For me, the Christmas season has really begun when I eat my first mince pie. I put it off for as long as possible (not very long really!). This year I made my own mincemeat for the first time and was really keen to try it out.
I love mini mince pies, both because they look great and and because they seem to be just the right amount. Although it has to be said they are quite dangerous! It’s quite easy to keep having a little “taster” with a cup of tea or coffee and the next thing you know you’ve probably eaten the equivalent of several normal size ones…
I used the sweet pastry recipe that I use for dessert tarts and you can find it in this post. The tops don’t need to be a full pastry disc, although they can be if you want. Mini pastry stars look great and flaked almonds give an extra little crunch that is delicious. You could also set aside a little of the pastry mixture before you have added the egg and use it as a light crumble topping for some of them.
I was pleased with my mincemeat, although I do think I would put more cherries in and add cranberries if I did it again. And possibly a touch more brandy. I think now I have the basic recipe and know it works well it will be easy to play around with next year. And if you didn’t make any, don’t panic, there are some great shop bought ones out there. If you can find the time, homemade pastry is always so much better than the pastry in packet mince pies.
Take some time out to enjoy some seasonal food!