The one thing I do like to bake in advance of the big day, though, is mince pies. And this recipe is my tried and tested one, passed down by my mum and honed over the years.
To make 24 in a regular-sized bun tin, you'll need:
- 12oz plain flour
- 3 tablespoons of icing sugar
- 7oz butter
- 1lb mincemeat
- Icing sugar for dusting
It's all pretty simple: sift the flour and icing sugar and rub in the butter. I tend to find I need about 1 tablespoon of water to make a soft, but not sticky pastry mix. Once kneaded together, wrap in cling film and chill for 15-20mins.
Post-chill, roll out your pastry onto a floured surface, and stamp out circular bases for your pies. Line your bun tin with these, fill each with a decent teaspoon of mincemeat and stamp out smaller shapes (I tend to use a heart or a star cutter in it's smallest size, but a shot glass works too) and lay these on top.
Bake for 10-12 mins at 190c in the oven. Once the pastry is golden brown, bring these out and sit on a rack to cool, then dust with icing sugar. They keep fine for a couple of weeks in an airtight tin, if they last that long..
If your'e super organised, these freeze really well pre-bake. Make them up in the tins, freeze in the tins until they're solid, then you can decant them into a freezer bag so as not to take up so much freezer space. Just remember to place them back into the tins before you defrost and bake them!
Do you have any recipes you remember making when you were little?