The pastry has chilled nicely in the fridge, turn the oven to 220 degrees C, and the fun factory is about to commence.
1. Take one pack of pastry out to warm up a bit, not too warm as it will go too sticky to roll or cut out.
2. Take out the baking trays, with 12 indents, and liberally grease them with butter
3. Take a bowl full of mincemeat, add a bit more brandy if it looks a little dry, but you don't want it to be too wet.
4. Beat an egg, with some milk in a jug (for brushing on the pastry)
5. Put some caster sugar in a small container (for sprinkling on the pastry before cooking).
6. Get the cutters out, one large for the bottom piece of pie, a smaller one for the lid. I use a star cutter for the top decoration, but you could use anything you like, heart, diamond etc.
7. Roll out the now cool pastry (don't let it get too warm), on a floured surface until fairly thin (you don't want it too thick or at least I don't).
8.Cut out 12 larger rounds for the bases and put them in the tins, put a teaspoon of mincemeat in each base.
9.Cut 12 tops and 12 stars and brush the underside of the top with the egg wash and place over the base and mincemeat. Brush the top with egg white and put the star on top and sprinkle with sugar.
Whooooooo first tin down, only 11 more to go...
10. Put the completed tin to one side, as likelihood is the oven is not quite to temperature and in any case this makes the job a bit quicker.
Repeat actions 7 through to 9 again and by the time you have done this the first batch can now go in the oven, while the second one waits patiently you can do the third tray and so on until you have as many as you need.
When they are ready to come out of the oven, and you will get the most lovely scent out of the baking process... or at least I think I do... they will be lovely and golden brown.. usually takes between 10-12 minutes (longer if your pastry is thicker or you have used shop brought pastry rather than try the pate sucre in Stage I)...
It is important to leave them in the tin to cool, very important step this as taking them out of the tin when they are too warm will just mean they break and you have to eat all the broken ones.. hmmm I think that's right though I am sure SOH will be helping me at this stage lol.
Now when tin 2 comes out of the oven onto the cooling rack, tin 1 should be about ready to take out. I use a plastic spatula to gently ease them out and onto the cooling rack
Serve warm with clotted cream, or brandy butter, or anything you like.. I usually dust mine with icing sugar but I believe some people leave the tops open and create an icing top.
ps - any orders let me know :-)
pps - competition for the giveaway will be tomorrow's post