If you made the Mincemeat last week and got your mince pie tin, you're ready to make Mince Pies! The Mincemeat recipe makes enough for four dozen of the pies, but I just make them a dozen at a time; so my pastry recipe below is formulated to make just enough pastry for a dozen. If you have a bit leftover, just save it for the next batch or bake it as cookies.
(I got distracted by the cat and overbaked these a few minutes, but they were still good!)
Mince pies are good at room temperature, but they are grrrrreat warm. Never serve them cold. If you're making them ahead, just pop them into a preheated 350F/180C/Gas4 oven for about 5 minutes. You'll be glad you did!
(Makes 12 little pies)
The Shortcrust Pastry
1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1 ounce/28 grams) unsifted powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
About 1/4 of the Mincemeat recipe (about 1 1/8 cups)*
* It depends on how full you fill your pies. I use about 1 1/2 tablespoons per pie.
1 You can easily make the pastry by hand, but here are directions for food processor method. Add flour, powdered sugar and salt to work bowl of food processor; turn on for about 3 or 4 seconds to combine. Add chunks of butter; pulse to a crumb texture. Add egg yolk and water; pulse until the dough starts clumping together. This is to be a crisp, more cookie-like crust, rather than a flaky pastry; so there's not quite the concern about over-processing. Flatten slightly into a 4- to 6-inch round disc, wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2 On a very lightly floured sheet of baking parchment, roll out all the dough, for both tops and bottoms, about 1/8 inch/3mm thick. Cut 3-inch/8cm rounds for bottoms. OR Before rolling out the pastry (for just the tops), use a #60 (1 tablespoon) scoop and place a scoop of dough in each of the 12 cups of the mince pie tin. With your thumbs, press the pastry in each cup. Roll out remaining pastry on a lightly floured sheet of parchment, and cut out either stars or circles about 2 to 2.25 inches/5 or 6cm in diameter for the tops.
3 Put about 1 1/2 level tablespoons of mincemeat in each of the 12 cups. Top with pastry. If using round tops, crimp the edges and cut a slit to allow steam to escape. If using star tops, just lay them on and press the points against the edge of the bottom pastry.
Note: Save any leftover pastry for another batch or another use. You can even bake it as not-too-sweet cookies!
4 Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas6. Place mince pie tin in a rimmed baking sheet. My pan fits perfectly inside a 13x9x1-inch quarter-sheet pan. Bake until pastry is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with a dusting of powdered sugar.