Mince pies are the ultimate Christmas food. When you see a mince pie, you're transported back to memories of when you were younger, when you left out a mince pie on Christmas Eve for Father Christmas. Memories of scoffing as many mince pies in your face as you can. Memories of the smell of granny baking the fruity festive treats. I had never made mince pies before this year, but after trying out and adapting a recipe I found on the BBC good food website, I'll definitely be making these every year. I think the key ingredient to making these the best mince pies is definitely the brandy infused mincemeat from Aldi (I'm not just saying they're the best, they really are. I'm not that fussed about shop bought ones but these are amazing!!!). One bite equals buttery melted goodness, soon met by a sharp yet sweet fruity centre with a strong hint of brandy - delicious. £1.29 for one jar is a tasty bargain. What's more of a bargain is that the list of ingredients added up to a tiny total of just over £6! As Christmas is only next weekend, why not get prepared and whip up some mince pies? Everyone will love them and will probably think you're an expert baker! Make sure to make plenty though and hide some for yourself because these will certainly be gone in a matter of seconds...
1. Place the flour and butter in a bowl and rub together to form a breadcrumb consistency.
2. Then add in the sugar and egg and mix together. Be sure not to over stir the mixture.
3. Tip the mixture out onto a floured surface and fold until the pastry comes together.
4. Next, wrap the pastry in cling film and chill in the fridge for around 15 minutes.
5. Whilst the pastry is chilling in the fridge, you can make a start on the mince pie filling. Simply empty the jar of brandy infused mincemeat into a bowl and combine with the orange, apple and lemon zest.
6. Once chilled, take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out onto a floured surface.
7. Using your round cutter, cut 16 bases (3mm thick) and place them into your greased cupcake tray.
8. Next, spoon a generous amount of the mincemeat mixture inside each pastry base.
9. Once you have finished doing that, re-roll the pastry and cut out the lids or shapes to go on the top - I think stars and little gingerbread men look super cute and festive! Place each lid gently on top of the mince pies.
10. Glaze every mince pie with either egg or milk and then sprinkle with some caster sugar.
11. Bake them in the oven for 15-20 mins at 220C/200C fan/gas 7 or until the pastry is golden.
12. Leave to cool completely before removing from the tray and then dust with a sprinkling of icing sugar.
Now they are ready to serve and enjoy with a glass of mulled wine!
What's your favourite thing to bake around Christmas?
This post was in collaboration with Aldi. All opinions are my own, for more information see my disclaimer.