Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year, mainly due to spending three whole weeks at home. Enjoying the fantastic company of family and friends, and of course, ALL THE FOOD... more food and drink than I probably consume throughout the rest of the year, thank goodness baggy Christmas jumpers are fashionably acceptable.
When I first get home for Christmas, I have a ritual that according to my mother started when me and my little sister used to break up from school for the holidays. This ritual includes spending the first day home in our pyjamas, thats right... ALL day. Sat in front of the fire, cuddling our doggies, watching our favourite christmas movies (Miracle of 34th Street and The Santa Clause are compulsory). Whilst drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate (however these days its mums home made mulled wine...) Perfection.
With my duvet day out the way i could finally begin to get into the christmas spirit. The run up to Christmas day always seems like a blur, last minute shopping, hair dying, food prepping, present wrapping, and most importantly mince pie making... I personally could eat mince pies all year round, however I don't for health reasons. So in order to compensate for my depravity throughout the rest of the year, I have one with breakfast, lunch, and dinner over Christmas...
My mothers first batch ran out rather quickly so it was my turn in the kitchen... I am a firm believer when it comes to food, that homemade is best (even if you take some shortcuts...)
Here is my cheat way of doing 24 mince pies;
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F
- Grab some ready roll puff pastry
- Using pastry cutters; 24 large (for the bottom) and 24 small (for the lid) and place in a shallow patty tins
- Mix together some mince meat mixed with an extra splash of brandy / cognac
- Fill each with just over a teaspoon of the mix
- Pop the lids on
- Egg wash and pierce with a sharp knife
- Then into the oven and wait 15-20 minutes (however stay near the oven to keep and eye on them)
- Once done leave to cool on a wire rack and sprinkle with some icing sugar
- Stick the kettle on and enjoy the lovely taste of Christmas...
Time to whip up another batch before January comes...