fridge for a few days but are then best served cold (e.g. as a snack or a cold pudding) rather than re-heated.
Pies can be frozen before baking, so a batch can be made in one session to provide a convenient supply over a period of time. But if the pastry is damp with the contents it can cause the pie to break up when thawed. Get them into the freezer as soon as you can after filling.



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