Sunday, 2 December 2012

Mince pies!

I overfilled them, as usual...
I love Christmas. Even Mr Robot, the grumpiest of people most of the year, loves Christmas. It's probably quite ironic that I don't tend to be very traditional about Christmas. However, we do both really enjoy traditional Christmas food, and today I made my first batch of mince pies.

Like all British food, I think a lot of native Brits who say they don't like mince pies don't like them because they've only had the readymade, shop-bought version (see also: Christmas pudding; we're a ridiculously slovenly nation when it comes to food). Proper mince pies need a good, crisp, light, shortcrust pastry, and you can't make that in such a way that it will stay edible for weeks in a box, which is why the ones you buy in boxes in the supermarket don't taste very good, and do not have that delicious, crumbly texture. You've got to make decent pastry and make sure it's rolled out thin, but don't handle it too much. If the pastry in shop-bought pies is soft and slightly stale tasting, I'm positive that plenty of people have been put off home-made mince pies by thick, hard, overworked pastry.

My pies don't look the best, as I always overfill them so the mincemeat ends up bubbling over and leaving glistening brown edges, and the little pastry holly leaves I put on some are a bit deformed, but you know what? I doubt there'll be any left in the morning. Better home-made and funny-looking than underwhelming-tasting shop perfection...

1 comment :

  1. I have to say that I have no problem with pastry of any kind, it's mincemeat I can't stand :-P Neil loves them though, so we always have loads at Christmas, and he just has to eat them all himself. I don't think he minds that much though.

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