If there’s anything that says Christmas in Irish homes it is these buttery-rich, sweet, meat-less, melt in the mouth treats that can never be said in the same sentence as ‘oh I’ll just have the one!’ Certainly impossible as the 2nd is even tastier!!
In Ireland, mince pies make their appearance in shops, bakeries, and holiday markets around this time of year and the aroma of these miniature pies begins to hit homes in the run up to the Christmas preparations.
Even though they we call them mince pies the most important thing to understand is that although the pies are filled with what is known as ‘mincemeat’ there is NO actual meat in it. It consists of apples, raisins, sultanas, currants, mixed peel and a mix of Christmas spices enclosed in pastry that entices us back for more day after day over the Christmas celebrations.
This taste of Christmas as always varies from house to house and recipe to recipe and for today I have decided to share Donal Skehans tried and tested delicious recipe for mini pies ideal for sharing or for giving as gifts.
- 170g flour
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 100g cold butter, cut into small chunks
- 1 tbsp of caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp of water
- 420g jar of mince meat
- 1 egg
Place the flour and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
Add the butter and rub in using your fingertips until you have a rough breadcrumb like mixture. Don’t worry it will come together!
Add the sugar and the egg yolk and mix through with a spoon.
Add the water slowly until a dough comes together.
Form a ball with your hands, cover in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for at least 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 5.
Roll the pastry dough out to about half a centimetre in thickness and cut out 20 circles and 20 stars. You may need to gather the scraps and re roll the pastry to get enough cases.
Oil a mini muffin tray and fill with the pastry circles.
Fill each mini pie with the mincemeat and top with the pastry stars.
Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until the pastry turns golden brown.
Serve straight away with some cream or better still Irish whiskey cream or Brandy butter!
Give them a try and share with your nearest and dearest this holiday season.