December 24, 2012

Pear + Mincemeat Pies

"Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there."

And what will be there when St Nick arrives?! A beautiful fruity homemade mince pie with orange scented flaky pastry.

Christmas Eve is a night for family. Sitting in by the fire, watching a movie-all snug. Or, sitting at the kitchen table wrapping the last of the Christmas gifts. Either way its gotta be spent with the family. Christmas is my favourite. Everything about it is magical. I love peoples' generosity, seeing friends you haven't spoken to in years, the cosy ambient glow from the lights on the Christmas tree, family dinners, the scents and smells and especially the food. 

There is no greater feeling then feeding friends and family at Christmas time. Making everybody happy.

 I like homemade at Christmas but for these little beauties because I was stuck for time I added some diced ripe pear to a shop bought jar of mincemeat - it just gives them a real kick up the bum! Sometimes shop bought mincemeat can be a little too sharp but by adding the sweet pear you're mellowing out the harshness and giving a perfumed fruity flavour. Who's going to complain?!

The pastry is a breeze to make and with a jar of mincemeat and two pears you'll have these coming out of the oven just in time for St. Nick!

Merry Christmas!

Holly, x  

Rub together the cold diced butter and flour until the butter is the size of peas. Stir in the orange zest and slowly add the water until the dough comes together.

Either use homemade or shop bought mincemeat for these little pies. 

Dice the pears, don't bother peeling them and mix together with the mincemeat.

Butter and flour a mince pie tray, roll out the chilled pastry, cut into circles and ease them into the tray holes.

Fill the pastry, egg wash the edges, pop on the lids, seal and snip so the air can be released  and they don't explode!

 Recipe, makes 12-14 pies

Orange Pastry

150g Plain Flour
110g Cold Butter, diced
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
60ml Ice Cold Water
1/2 Teaspoon Finely Grated Orange Zest

Sieve the flour into a bowl with the sugar.
Using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of peas.
Stir in the orange zest.
Slowly add in the water until the dough comes together into a ball.
Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 


500g Mincemeat
2 Medium Ripe Pears

Dice the pears and mix with the mincemeat.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Butter and flour a mince pie tray or a muffin tin.
Roll out the pastry and using a scone cutter cut out 12 circles of pastry big enough to fit into your mince pie tray.
Gently ease the pastry into the holes in the tray.
Spoon in 3/4 tablespoon of mice meat.
Re-roll the pastry and cut out 12 slightly smaller circles.
Egg wash the rim of the mince pies.
Top with the smaller circles and make sure to seal the pastry.
Egg wash and using a scissors snip the tops of the pies.
Bake at 200°C. for 20-25 minutes.

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