Boozy Rough Puff Mince Pies
Thursday, 18 December 2014
I love every word in that recipe title.
Every. Single. Word.
If I'm ever offered a boozy little parcel of Christmassy joy I'm all 'yes please, can I have 3?' For me, mince pies are an irreplaceable part of the Christmas food smorgasbord. Over the festive period I try and eat at least 20. 30 - if I'm feeling ambitious. And whilst I'm up to my eyes in ribbons and empty Quality Street wrappers (let's just not talk about that...) I find there is always time to whip up some of my very own homemade mince pies. You can't beat 'em. Especially when they're made with crumbly, buttery puff pastry and are fit to burst with rum infused mincemeat. And while these look a little rustic *cough* obviously homemade *cough*, I kinda love that. I feel like the season is about getting stuck in with both hands putting a little love, effort and time into your festive food.
But if you've still got gift tags to write, you can use ready made pastry to make this recipe a complete doddle. And on the other hand, if you're on top of your game and happy to while away the afternoon making these little pies then go all out and whip up your own mincemeat too. I like this recipe.
Now as we all have stockings to fill, shall we hop to it?
For Boozy Rough Puff Mince Pies you will need (makes 24):
375g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
200ml chilled water
1 jar mincemeat
1-2 tbsp rum
Icing sugar to dust
2 shallow muffins trays, or the patience to do 2 rounds in the oven
Let's start by making our pastry. Puff gets a bit of a bad rap for being tricky, but it just takes a little patience and very cold ingredients.
Begin by sieving your flour and cubing your butter. I pop my butter in the freezer for 20 minutes or so before I cube, so my warm fingers don't soften it up too much.
Add in about 12 tablespoons of icy water (but not the ice cubes!).
Then bring together in the bowl with your hands or a round-bladed knife. If you find the dough is struggling to come together, add a splash more water.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a rectangle.
Then roll your rectangle out until it is doubled in length.
Then fold one end into the middle...
...and fold the other end over the top.
You need to repeat this process 3 times, turning 90 degrees each turn. I like to always turn clockwise and mark with a thumb print at the end of each turn, so I know where I am.
If you have time, chill your pastry for 30 minutes - 2 hours between turns. This will ensure you have a buttery, flaky pastry and the butter has time to chill before you start rolling again.
If you don't have time, pop it in the freezer for 30 minutes before you want to use it. The resulting pastry won't be as flaky, but it will still be delicious!
While your pastry is chilling grab your mincemeat.
Pop it into a bowl and add a slug of rum. You could also use whiskey or brandy, whatever is kicking about in the cupboard.
Make sure not to add too much, or your mincemeat will be runny.
Now turn your oven on to 200c.
Once your pastry is chilled and good to go, roll it out to 1.5 cm thick. Cut 24 pie bottoms and 24 pie tops. The tops will need to be slightly smaller. You can use cutters or go Heath Robinson like me and use a variety of clean jam jars.
Spoon in the mincemeat.
Pop the lids on and you've just assembled the most adorable little pies!
Put a slit in each lid to let steam escape and brush lightly with a beaten egg. Whack 'em in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
You can either leave them on a wire rack to cool or scoop them right out and shove them in your face. Obviously I did the latter.
Dust with a little icing sugar for a festive, snowy look and a kick of extra sweetness.
Serve with seasonal cheer and perhaps an accompanying glass of mulled apple and ginger rum?